Principal’s Award

HE DID IT!!!!!

I just got an email from Maks’ teacher and he will be receiving the Principal’s award for the most improved student on Thursday. He has wanted this award since he actually starting trying last year. He was disappointed last year because even though he worked really hard, he did not win. He worked really hard this year and has really improved in all areas. But after last year, he had pretty much convinced himself that he would not be winning this award this year. And as far as I know, he doesn’t know that he is going to be winning the award this year.

I am over the moon proud of him. I was over the moon proud when I saw how well he was doing in general but I really thought that he would not be getting the award this year. I just figured even with all the improvements, and because he won the gym award last month, some other child would get the principal’s award. I was super happy to see the email from his teacher and I know as soon as he finds out about it, he will be super excited also.

I really am at a loss for words at this one, because I am just that proud.

Continuously failing at dating

Millhouse entered middle age last week. He wasn’t that excited about it and really just wanted the day to pass without any sort of hoopla; but I was not to be deterred and insisting on marking this milestone with something epic.

So we went on a date.

I think it has been something like nine months since our last date so this was something we don’t do very often. Millhouse picked the restaurant. I took this as a good thing, I figured him being involved in the date process was a good sign and showed he wasn’t against the idea completely. Most times when I suggest a date, I get shot down immediately. Him not saying no immediately is good.

Now since we had decided to do this on Thursday night for Friday night and had picked a super popular restaurant, our choice of reservations was pretty limited. We ended up getting a reservation at 6:45pm. Now just to put the reservation time in perspective, the restaurant is about an hour away on a good day with no traffic and I get home from work at 5:15pm.  That meant we would need to make it there in the height of rush hour in about an hour. So in order to make the reservation, I would have to book it home, speed shower, speed change and be out of the house in 15 minutes max.

Max.

It was a lot of pressure but it could be done. Millhouse agreed to bathe the boys & organize dinner for them so I could come home and get ready as soon as I got home and we were hoping we would make it to the restaurant in time.

Now when you have a plan with a super tight timeline, things always go wrong. Even though I left work early, I ended up getting home only five minutes earlier than I normally get home. I super speeded it through the shower but was stonewalled when it came to finding something to wear. I was planning on wearing jeans and a nice top but it was really hot on Friday and I didn’t want to wear jeans because if I ate a lot in tight jeans on a hot day, I would have been miserable. So I had to find a nice dress really quick.

After much rummaging, I just couldn’t find anything. And at the same time, I was telling Millhouse to change because he was wearing cargo shorts and a tee shirt with a picture of a kitten on it. I told him he couldn’t go to dinner wearing shorts and a tee shirt with a picture of a kitten on it. He didn’t want to change because he was comfortable in what he was in and he was getting agitated at me for even suggesting that he change his clothes.

After much arguing, he ended up putting on a collared shirt and jeans and was positively miserable by this point. He ended up just stomping down the stairs after he had changed and yelling at me to hurry up from the bottom of the stairs. His yelling coupled with the time, ticked me off and I ended up throwing on whatever and then just going downstairs, dressing as I went. I stomped out to the car and finished putting on my clothes while Millhouse was getting gas. Literally, I was putting on a shirt as he was pumping gas.

On the ride to the restaurant, things were tense and we barely spoke to one another. Millhouse was mad for having to change. And I was mad because I basically ended up changing in the car, wearing shoes I didn’t like. It was not a good way to start things off.

Even though we left the house 15 minutes later than we planned to, we ended up making it to the restaurant on time.

When he got there and saw just how tiny it was, I knew this whole date thing was a mistake. It was a totally loud, totally small restaurant with really tight seating. The restaurant was so small we ended up sharing a table with another group of people. For real, there was a group of three girls at the end of the table and we were on the other end of a table that sat eight. So doing the math, there were only two chairs in-between us. Millhouse does not like doing things like that and gets very uncomfortable being that jammed in with other people. Plus we were at the very back at of the restaurant where it was really hot. Heat and jammed up seating make Millhouse miserable. So I asked for a different table and was told there were none available. So we sat where they put us and Millhouse just got more and more stressed as the meal went on. We got through the appetizers pretty well but halfway through the main, he was ready to go. There was really nothing I could do for him to change his mind. He said he was tired of shouting over all the noise, dealing with the heat and having a loud group sitting at the same table as him, he just wanted to go and go right then and there. So whatever they had already cooked, they packed up for us and we left without getting dessert because they had not started cooking that yet for us.

