Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Last Month of School is Trying to Kill Me

...or at the very least, it's trying to turn me into the world's worst blogger. With four weeks to go in the school year, we've been navigating an absolute rodeo of projects, banquets, and concerts that are all conspiring to turn bedtime into a joke and render my children sleep-deprived and emotionally unstable.

We started this week with Country Night, sponsored by Bug's Stretch class. Each child had spent weeks doing a research project on a country of their choice. On Country Night, the kids all dress up as a person from their country and bring a representative food from that country. Bug chose El Salvador (which had the immense benefit of being easier to cook for than Bear's last year choice of Tanzinia. When you Google "Tanzanian recipes", you get results like "Bush Meat Stew"). For El Salvador, Bug and I made homemade tortillas, black beans and rice, and pastel de tres leches, also known as Three Milk Cake or Basically An Excuse To Eat an Entire Plateful of Condensed Milk and Whipping Cream.

This is Bug as an El Salvadoran girl (and I'd like to give a little shout-out to Old Navy for having vaguely Latin American clothing in their spring line). We had a minor breakdown when I insisted that she tuck in the blouse. Bug, who has very specific ideas about fashion, felt that would look silly. I countered that the blouse, which hangs halfway to her knees, would look silly untucked. There were tears, a semi-slammed door, then she re-emerged calmly five minutes later with the blouse tucked in. I suspect that she looked in the mirror and saw that I was right, but she said nothing about it, just asked politely if I was ready to braid her hair. I was. She was very proud of her finished project, which included a twelve page typed report. She even did all of the optional research categories (plus one extra "in case she got one wrong"). She's a little bookworm after my own heart. I always loved writing research papers, which is not something I recommend bringing up a cocktail parties. You'll get a lot of weird looks, then notice people kind of edging away from you. Sometimes they try to take away your keys.
We had a minor incident when the children all filed onto the stage and sat on risers to await their turn at the microphone. Bug was in the front row. Through increasingly frantic hand-gestures, I tried to communicate to her to put her legs together while she shook her head in confusion and mouthed WHAT? and HUH? back to me. Finally, her father managed to convey the message to her, and I was able to sit back and enjoy the presentation without worrying about her flashing her undies to the audience.

Bug sailed through her turn at the mic, sharing her Interesting Facts in a loud, clear voice.
Last night was the Junior High Band and Chorus Concert.

Although Bear had been lounging around reading in the living room since dinner, my announcement that we had to leave sent her into a flurry of reed-finding, music-gathering, instrument-testing commotion, proving once more that Bear Standard Time is in no way connected to the real world. I snapped photos of her whirlwind, mostly to irritate her, while I asked casual questions like, "So I guess you couldn't have done any of this, like, twenty minutes ago? Or even ten? Hey, what about two minutes ago? No?" She pretty much ignored me.
Bug offered a few "helpful" comments of her own while Bear zipped around looking for her concert music. Bear literally growled at her, at which point Bug shut up for her own safety.
I think Bear looked pretty darn cute in her concert black-and-white, even if she had outgrown her black shoes and had to throw on gray and purple polka-dotted ones at the last minute.
She's looking so grown-up that it's literally killing me. She measured 5' 5 1/2" at her doctor's visit last week and wears a size 9 1/2 shoe. Recently it occurred to me that in about three years, she'll be starting to learn to drive. Then I hyperventilated a little tiny bit. Can you tell that she's barely tolerating me taking her picture? This smile says Can we just go already? Because, yeah, I'm the time-waster...not Mademoiselle Maybe I Should Actually Make Sure I Have All the Parts of My Instrument Two Seconds Before the Concert. She did a fantastic job playing at the concert, sitting with perfect posture and playing with complete composure. Music has really become her thing this year, and I love seeing the confidence and enthusiasm it has given her. It was worth listening to some very off-key brass players just to see her shine.
I'm so proud of both of them. And I'm so glad this school year is almost over, so we can all decompress.


Linda said...

The girls look SO cute in these pictures! How I wish I could have been there for both performances.

I have personally witnessed BST (Bear Standard Time)- Jenny isn't exaggerating! But, of course, we love Bear to pieces anyway.

Apparently Bear is trying to match her Nana's feet - size 10! At least 10s aren't hard to come by now like they were when I reached size 10 at age 12. I think I had the biggest feet in the entire junior high school!

Grandma said...

I do not think this bit of info will help any, but Bear Standard time was known as Daddy Shortbread Standard time many years ago :-) It does not get any better:-(

Great pictures of our gals. WOW, 5' 5 1/2' tall, that is Great Carmen's height. Holy cow. The shoe size, I do not know