I promised myself when I started this blog that I wouldn't use it to complain, or whine, or as an outlet for any negativity. Most of the time I do a fairly good job of adhering to my self-imposed rules. Often if I've not written for a while, I am either extremely busy or just going through a "rough patch". I like to give myself some space until I can regroup and get back to blogging without a dark cloud over my head.
This week is my exception to the rule. I was truly annoyed by a couple things this week, and I've decided to let it all loose. Yes, a crafty mom gets grumpy.
Tuesday was our first officially cold, rainy day of the season. It was the first occasion of my taking Thing 1 to the school bus stop in actual rain. True - apparently we have been lucky to date. On top of being wet and damp, it was unseasonably cold as well. I expected to see snow, but it never materialized.
On this particular cold, wet day, the big bright, yellow school bus didn't show up to pick up Thing 1 at 12:16. Or 12:17. or 12:18, 12:19, or 12:20. By 12:27 I was beginning to worry (as well as my frozen brain could manage) because I am aware that school starts at 12:25. At 12:30 I gave up, hurried home with Thing 1 and chucked him in the van to drive him to school.
On the way I picked up two of his very favourite buddies and tossed them in as well. As I dropped the three eager kindergartners at school, I was told the bus had broken down today, which is why it had never showed up. Fair enough. Unpleasant for me, but a fair excuse.
It was still enough for me to stop putting off my plan to write a letter to the school board requesting that Thing 1's bus stop be moved to our street, preferably in front of our house. I'd been a good sport for the first two months of school, trucking up to the bus stop past our street and around the corner with three Things, twice a day, and I'd had enough. It was completely interfering with Thing 3's ability to have a decent nap, and Thing 2 is just at this painfully annoying stage of being slow and *difficult* in everything he does. It takes us over ten minutes to walk a distance that an adult can walk in three minutes. And don't get me started on how long it takes Thing 2 to put his coat and shoes on - he MUST do it himself, and if I try to assist him I'm met with Angry David. Angry David is a loud, thrashing, screaming and all around unpleasant little boy. I don't like him.
I should take care to mention that on this particular rainy day that my bus did not appear, I did not even have Things 2 and 3 with me. My fantastic, one-of-a-kind mother-in-law was at the house watching them for me. She is amazing enough to help me several times a week when I need it. And boy do I need it. Because this bus thing is killing me. And I knew there was a reason I loved that she lives so close to us (three streets away) . . . aside from the fact that she almost delivered Thing 3 by herself when I went into labour.
But I digress . . .
I wrote a letter to the school board's transportation department requesting that the bus come into our crescent and pick up Thing 1 at our driveway. I stated that the walk we take puts us at some safety risks, as we cross a busy street on a city bus route. (Thing 2 walks with us while I have Thing 3 in her stroller - one might think that it would be prudent to put Thing 2 in the double stroller with her, but that type of action elicits a visit from Angry David, the young gentleman I mentioned in the previous paragraph.) I also stated that I see the bus turn up the previous two crescents to mine, and figured it would not take more than 60 seconds for the bus to turn into my street and pick up my son at our driveway.
Well, apparently millions and zillions of mothers around the city of Ottawa are making similar requests, because if they "reacted to my request they would then have to react to all the others". And the school board simply has "parameters it must follow" and "while sympathetic to my situation they are unable to accomodate my request to move the stop". The board feels it is reasonable for a kindergarten student to walk up to 500 metres to their designated bus stop, and my house is less than 500 metres from the stop.
How the HECK do they know that??? Next time I walk it, you can bet I'll be bringing my metre stick with me!
I'm discouraged and disheartened. A good friend went through this last year with her son, and suggests I contact my school trustee to fight this further. I'm not sure if I will or not. Because - really - when it comes down to this isn't this all just because I'm kind of lazy? And scared of old man Winter knocking on my door one morning soon . . . terrified of the snaps, zippers, boots, mittens and snowsuits that will soon become a way of life for me? So I'm as of yet undecided. If you have any words of wisdom, I'd love to hear them.
My second bone of contention with life in general occurred this morning. I geared up at 10:45 a.m. to head to the Canadian Toy Testing Council's annual Toy Sale. It is the sale in which they sell off all the toys that were tested by testing families (we are one of them) at huge discounts. The money raised goes back to the council to keep it running, as they are a non-profit organization. I'd heard about the sale from numerous people and was dying to check it out. I pictured myself needing a flatbed to assist me out of there with my four foot high pile of Christmas gifts. I was particularly keen to seek out the Playmobil toys - and I knew there were lots of them.
As I arrived early and found my place in rain - soaking wet because I got caught in a torrential downpour - I noticed a small sign at the beginning of the line that said "Public Sale". As they eventually opened the doors and let us in - ten minutes late on a day when I simply couldn't tolerate one more thing working against me - I asked someone working the sale if this was the sale for Toy Testing members.
"No, miss, they held that sale from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m."
My jaw dropped. As I scooped it up, I asked myself how I had managed to screw this up? I recalled getting an e-mail from them stating it was at 11:00. One of the organizers there explained that in the body of the e-mail there had been a message saying that members were to attend the exclusive closed-doors sale before-hand. As I later confirmed when I returned home and checked my e-mail - I DID NOT GET THAT MESSAGE. I was only informed of the public sale. Regardless of their mistake, it didn't matter now anyway.
It was a total bust. Everything had been picked over, I only purchased one item for Thing 1, and nothing for Thing 2 for his birthday, for which I had really been hoping.
Did I mention I had a rough week?
On very rare and seldom occasions, when the need arises, I dig deep into my recipe book for an old, tried-and-true, smudged and splattered recipe that my sister and I found when we were in high school on the back of a Skippy peanut butter jar. We used to make together when we really needed a pick-me-up. It is not remotely healthy, and I did not substitute one single ingredient for anything good for me and did not do my typical sprinkling of ground flaxseed on top.
Nope, this week called for the real thing. And it totally worked. Three of these hot out of the oven with a big glass of milk totally. Made. My. Day.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies
1 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips
Cream the peanut butter and butter in a large bowl. Gradually beat in sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Combine all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and baking soda. Stir into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.