After unceremoniously leaving the restaurant in a pretty big rush with a Millhouse who was leaving with or without his food, we headed up to meet some of our daycare mom friends at a local pub. Normally we are not pub type people but we were invited because one of the moms was celebrating her birthday. When we got there, the birthday girl was still having dinner with the people who had showed up early and there was no more room at her table so we ended up moving to the bar and waiting for them to finish up. We sat at the bar for about an hour and a half. The birthday girl, who was mighty tipsy at this point, came over to see Millhouse for a bit. She needed a dancing partner at this point and decided to use Millhouse as her pole because he is not a dancer and just stood there as she gyrated around him. Now Millhouse is used to inappropriate behavior and on the regular this sort of thing doesn’t bother him too much but after being miserable for most of the evening, this just did not sit well with him. This whole untimely dancing thing made Millhouse feel not so comfortable and we decided to leave shortly after that.

All and all this date was an epic fail.

EPIC.

Millhouse will probably take 18 months before he is ready to go out with me again. And I can’t say I blame him. I may just send him out with his friends because every time we try to do something like this, it just goes wrong.

May Madness

And just like that; May 2015 is over.

The last two weeks in April and the entire month of May are always the most hectic part of the year for me, hence, my longer than usual hiatus from blogging.

Apparently there were a lot of people getting it on in August and September in the years past, because I have a whole lotta birthdays in those seven weeks and the majority of those birthdays are for immediate family. In fact, I think I only have one non – family birthday in May. And the non – family birthday ends up being a big one because it is for the daycare mom who likes to go out drinking and celebrate in a big way. She is one of those people who enjoys company on her birthday and will party hard until the end. I know she is planning on going to Vegas next year, and since I will not be making the trip, I get one weekend in May off next year. This year all of my weekends have had some sort of birthday celebration in them, which is a good thing, I like celebrating birthday but when you have had birthday cake for 4 weekends’ straight, things start to get a bit much.

Now the birthday saturated part of my year is over and I can go back to doing what I normally do, which, I guess means that I will be doing non-birthday things and then preparing for all the upcoming birthdays coming up on the horizon.

I need to figure out the rest of the year.

Pointless Arguments

These are the conversations that happen when we are trapped indoors because of cold, rainy weather outside.

Mat: “I want to wear my nacho”.

Me: “What?!”.

Mat: “I want to wear my nacho”.

Me: “you want to eat some nachos?”

Mat: “No, I want to wear my nacho”.

Me: “How exactly do you propose that you wear a nacho?”

Mat: “I will pull it over my head, I put my hands in the hand holes and you tie the bottom.”

Me: “Oh! You want to wear your poncho!”

Mat: “Yes, I want to wear my pacho.”

Me: “You can’t wear your pONcho. Your pONcho is for when it is raining. You are indoors and it does not rain indoors.”

Mat: “I want to wear my pACho.”

Me: “No.”

Mat: “Yes.”

Me: “No.”

Mat: “I WANT TO WEAR MY PACHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Me: “No.”

Mat: “I WANT TO WEAR MY PACHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Me: “No.”

Mat: “I WANT TO WEAR MY PACHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Me: “You can’t wear your pONcho. Your pONcho is for when it is raining. You are indoors and it does not rain indoors.”

Mat: “Can I wear it tomorrow if it rains?”

Me: “Yes.”

Mat: “I hope it rains tomorrow too. Then I will wear my pACho and be a superhero.”

Me: “OK”

Mat: “Can I have nachos now?”

Breaking the Unbreakable

I have a running joke; that no matter what you do to them, my children will never stop moving. Even in their sleep, they both run. And never in a million years would I ever say that there is such a thing as too much running, jumping and playing for either of them.

But it turns out there is such a thing as too much and I found this out on Sunday.

On Sunday, it was the warmest day that we had had in about 8 months. The temperatures were in the low twenties, the sun was shining and there was the tiniest of breezes. It was a lovely day to do something outdoors.

