Thursday, September 30, 2010

Teen Titans NOT a Go

Only nine days in between posts?! I know, check me out. I’m catching up…

I never thought I’d have to deal with superhero backpack related gender issues in kindergarten, but then again that shows what I know. Bella started kindergarten with a really cool Teen Titans backpack. She loves the show and was really excited about her backpack. No problem.

About a week into school I was picking her up and one of the older boys looks at me picking up her backpack and says “That’s a boy’s backpack” I said no it wasn’t, Teen Titans is cool and anyone can wear it. I go get Bella and she echoed the same thing, since apparently the boys were asking about it and let’s face it, those little jerks were just jealous because it is so cool.

So I told Bella that two of the Teen Titans are girls and they were on the backpack too. She said they weren’t. I took another look. She was right. Sure enough, Starfire and Raven were not on the backpack. Huh. Ok, maybe the backpack did skew a bit male, but that didn’t matter. She liked it, it was cool, and that was all that mattered.

But sadly, the damage was done. She immediately wanted a “girls” backpack. And not Supergirl, but Hello Kitty. She was going full on girly girl. (sigh) If that’s what she wanted, fine.

So we went to the mall and went to the overpriced Sanrio store and got Bella a Hello Kitty backpack. That store is SO annoying. It’s so filled with cute laced consumerism I found I was grinding my teeth unexpectedly. Then I saw my wife was buying a Hello Kitty iPhone case while we were there. Something really hypnotic about those colorful simple line drawings, I suppose. Personally, I find it creepy but that’s just me.

The problem is, even with buying her a backpack, you know when kids are in that “I’m not going to behave right now even if you buy me a pony” mode? Both kids were in it. In the Hello Kitty store. I wanted to hang myself with pink Hello Kitty taffy.

So we finally got out of the store and here is the kicker—We’re walking to the escalator and this guy comes up to me and asks “Would you and your family like to appear on Supernanny?” WTF?! I didn’t think they were being THAT bad. I mean the store was still standing, unfortunately. I politely said “No thank you” Considering the fact that I have written a parenting book I’m pretty sure going on Supernanny would be the worst possible publicity.

But after I thought about it, it was just a PA or intern that approached me, no more than 23 years old whose job was to just approach families whose kids were being loud. Let’s face it, if you kids are really out of control, the last place you’re going to bring them is the mall. It would just cost you too much in damages. He looks pretty frustrated. And bored. I’m sure he’ll have to go back to his producer and tell him that his mall idea was a bust, get yelled at and then go have to score some blow for him. That’s how television works.

So Bella got her backpack and she was happy. She eagerly transferred her school stuff to the new one and gave her old one to her brother. Both kids snapped out of their bad behavior mood. So mission accomplished, even without the help of an exploitative reality show.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First Week of School

Well, we got through it. As I had posted about before, it was a huge undertaking to get our daughter into a good public school. The one we were zoned for sucks, and we had to do the old razzle dazzle and permit her into a better one. An advance studies permit. For kindergarten. Hey, whatever works. I can’t wait to see that new documentary Waiting for Superman, because I think I’m really going to be able to relate to it. And I really like Superman.

So Bella was all excited the first day, and as expected, it was chaotic. Where to go, what to do, meet the teacher, find the classroom, have someone give you the wrong information, etc. It brought me back to my school days.

The weird thing was, I was a little nervous as so was my wife. It was like it was OUR first day of school. It’s true what they say about reliving your childhood through your kids. Although I haven’t gotten an Indian burn in a while, so that’s good.

School is different and it is also the same. Teachers, classes, etc that’s the same. But with budget cuts, everything is now extra. If you’re in a good school the PTA steps up to accommodate for the shortfall, as it should be. So we gotta pay a little bit more to the PTA to keep everything going, but it’s WAY cheaper than private school!

So after the orientation the first really day of school arrived… And Bella had a 101 fever and was coughing up a lung. Not a good start. Now we had to immediately look into all of the paperwork to find out how to excuse a sick day, on her first day of school ever. We were all pretty upset about it, but what are you gonna do. Someday we’ll look back on it and laugh. OK, more of an eye roll, but whatever.

So the second day was now her first day and I was walking her into class every day because there is no supervision before the bell rings. Great. And her backpack was too heavy. She couldn’t lift it. So I took out the gallon over emergency water and the inflatable raft from her backpack (we wanted her to be prepared) and she seemed to manage it OK.

But the important thing is she seems to like it and we signed her up for some after school programs as well. Homework is a new concept to her, but I think she’s catch on and stop saying “I don’t have to do this”. We’ll see. Her journey is starting, and it is exciting. We are so happy that we got her into a good school. For free. Now we have five more years before we have to worry about middle school…

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mummies! Part 2

Alright, I ALMOST was able to keep to a week. Thanks to everyone and your e-mails and comments. You guys truly flatter me.

So we started the “long walk” up to the mummies. There were pictures and some displays leading up so I pointed again to a picture of a mummy head.

“Are you sure that’s not too scary?”
“No.” was the quick reply from my five year old archeologist/monster hunter.

So it was showtime. We went in to see the mummies. First there was one of those audio wands you could listen too. I thought Bella would like that so I offered to get her one. “Five dollars more” said the girl behind the counter. Err, no thanks. I’ll do the narration.

So we started going through a dark makeshift corridor to look at the mummies. I was getting nervous again. But first, there were animal mummies. Monkeys and dogs. Creepy. Didn’t faze Bella in the slightest. She wanted to see the “big” mummies.

So we started to see the mummies, and Bella was just fascinated. She was staring at their mummified heads and wanted a closer look at an Egyptian sarcophagus so I held her up. "Whoahhh" she exclaimed. Very cute.

She was taking it all in and then saw another mummy. She was looking at its head, and then I noticed something. Well, let’s just say something else was also preserved. The last thing I want my daughter to look at was big shriveled mummy cock. Well, maybe it’s not the last thing, but it’s pretty high up there. I quickly ushered her away from that one before she could get the full picture and thankfully, all other mummies were “covered up” and “decent”.

We say a European mummy family, and other mummies from around the world. I was trying to usher Bella through the exhibit quickly, just because I was so nervous, but she wanted to see everything and was really enjoying it. It not only wasn’t frightening her, it wasn’t even fazing her at all. She was actually enjoying it. Maybe a little too much. I had flashes of lots of black clothes, My Chemical Romance CDs, and Neil Gaiman books in her future. Which is my present, of course. Good. I won’t have to buy anything.

We finished the exhibit and Bella was satisfied and I breathed a sigh of relief. She was fine. In fact, she really enjoyed it. Now we could both relax and go look at the ecosystems. We started with the desert, because I like lizards. And it was my turn to pick.

We had a great father daughter day at the museum. Turns out I was worried for no reason. For once. I also knew that my little girl was growing up strong, curious, and willful already. Two out of three ain’t bad.

I realized something on that trip. I’m pretty sure when I was five the mummies would have freaked me out a bit. I think kids have less fear today than before. Maybe it’s because of media saturation, I don’t know, but ultimately I think that is a good thing. Not the media saturation, the less fear part. While every child is different and can ultimately handle different things, I’m going to give my daughter a little more credit from now on.

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