I don't know why, except we're reading her Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and in last night's chapter, Ramona and her sister decide they may get out of trouble with their parents by being extra good.
She got up early, got dressed and ready to go, was exceptionally helpful and played quietly when she was done.
It is a good thing, because I'm a little freaked out this morning.
Last night, I ended up working late. It was because I hadn't turned in some reports on their due date on Wednesday, and got what one of my faculty members likes to call a "nasty-gram" email from my supervisor. I know that I deserved it, but in the past little bit I've had a dentist appointment, AJ's sick day, a PTA meeting that I skipped to get work done, Thanksgiving lunch at AJ's school, a meeting I had to skip to drive one of my single faculty members home because she got sick at work and didn't feel safe to drive, a Benevolent Fund seminar where I was asked to give an impromptu pitch (with broccoli in my teeth) and other various reasons for not being at my desk.
After I finally left the office, I made my way to my parents' house, where everyone was eating tacos. It was nice to have a dinner I didn't have to cook or obtain, and nice to see my family. Cold beer didn't hurt, either, honestly. I am truly grateful to Ben for being able and willing to pick up AJ, pay her after school care, take the dog out, and take AJ to see her grandparents like I had planned. He also ended up driving my granddad home and helping mom move some things out of her car. After we got home, Ben did her bath and even her hair while I did some other things, like run an errand and play with Radar. Annie and Gary, it's a fine man you raised, and I don't know what I'd do without him.
Ben has a potluck lunch today, and I had volunteered to make broccoli salad for the event. After we put AJ to bed, I went to cooking bacon and chopping broccoli. By the way, every time I make broccoli salad, which is by now my signature dish, I think of Dana Carvey and his ballad spoof, Choppin Broccoli.
And then some insomnia struck, so when I finally needed to get up, I couldn't. A little bit of panic set in at all that I had to do, most of which I usually prepare the night before. And then there was the splitting headache.
First, I had to iron AJ's uniform. Usually, I do all the washing and ironing on Sunday nights, but this week, with the holiday on Monday, I gave myself the night off. Big mistake! I've been meaning to catch up all week, but have been ironing daily instead. I tried to sneak into AJ's room to hang it up, but I think that's what woke her up.
And there was Radar to take out. I was a little worried, since he ate half of a grease-soaked paper towel last night, but I couldn't blame him. I would have probably eaten a paper towel soaked in bacon grease, too.
Then, I had to sign AJ's folder, indicating I saw that her behavior yesterday was good. This was a relief, after Tuesday. But in her folder were several papers, one of which requested our preferences what to bring for the Thanksgiving meal the class will have on Tuesday. AJ requested sweet potato casserole as her first choice, canned cranberry sauce as her second, and pumpkin pie as her third. More cooking!
Then, today was the deadline for ordering her holiday pictures. We had a hard time deciding the packages and the background and whether or not to order the copyright release. Basically, I mentally respect copyrights, but not in practice - I just had to scan this to show it off. I love her Christmas dress that I found at a consignment store for less than $8! It is perfect for this, and there are no snaps, zippers, buttons, or sashes, and it is not drip dry or dry clean. Hooray!
So I signed the folder, wrote the check, made the food preferences, and then, oh, yeah, today's the day AJ's class is going to the book fair. AJ went yesterday and picked out 6 books she wanted. We had to narrow it down to three, in hopes that Santa will bring the others. We sent cash and a note with her preferences. I told Mrs. D it was fine if she wanted to change her mind, but she selected Silverlicious, There's a Fly Guy in My Soup, and Barbie: The Princess and the Pop Star - Best Friends Rock. I told Mrs. D. that we decided to skip our normal Scholastic order (also due today) since AJ was buying things at the book fair. This solution was also, in part, that I had moved the Scholastic order form somewhere inconvenient and couldn't locate it at the moment.
And then there was a snack to pack: applesauce, which, luckily, we had. And vitamins to take. At some point I showered and dressed, mad that I had to wash my hair and waste precious seconds in the shower.
And then I had to shove the Christmas dress, tights, and headband into her backpack, because she'll need to dress at After-School Care for the Christmas Tree Lighting we're going to in Forest Park Village tonight. Normally, I'm opposed to anything Christmas-y before Thanksgiving, but the merchants of Forest Park already have established the Third Fridays as big event nights, and if they wait until the third Friday in December, they'll miss most of the shopping season. The children from Avondale are performing at 6:00 or 6:15, and they're supposed to be there by 5:45, dressed warmly in Christmas colors. Many of the merchants will also be selling holiday cards with artwork designed by Avondale students, which will benefit our PTA. (You can also buy them online!)
And it was trash day (Ben to the rescue again). AJ helped me pull all the small trash bags and replace the liners.
We texted the yard man and left his check- by the way, I am thinking of calling him our gardener, because it sounds more sophisticated, but in the South, we have yard men. He needs to come once more before the winter to cut grass and trim the bush that keeps attacking my car on the driveway.
Ben's comment, "Wow! 'Real' school sure does have a lot of stuff that comes with it!" Exactly.
I never got good marks in "uses time wisely." AJ doesn't, either, but how can I fault her?
This morning, though, she was a gem. She did everything I asked, cheerfully and without complaining. She did her own hair and brushed her own teeth, getting dressed including shoes and a sweatshirt without a peep. She went and fetched, she toted, she minded. It was blissful. She was, like I said, extra good, and this was the calm in my storm.
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