Monday, March 12, 2012

A Kid-filled weekend.

This past weekend was just all about the kids. "As it should be" some of you might say, but no- this weekend was literally all about the kids. I can't remember doing anything that wasn't kid-focused.

For me, it was mainly spent helping the Little Guy put his bloody Science Fair project together. For non-American readers, the school Science Fair is a national, annual event and is covered here. This year we're doing the Sun. We have a styrofoam model of the Sun and revolving planets, all of which appear to be impervious to any type of glue. Not quite sure how we are going to transport it to school without Uranus ending up three blocks away, but there you go. (Sorry - could NOT resist.)

As ever, I was determined not to be one of those parents. You know, the ones that try to pass off perfection as the work of their hapless 8 year old. Oh no. He was doing this one by himself, which meant much sitting on my hands (me, not him) as he painstakingly typed out the display board headers; the urge to yank the laptop off him and do it myself was overwhelming, but I triumphed.

Meanwhile the Ball & Chain spent three hours (over two days) driving the Man-Child around Chicago and outskirts as they fulfilled the "supervised driving" portion of his Drivers' Ed. (Before being able to sit the test, 16 and 17 years olds are required to do 50 hours of supervised practice.) So that's done - now he can take his test. Oh boy. And we've only just had the Queenager's dents bashed out of the right side of my car.

After the driving, the car was parked in the front street so that Man-Child's band (and I use that term loosely as only the drummer turned up) ran through their numbers in the garage. God knows what the neighbours thought but the Ball & Chain magically found things to do in the kitchen, where he could emit tutting noises and utter things like "They call that music?"

Meanwhile, the Queenager is on Spring break from college. Traditionally, students take off for riotous vacations in Florida, drinking their body weight before breakfast every day. With four friends, the Q was driving from DC to Boston on Sunday - a trip of about 450 miles. So what were their travel plans? Well, first off - "plans" is a bit of a stretch. I phoned her at 1pm her time, and she sounded like she was still in bed. Then she had to pack, then they were probably going to leave at around 3pm. (That was their "missing the traffic" strategy. God forbid they should get up early to miss the traffic.)  On reaching Boston, they were just going to phone their friend for more specific directions. Forget maps, or phone apps that would, if employed, direct them to Brookline fairly easily.

Oh and when you text your dad at 8pm that night to say you're taking a rest stop, let's not have a clue where you are. The name of a state would have sufficed! (Turns out they had another few hours of driving to do. Not sure how happy that mother was going to be with five college kids turning up after midnight.)

And now they're all out of the house.

And breathe.....


  1. I like the idea of not knowing what state they were in, let alone what town.....

  2. When I read about the Queenager's trip on Facebook I felt your anxiety and then felt relief when I realised she wasn't on her own. But then I thought, it's just as stressful thinking of her sharing the driving with a group of friends as then you have to put your trust in someone else.

    Do we ever stop worrying?

  3. NVG - I know. I mean I'm surprised she even knew she was on the east coast. I really believed they were going to drive all the way thru <Massachusetts without realising it.

    Trish - No you don't. I was more worried about the larking about in the car, which is usually the cause of accidents.

  4. I have to say, I'm a little envious that you're at least in the same country... we're here in Seoul and Son#1 is there in the US...sigh. Oh, and I must say, I drove that stretch between VA and Boston a number of times during college without a cell phone and I have no idea how my parents (who were in Germany for some of it)managed to avoid worrying themselves sick. Of course, it might have been less stressful for them to have just had zero communication as opposed to sporadic and vague communication, which is definitely a blessing/curse of the 21st century...Hope the Queenager has a 'wicked good time' as all of my Boston cousins would say!

  5. Sounds like a round of sore heads and weary parents!
    Had to smile about the *state*.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  6. I'm exhausted reading this. As it is 19.46 as I type I have decided I shall open a bottle of wine in your behalf, and to calm my nerves--it's too much like my house.

    Perhaps I should blog about the time second oldest was in Nepal (gap year) and called us to tell us about her day in the national park when the guide said 'Run!' and she said why, turned and looked and saw a rhino charging them. Thank your lucky stars it's only Boston! Or somewhere therabouts. ;)

  7. I went skiing with one child while Kevin held down the fort with the other three and all their sports. He is still exhausted mentally and physically. I don't know how but I have avoided being the designated mother for projects for ten years. (I guess im just lazy)


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