Hiding in the car …. from the kids

1304_hidingfromkids

Fetching kids from school has it’s joyful moments, but for the most part they are filled with screaming, arguing, kids slapping each other, Georgia telling me about Princess Dark Pink, and me trying really hard to turn the radio up and listen to the news.

By the time I get home my nerves are frayed.  I am not wanting a drink, so much feeling an overriding urge to throw back 3 Zolofts and drink wine through a straw.

Today was no different.  It usually starts before I have even got out the parking lot at the school.

The drive home is not long.  But it feels excruciating  and eventually everyone is screaming and I have lost the will to live.  I no longer scream and tell them to be quiet.

The will to fight has left me.  They know it.  I know it.  The people sitting in their cars adjacent to me at the traffic lights know it.

I just sit there staring dully ahead, and watching my knuckles get whiter on the steering wheel.  The voices in my head keep saying – in unison “you just need to make it home, you just need to make it home ….. with everyone alive …..”

We got home today.   I thought, what if they got out the car, carried on fighting, and I just closed the door and remained in the car.

So I did that.

They were so busy beating the crap out of each other, they did not notice me.  I closed the doors, and then I just sat in the car.

Silence.

I could hear my heart beating.  I could hear that tick-tick-tick sound the car engine makes as it cools.

It was bliss.  It was heaven.

I kept thinking of that jingle from the kids show “just 5 minutes more….”

It was lovely.  My life has come down to this where I class happiness as sitting in a car by myself.  Yes.  Yes.  This is where I am.  I bit you sit there and titter, and make fun of me.  Well, chicken, your turn will come.  Sooner or later.

Then the two girls found me.  They brought the dog.  They closed the car door. Me.  Two screaming girls.  And a dog in the car.  Not so much peaceful.  Georgia was talking.  Dexter was going “hhhhhhh” or what ever sound he makes.  I have no idea what Isabelle was saying.

I thought I would stick it out and maybe they would go back inside and leave me alone.  It could happen.  In a parallel universe.

It didn’t.

Isabelle tripped over the gear stick, and somehow got her body wedged between the handbrake and the steering wheel.

I knew it was time to end watching the YouTube video on Britain’s Got Talent and face the evening.

Kids are brutal …

I am not sure if when you think back to being at school they are happy thoughts, or you are possibly gripped by a sense of nausea as you reminisce over how mean and cruel kids were.

School is like a dirty petri dish of social pressure, with you having a bad-hair-year, buck teeth, braces if you were super unfortunately, and a combination of gangly limbs with bad skin.

To fit in to the “social structure” that exists at a school is brutal.

I would not wish it on anyone, and unfortunately I drop my kids off at school each day to go through it.  I am scared of high school for my kids, and they are years away from it – but primary and pre-school are bad enough.

I often get stories about who was mean to whom, who was horrible, who called one of them names and so on.  Some times my kids are really upset.  Often it makes me want to turn the car around, drive back to school, find the little sh&t and smack them against the side of the head.

I have twice phoned parents of kids that my son has had an issue with, and generally my experience has been, it has not really made a huge difference.

I have realised that it is rather naive to think all kids are going to like my kids, and really my kids do not have to like every one else.

As long as they do not beat the crap out of other kids, and visa versa, then that is the best I can hope for.  I can’t hope for anything more in the world that is the Nirvana of schools.

Kids are brutally honest, and really horrible little people, who say really mean things, and are too small to box in the face.

They say mean things to each other and hurt each other’s feelings.  This goes on all day, and sooner or later someone says something mean to your child and then your child is crying to you about how “everyone is mean to them….”  and you are going to feel like a dagger has been plunged in to your chest, and your “I am the lioness and I will defend my child” moment will happen to you.

I was lucky enough to have older brothers at the schools I went to (barring the Girls’ School) and they helped to pave the way for me arriving.

There is something “safe” about arriving in a school if you have had a sibling there already.  For one you know a few older kids, and you always have a posse in the event someone bullies you, and you have established “street cred” to a degree.

Well, that has been my experience.

Someone recently had a conversation with me about how they were feeling anxious about their child, who is considered “mixed race” and how this child will be accepted at school – and how they will be picked on and what they should do.

Honestly I have no idea.