And we did a lot of things outdoors.

It all started around 10. The boys went on a bike ride with Millhouse. They went around the block twice. Then we went on a 2km hike. Then we got back home and the kids all spent the afternoon in the backyard as I made dinner. After dinner, they went back out into the driveway so that they could play on their scooters. There was about eight hours of physical activity.

It was wonderful.

Until bath time.

By the time bath time rolled around, the boys had accumulated a good amount of overall grime on all visible surfaces of their bodies. Plus, they were sweaty and hot. The heat was starting to make them miserable so I let them forego the regular shower for a bath in the big bath tub. The big bath tub makes a really good quasi swimming pool when you are in a pinch. And given how much running, jumping and craziness they had done for most of the day, I figured it would be a nice treat for them.

I filled the bath tub with warm water and salt and let them each have their turn to splash around and cool down. Mat’s bath went down without a hitch. He was in there for about 20 minutes just chilling.

Then I drained the tub and repeated the process for Maks bath. The majority of Maks bath consisted of Maks floating in the tub, just chilling. He was having a good time up until I told him it was time to come out. When I told Maks it was time to come out, he tried to stand up and he couldn’t. His knees had locked themselves into place and it really hurt for Maks to bend his legs. It was so bad; Millhouse had to be called in to hoist Maks out of the bathtub. By the time he got out of the bathtub, Maks was in tears, he was in that much pain. He is a pretty tough kid so seeing tears tells you; he must be hurting a lot.

I figured he must have aggravated his legs with all the physical activity and just needed to relax a bit. He got some children’s Advil and lay down under the blankets to take it easy. I fully expected him to fall asleep and be better by the next day.

Didn’t happen.

All night he kept waking up because whenever he moved, the pain would be too much and wake him up. He barely got any sleep and the next morning the pain was just as bad. So we kept him home from school and made an appointment for the doctor.

When I told him he was going to the doctor, he burst into tears. I thought he was scared because he thought he would get a needle. But it turns out he was scared of climbing the stairs to get to the doctor’s office. Our doctor is on the second floor of the medical centre and there is usually a line up for the elevators so we generally bypass the elevators and just climb the stairs. The pain was so bad the idea of climbing the stairs made him cry. I told him he did not have to climb the stairs at this appointment and he will be taking the elevator to the office and he calmed down.

The doctor confirmed that Maks had pulled the muscles in his legs. He said he would be better after a couple days of rest. He was concerned about the muscle mass and ligaments around his knees though. The doctor wants Maks to go for an x-ray to confirm the ligaments are not damaged. He also suggested that Maks do some more running to build up the muscles in his legs.

The doctor feels Maks needs to develop the muscles in his legs because right now he does not have sufficient muscle mass to support his rapidly expanding body and if he doesn’t develop more muscle mass soon, his body will not support itself the way it should.

After three days Maks is still hurting. He went to school yesterday and today with a note excusing him from any physical activities. The teachers have been really good at having Maks just sit and relax while the other kids are running around losing their minds. The last couple nights he has had the lay in bed with the heating pad across his knees. The pain seems to be the worst in the evening, when the excitement of the day has worn off.

I am hoping his muscles recuperate soon because even though Maks hurt himself running around, he needs to run around some more.

Weird, right?

The Gentle Giant

Maks is a pretty big kid. A lot of people look at him and don’t believe that he is really seven years old. He is tall and stocky and most people think that he is closer to ten than he is to eight. He is also really strong. He can really hurt a smaller child if he is not careful but most times he is careful. He tends to err on the side of caution when he is around smaller children just because he knows that he is strong enough to hurt me, a grown up. And if he can hurt me then he can really hurt a little kid.

There have been times where his size has made doing normal seven year old things hard for him. He has grown into his body so quickly that he has not had a chance to get used to the changes he is experiencing and he is awkward a lot of the time. As of right now, he stands a head taller than all of the kids in his class. He weighs more than the NP and Mat combined. But he doesn’t see his size as an advantage; he sees it as a hindrance. He is so big that he tends to distance himself from the other kids because he just doesn’t fit in with them. The awkwardness is palpable some days. I feel him willing his body to shrink away so no one notices the giant standing in the corner. The outgoing demeanor is slowly being replaced by a more introverted, quiet child; one that just blends in.

