I'm mentally exhausted from a week of stupidity. I never thought I'd have to ground my children for something this ridiculous, but alas, Kaylin called Logan "Pants." I think Logan was playing Wii and Kaylin wanted a turn. "C'mon, Pants, gimme a turn." And then later "Nice one, Pants!" And then "Hey Pants, you're up." Meanwhile, I was doing the puzzles in the paper and ignoring the kids. I should have continued ignoring them, but asked "Why are you calling him Pants?" "Because pants are the most boring thing I could think of, just like Logan." I then made Bad Parenting Mistake #7 and laughed. Logan also thought it was funny and wasn't at all offended by being called "Pants" or by my laughter. However, my laughter encouraged Kaylin. Now instead of calling him Pants once every 10 minutes, the game turned into "Hey Pants, it's your turn, Pants, c'mon Pants, Pants, Pants, Pants." In seconds, Kaylin escalated Pants from funny to annoying to infuriating. Then Logan whipped a Wii controller at her and it smacked her hard in the chest. Kaylin was bawling in pain, Logan was sent to his room and both kids were grounded from playing with the neighbor kids for their entire Saturday. I had to stop doing my puzzles to lecture Kaylin on how while violence is never ok, Logan wouldn't have hit her if she hadn't driven him to it. And then talk to Logan about never resorting to physical violence over words. I did get to reward myself with a day off free of the neighbor kids, though!
Wednesday we went to the Pumpkin Festival. Before kids, I was always overtaken by nostalgia and would excitedly drag Gene year after year for pumpkin porkchops and pumpkin ice cream. We'd stroll through the merchant's tent and pick up free junk. We'd do a quick walk around the grounds and check out the window displays and giant pumpkins. We'd avoid all the really crowded ride and game areas and be done with the whole experience in about one hour. I'd laugh at myself for loving the mediocre food and "needing" to grab up the free sewing kit and pens. Gene would roll his eyes and go to Farm and Fleet so at least the drive to Morton wasn't a total waste.
The first few years of taking kids was fun. Especially when both were old enough to go on two or three kiddie rides together, but young enough to be happy with two or three rides. Now that they're both in school, going to the festival is more of a pain than it's worth. It's now ALL about the rides. Now we're submerged in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, waiting in the forever-lines, trying to figure out how to use up all of the tickets so we can leave at a decent hour to get the kids to bed for school the next day. No more window displays or checking out the fire trucks and ambulances. No more looking at the giant pumpkins. Just rides and lines and crowds. And worrying about how on earth we're going to finish homework when we get home so late at night and have to leave so early the next morning for school. The Pumpkin Festival is awful! And compared to the county or state fair where you buy an unlimited ride armband for $20 (and the money goes to charity) and there are WAY more rides and virtually no lines, the Pumpkin Festival is a rip-off! Oh, and I had talked for DAYS about the importance of getting all homework done at Latchkey so we wouldn't need to worry about it later. I asked Logan if he got everything done? His reply? "I thought you said DON'T get my homework done." Yes, my brilliant snowflake, that makes complete sense!
Last night was Kaylin's back to school night at her school. We spent 8 minutes in each of her 8 periods, running around from one side of the school to the other. (English and math are each double periods, so only 6 changes.) Most of the teachers were normal, one was frightening and two were insanely enthusiastic to the point I could hardly handle the 8 minutes. The social studies teacher was my personal favorite. She made a point of allowing the kids to make and learn from their own mistakes and not hover and helicopter. The math teacher was one of the enthusiastic ones, but I think she'll be great for Kaylin. She has all kinds of games and learning tools I think Kaylin will embrace. Overall, it was a good experience and made me much happier with my choice to send her to this school.