I think the “trick” might be to give your child a safe home and a good grounding, that they know who they are, but we aware to teach them to bestreet wise and judge a situation for what it is – rather than what they think it is.

Tell them at home they are beautiful and clever, so they believe it, and have enough of the positive vibe before they get to school and get the snot kicked out of them.

After that there is really nothing you can do.

Kids are mean and really cruel.  If you have anything different about you, kids pick up on it and use it as the point to pick on you.

It is lovely to have a quirky child, but I like to try to aim my kids into the main stream centre – for their own protection.  They can be all quirky and skew eyes in the privacy of their home, but when they go into the “gladiator pit that is school” then I need them not to spread blood in the water to attract the sharks.

Connor is blonde.  Connor has blue eyes.  Connor is an attractive child, and does not have a third arm, or an eye in the middle of his forehead.

Connor does not really have a personal hygiene issue (more than any 10-year-old boy).  He is friendly, well liked, and has a good gaggle of friends.  Connor is pretty main stream as kids go  – so he just fits in.

Connor gets picked on because he has freckles.  That is what the kids decide to make fun of him about, and call him names, and that is what he comes home crying about.

I think my point is that no matter who you are, or what you look like, you will get picked on sooner or later.

Your child as well!!  So brace yourself for it.

The politics of “parties at school” ….

I am dragging this tired old subject out of the cupboard again and re-airing it, so that maybe I can get some consensus on the issue. It is a bit of an awkward one to chat about to the “mommies in the parking lot” group.

In the beginning I got really excited about my kid’s (or kids’) birthdays.  Like psycho excited.

I wanted to throw a humdinger at home or at a venue.  I invited all the kids in the class.  Spent my pension fund money and threw a party that made my head spin. It would usually end with Kennith and I having a “moer” of an argument about two minutes before the guests walk through the door.  Ah the joy.

Most of the kids in Connor’s class would come along and kids in general would have a good time.

That is a party.

Connor changed schools in Grade R mid-year.  At his previous school I never experienced a “school party” – all parties were big things done on weekends.  But in the Boerewors triangle it appeared school parties were the norm.  (maybe it was an area thing, or maybe it was a sign of the times, I am not sure)

My kids are both in schools where “parties at schools” appear to be the way things are done.  Invite gets sent.  But it is not really an invite as there is no RSVP and the party is during school times, so is it a “real” party ?

The first year of “parties at school”, I sent presents for EVERYONE.  If I knew the kid, if I did not know the kid, what ever, I sent a present along.  Made sense, cost a bomb. (2 kids x 25 kids give or take each year …..)

I then decided to throw a “party at school” Connor (or Georgia or both – I can’t remember).  I had no mentor to explain how it worked.  I did invites, and party packs, and balloons and cake …. and a snake show … as you do.  I made almost as much effort for the “class party” as I would for a home party.

Let’s say there were 25 kids in the class.  I catered for each of them individually.  I asked each parent to RSVP so that I could make individual things for each child – most parents didn’t.  I still made individual thingss for each kid.

I noticed that Connor/Georgia probably received presents from 10 kids when it was their “class party…”  Yes, it is not about the presents, but it is a bit. Or that is just me.

The accepted rule of society is “you go to a party you take a present” it is just what is done.

I realised “school parties” are actually not “proper kids parties that appear to fit the norms that kid’s parties stick to…”.  They  fall into the cold hinterland of parties which are not quite parties… people do not rsvp, you do or don’t send a present, and as the party giver appear not to expect one … or do you …. so I am totally confused with the rules.

Georgia gets really upset when she brings me an invite for a “class party” –  she whines and yowls that I must send a present, and gets really upset.

I have started saying “Georgia it is not a real party, it is a party at school …. you do not have to bring a present and if I had a party at school for you, I would not expect presents …..”

I realise I might be standing in the firing line on this issue, but I am seriously over spending a fortune on presents and making an effort for birthday presents for “class parties….” when the entire concept confuses me.

I might be the minority and other moms might think class parties rock the daisies.  I think they are a great solution when you do not want to go through the effort/chaos/expense of a party … and is it the norm not to send presents, and realistically for the child (parents of the child) to not expect presents?

I have had several years of them, and I have still not quite “got the rules” …. maybe you can explain them to me, or you can just let me know what your thoughts are, and then we can see if there is a consensus.