He doesn’t fit on the same toys that the other kids do, he cannot climb on the same things that the other kids can, and he does run as fast as the other kids because his body mass is bigger than theirs. And he doesn’t want the other kids asking him to play because he knows that once he starts playing with them, the other kids will notice just how big he really is. At Judo, no one wants to be his partner for sparring practice because the other kids are afraid that Maks will hurt them and if I was a parent of one of the smaller children, I would think the same thing.

The other night, I walked into the boy’s room to check on them while they were sleeping. (Yes, I still do this.) Both boys were sprawled out in some twisted poses that would make a contortionist proud but then I noticed something that made me gasp. Maks’ legs were flung across Mat’s torso and stomach. Maks’ legs, like the rest of Maks’ body, are heavy. I know this because when he falls asleep with his legs flung over my lap; the pressure slowly builds and my legs start to ache after a while. I didn’t know how long his legs were on top of Mat but I knew Mat must have been really uncomfortable. So I wiggled myself in-between them and moved Maks’ legs off of Mat, Mat sucked in a really deep breath and rolled over. Maks had, inadvertently, pinned his brother and was squishing him and it was enough to have be worried.

And I am his mother.

And I know that he had that trying to squish his brother on purpose.

But I considered having his brother not sleep with him anymore because I was worried Maks would inadvertently hurt his brother.

Physically, he is a pretty tough kid. It takes a lot to knock him down and keep him down. But he has feelings too and they are starting to get hurt.

I have to confess; there are times I forget he is as young as he is. He is my giant. I tend to believe there is nothing I can throw at him that he cannot handle. And there are times I have to remember he is still growing and he needs to be treated like the little boy he still is. Not the indomitable giant he appears to be.

Close your eyes for a minute, or ten

So remember how upset I was yesterday about Maks not getting his award?

Well, that is not exactly how it happened and so I need to correct some things.

First, Maks was not deflated. He was actually pretty damn near elated because it turns out that he was called out at the assembly and got the recognition that he had been waiting for.

Second, Millhouse did not see any of that part.

Now here is how all this went down. Millhouse was at the assembly. He showed up early so he could get a good seat and make sure that Maks saw him there. He ended up getting a seat towards the back but on the end so there was no one blocking him but he was not front and center.

The first part of the assembly was dedicated to the individual awards. It was for the kids that had gotten the principal’s award or the character awards. After that part of the ceremony, it turns to student performances. So they have the kids singing and putting on skits. After that part of the ceremony, all the kids that had won student awards; so outstanding keyboarding, outstanding reading and the gym awards are all called up together to stand at the front and get their round of applause. Then at the very end then they have school announcements about upcoming events and the principal gives her update about the state of the school. And then everyone is dismissed.

But a key point that should be noted for all this is that the microphone was broken at yesterday’s assembly. That meant that at some points of the program, it was hard to hear what was going on because even though the principal is extremely loud, a lot of the other teachers are not. It was especially hard to hear at the back of the auditorium, sitting behind ten classes of elementary school students who were all fidgeting around.

Now Millhouse remembers seeing everything except for the part where the student award winners got their round of applause. He swears that that part of the ceremony never happened. But Maks swears that that part of the ceremony did happen because he was there and he went up with the other kids for his accolades.

They were both able to tell me about things that happened at the beginning of the ceremony but Millhouse gets fuzzy towards the end.

Based on both of their versions of the events that took place, I have deduced that this happened; Millhouse feel asleep. Not a full blown snoring, drooling type sleep. More like let me shut my eyes for a minute because there are thirty children singing in French and I really don’t need to pay attention to this and he ended up keeping his eyes closed for more than a minute. He probably did not open his eyes and fully comprehend what was going on until the very loud principal started saying her closing remarks. So even if he did open his eyes during the performances he did not fully wake up to pay attention. And since he was dozing in or out, he would she would have missed when the softer speaking teachers called up the students for their student awards. Also, if he did wake up and look up towards the end and see a large group of kids standing around the stage, he most likely would have assumed that it was just another performance, not the student awards assembly. So he would have gone back to dozing until the announcements from the principal came down. Millhouse vehemently denies that this is what happened. But based on what I heard yesterday, I think that this is pretty much how it went down.

