The kids are getting ready for bed. We did our evening chores. Kathleen is finishing a bath. Keri Lynn is upstairs in her sanctuary tackling her homework.
The older kids all came home with mid-quarter progress reports today. Keri Lynn has all A's, Kristofer has two A's and two B's, and Kathleen has four A's and two B's. I don't worry at all about their adjustment any more. They're doing fine. Keith says that we're going to really have to put the screws on Keri Lynn -- we want to see her do more!
Kylie reported that one of the neighbor boys has been saying mean things to her on the bus like, "There's Kylie. . . she's part of the Losers Club!" As it turns out, the bus is the negative part of their school experience, especially the younger kids, who get bullied, but also for the older kids who are subjected to the worst kind of profanity. We have no choice at this point but to have them ride the buses. At least they have each other to help should any bad trouble come up. Kristofer has had to step in a few times to talk to some of the younger kids. But on the way home, the elementary kids are on their own.
I did talk to some of the older kids in the neighborhood who were using really foul language on the morning bus, when all of the kids, elementary age to high school are together. I told them to stop it or I'd talk to their mothers. : ) They've stopped!
I guess I'm going to have to talk to that boy's mother that's been bothering Kylie, too. Sigh. At least, since he's in the neighborhood, I know who the mother is. I think the thing I detest the most in group settings is kids being mean to other kids. I can't stand it when my own kids are mean to each other. They know I'll come down on them hard for it. After all, if you can't be nice to your own brother or sister, who can you be nice to???
This morning, after the kids went off to school, I took myself off to Target for my first work day! I went through a manual and self-trained at a register for about two hours, asking questions now and then, and trying to soak it all in. The register work at Ross helped me a lot today when I was assigned my own register to help customers. It also helped that an idiot can operate that register. It's amazing! Technology has come a long way since I last worked a register in high school some 26 years ago! I ended up working nearly seven hours with the majority actually working the real register. And it was a lot of fun. Customers were patient. The Target members were patient and helpful. All went well.
I think what I liked best about Target today was that I could wear my athletic shoes and didn't have to wear pantyhose! I had my Wal-Mart khakis, my red shirt (with a little stain on it) and a temporary sticker badge with my name on it. I'm having a hard time even thinking about returning to Ross. And I'm pretty sure I can get the hours I need from Target and not have to worry about it. For now, though, I'll work when I can at both jobs and see how it goes.
Did I mention that I got the letter for my substitute training class FINALLY? I did. I was so nervous opening up that letter after all of the job searching and eventual refocusing toward teaching. I tore it open and saw that it was the information for the class and to please let the person know that I was coming. Oh yes! So two weeks from tomorrow, I'll go to that training class. I think by then I'll have the whole orientation thing down!
Two hours later . . .
The kids are all down after a huge group effort to help Kathleen with an assignment in which she had to unscramble seven-letter words. I can't believe how hard it was! The teacher even said that the students could get help from parents when they got home -- not that we did much good. When Keith walked in the door, I breathed in a sigh of relief. "Good, a fresh brain to tackle these words!" And he got one right off the bat, too! Then, we all sat around -- me and Keith, Kathleen (the culprit), Keri Lynn and Kristofer trying desperately to figure out the last two words, and all of us (me especially) getting a little loopy.
I finally gave up and went over to the computer to see if there was a site that helped unscramble words. (When all else fails . . . CHEAT! Nothing like presenting a shining example to your child!) But by the time I did find the perfect site that would have saved us all a good 45 minutes of torture, Kristofer had figured them out. It was so EASY once we saw what the words were! And I didn't even have to resort to cheating!
Now, with my brain thoroughly exhausted from learning the Target register and having to unscramble 6th grade vocabulary words, I'm going to bed!
Fruit for a Teenager
2 days ago