The birds were chirping, the sun was shining and the angels were singing when I awoke at 6 this morning. That’s right – my baby girl finally slept through the night, and so I got to sleep until the luxuriously late hour of 6 a.m.
Parenthood. It really warps you.
And speaking of parenthood, I’m trying to enjoy the last few days of summer vacation with my boys (one of whom is currently lying on the floor next to me whining because I won’t let him eat breakfast in front of the television). So I probably won’t be blogging much until late next week. Too much to do to get ready for school.
And this school? Run by crazy people. They’ve had all summer to finalize teacher assignments, but they didn’t manage to get assignments out until Friday night at 9 p.m. Since Shay is a returning student, he has to go on Wednesday to meet his teacher. We get ten minutes to meet her and discuss our “hopes and fears” for the coming year. Ten minutes. I'm sure that'll be more than enough time to cover my hopes and fears for my child. Since Aidan is a new student, his ten minutes won’t happen until Thursday morning – the same day school starts. Aidan is supposed to meet his teacher, with me, at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., there is a school-wide welcome back picnic. School officially starts at noon.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Because school doesn’t start til noon, there’s no bus service the first morning. So I have to drive both kids in. But – Shay isn’t allowed to come to Aidan’s conference, and he isn’t allowed on school grounds until the picnic begins. So I bring Aidan at ten, meet the teacher, rush home for Shay, go back to school, fight with the rest of the parents for the few available parking spaces, have a picnic, say goodbye to the kids, go home, and then come back in 3 hours to fight for a parking space once again in order to pick the kids up.
Whoever planned this fiasco is not going to be on my Christmas card list this year.
The first lesson Shay will learn this school year will be: The rules don’t apply to us, son. Because I’m bringing him with me when I bring Aidan. That’s just how it’s going to be.
And the traditional “first day of school photo in front of the bus” will have to take place on the second day instead.
The Olympics are winding down, and I for one am ready to be done with them, mostly because of the crazy group of tourists that has taken over the apartments in our compound. There is a gigantic group of them who all showed up together, wearing orange everywhere they go and smoking cigars by the kiddie pool. I don’t want to make broad generalizations about an entire country based on 50 or so of their compatriots, but boy do the Dutch like roaming the streets in orange speedos! If you ever go there, look out. Everyone smokes and no one wears anything but skimpy orange swimsuits and matching flip flops. Even in the grocery store.
Meanwhile, in other Olympic news, Bart managed to procure tickets for Xiao Tong, so she was able to go to an event on the Olympic Green with her husband and son. To me, this was actually the most exciting part of the Olympics. It has been near impossible for your average Chinese citizen to procure tickets – when they opened up the final phase of ticket sales just before the Games, they had to deploy riot police to control the crowds. People camped out overnight and still left without tickets. So Xiao Tong was thrilled to be able to take her family to see an event. We could only get two tickets, but they let her bring her son anyway, which was pretty cool. Xiao Tong is a mild, even-tempered sort of person who seldom shows too much emotion, so it was funny to see her grinning when she came to work the next day and recounted her adventures.
I’m sure there’s more to tell, but that’s all the time I have. My friend Jessica is stopping by for one last quick visit on the way to the airport – her sister’s field hockey team got 8th place here – so I should probably go make sure the kids aren’t fingerpainting in the bathroom or something.