Now, I know you are asking why Maks did not see Millhouse. Well, it goes like this; he wasn’t looking for him. Remember we hadn’t told Maks that morning that his dad would be there for the ceremony and since Millhouse was in the back, if Maks did look out he would not have seen him. And even if he did get a glimpse of him, he would not have made the connection that it was Millhouse and he most likely would have just written him off as someone else’s dad and not retained it to memory. If Maks knew to expect Millhouse there, he would have made a conscious effort to look out for him and knowing Maks, he would have found him even if Millhouse was in the back of the crowd asleep.

So I learned two things from all this.

  1. Never send a sleep deprived Millhouse to a school assembly because it is just cruel and unusual punishment for him and it will only result in an peeved off phone call later in the day
  2. Always tell Maks when we are coming to the see him at the assemblies. Because even if we don’t see him, he will always find us.

Next time we will be better prepared.

Fool me once

Maks is getting an award!!

He is finally getting an award from the school.

YAY!!

It is not the Principles award or a character award. It is a gym award.

He is getting an award for outstanding sportsmanship and fair play.

It is not quite the award that I had always imagined him getting but it was an award and he was super excited to be getting it.

He told me about it on Tuesday. Now the thing is, usually the teacher(s) will send home a note saying that the student will be receiving an award and they will invite the parents to come in and watch the festivities. But I never received anything. At that point I was not sure if Maks had misheard the teacher and was not really going to get an award. He had already brought home his certificate on Tuesday so I had a feeling that he would not be getting recognized during the actual ceremony itself, which really upset me. If Maks has really convinced himself that he was getting an award and I didn’t want him getting disappointed by not actually getting recognized during the assembly.

So I emailed both of his teachers this morning to make sure that Maks was indeed going to get an award for gym today. And both of his teachers emailed me back and said that yes, Maks was going to get an award today. They also told me that he would not be called up individually to get his award; instead he would be recognized as part of a group of children at the end of the ceremony.

After they confirmed that yes, Maks would be getting an award, I called Millhouse and asked him to cut his sleeping short so that he could go into the school and cheer Maks on as he was recognized for his accomplishment. I thought that it would be a nice surprise for Maks to see his dad there. He had told us about the award but we never told him that one of us would be there to see it. I could not leave the office to get to the school in time. Millhouse would be sleeping at that time but if we timed it right; he could get up, go to the assembly, cheer Maks on, and then come back home to sleep.

Now it should be noted that Millhouse sleeps from 10am to about 3pm. This gives him around five hours of sleep a day. Some days, he falls asleep sooner and some days he falls asleep later and sleeps in to compensate for his lost sleeping time. Asking Millhouse to cut short his sleeping time is a pretty big deal because he gets so little sleep to start with.

Side note over, back to my story.

Millhouse cut his sleeping short today and got up at 1pm so he could get to the school in time to see Maks’ award assembly. He sat through the hour awards assembly and waited, and waited, and wait and eventually the ceremony ended and everyone left. And Maks got no recognition. There was no group recognition for the kids that had all won gym awards. There was nothing.

Millhouse was livid because he had lost sleep to watch other people’s children get awards. He was so mad that he couldn’t end up falling back asleep and ended up running errands. If he had known ahead of time that the gym awards would be cut from the program because of poor timing, he would have stayed at home and slept some more. Maks did see him there and he knew that his dad had come to cheer him on and I am glad for that. He knows that his dad was there to see him get his award and that was a bittersweet surprise.

Maks was deflated. He sat through the entire thing thinking that he would finally be recognized for being outstanding at something and he got nothing. I feel so bad for the kid. He tries so very hard at so many things and he knows he is getting better. And even when he is supposed to be treated a little bit special for trying hard, he gets nothing.

It would have been really nice if he just got the damn recognition.

Back on nights

After two months of being off work, Millhouse is back at it.

He started back on the night shift on Sunday.

And after two days, he hates it.

This shift is better than the original nightshift. He is closer now. Instead of driving for an hour and a half (each way) to get to work, he now has to drive a half an hour. So he doesn’t have to leave the house two hours before his start time and doesn’t get home two hours past his finish time anymore. His shift is also better. He now works 9pm to 530am; Sunday to Thursday. This allows him to be present for dinner, homework, bath time and bed time. He can be home when the boys are at home and he can take them to school in the morning. Plus he gets a pretty long weekend. When he gets home on Friday, he can sleep and then he is left with all day Friday, all day Saturday and most of Sunday.

In theory, it is not so bad.

It just takes some getting used to and that is why he hates it right now. The shift itself is long because he is constantly moving. Where he is working is huge. To get from one end to the other takes 20 minutes of swift walking. There is no golf cart or walkie talkie system so if he wants to talk to someone across the way; he needs to walk over to them. He is constantly on the move, trying to find people or get things fixed. Since the operation is 24 hours, it means that meals are eaten on the go, drinks are drunk on the go, and potty breaks happen in a bathroom because otherwise that would be gross.

I admit, it is a lot.

He hated nights to start with and really didn’t want to go back on nights. When he got this job he was supposed to have been working the day shift but somewhere between getting hired and starting the job, the shift changed from days to nights. They tried to change it to afternoons but he was not having that. He would have been happier on days but nights are better than afternoons.

Overall, he is adapting but he is not used to being up all night anymore. He is doing all this stuff so he is really tired. And even though he is sleeping from 9am to 3pm, he is still really cranky.

But I know that he is eventually going to get the hang of things.

Eventually.

Just like me

On Saturday Mat went to his very first non – family member birthday party. This was the first party that he went to without his brother. It was for a little boy that was in his class and he plays with him pretty frequently so when we got the invitation he was all about it. We received the invitation about a month ago and for the past month all Mat could talk about was going to this birthday party. He asked every other day when the party was and why it wasn’t that day.

Then the day came.

And boy was he ready. He completely shot down the outfit idea of dark jeans and polo shirt that I selected for him and decided that he would wear navy sweat pants and a ninja turtle t-shirt to the party. He didn’t want to wear party clothes because they just were not his thing and he wanted to play at the party and the outfit I picked out would not let him play. So I let him wear what he wanted and he got dressed two hours before the party was supposed to start and sat and waited pretty impatiently for the party to start.

Even though the party was right down the street, since Mat was in countdown mode we ended up leaving 20 minutes before I was planning on leaving and getting to the party 15 minutes early. In order not to be the first people to walk into the party, we walked around the rec centre for a bit and walked into the party 3 minutes after the start time on the invitation.

Mat was the third kid there. But he didn’t know any of the other kids there.

So he stayed with me. And he remained with me for the first 45 minutes of the party.

He was so afraid to interact with anyone. I tried to make him talk and play with the other kids but he just was not having it. I walked him over to some kids and started talking to them but he refused to join in. When I left the room to go hang up our coats, he stayed standing in the corner of the room until I came back in.

20 minutes into the party, he asked to leave. He was pretty close to tears at that point and he just did not want to stay and was very uncomfortable with the entire situation. I told him that we would give the party another half an hour and if he was still feeling shy, we could go.

And then Spiderman and Wonder Woman showed up.

That changed the whole dynamic of the party.

Seeing them made Mat forget just how nervous and anxious he was, because the superheroes were there! And in Mat’s world, there is nothing cooler than the superheroes. He just wanted to get close to his heroes and hang out with them. Thank goodness they showed up because if they didn’t, then we would have ended up leaving the party early. Once Mat starting interacting with the super heroes, he gradually started playing with the other kids. When it came time to eat, he chose to sit at the end of the table away from the kids and not have anything to do with them at that point but just having him sit at the same table as the other kids was a major achievement.

Once the super heroes left for the day, and the cake had been cut, Mat was ready to go. He was very brave and said goodbye to his friend and his friend’s parents but not to the other kids. That was asking too much.

Mat is me. I see myself in just about everything that he does. The way that he processes situations, is the same way that I would. He has my personality and that frightens me. I knew exactly how he felt at that party because I have had that feeling so many times in my life. I still feel like that a lot of the time. I would rather retreat than stay and socialize. I don’t want him having that fear, that anxiety whenever he is in a new place or surrounded by new people. But I am not sure how to alleviate his fears because I haven’t alleviated mine yet.