bring your daughter to work day

So here's the thing: next week I'm starting a part time job teaching at a private, college prep school that's associated with a local tennis academy. It's somewhat confusing when I try explaining it to people. Here's what you need to know 1) I'm not teaching tennis 2) I am teaching English and US History and 3) this is not your normal "College Prep" academic environment. Both classes I'm teaching have the same ten students who range in age from 13-15 (or grades 8-10), so that means they were all born in the 21st century. These students are amazing athletes with phenomenal grit, determination and competitive spirits. And they also spend a lot of time with each other and know one another very well, so I'm the odd girl out.

Here's a great way to not impress your class during student orientation: bring along your three year-old daughter who clings to your legs and buries her head in your thighs screaming "No Mommy! No Mommy!" while you're trying to introduce yourself and get through the course syllabus. That happened. And because I'm teaching these--same ten--students two classes, I had the pleasure of presenting back-to-back orientations. I was definitely getting looks, and I'm sure the helicopter parents attached to these student-athletes heard all about it at dinner tonight. There will probably be a pinecone on my chair and a jar of spiders in my cubby when our first class meets next Wednesday.


quote of the week

Three days into kindergarten last week Scout comes home telling us she has a boyfriend. I met his mom and she seems nice, so I won't sound the alarm quite yet. Also, Catcher and one of his second grade buddies are keeping an eye on this guy.

Tonight at dinner Scout was regaling us with stories about her boyfriend. How he's funny and makes her laugh and distracts her while they're sitting on the rug when she's trying to listen to the teacher. During this monologue she got wrapped up in her rapid-fire thoughts, as Scout tends to do, and began reflecting on a former boyfriend of hers. He (the "ex") was from the preschool era and once said something mean to her. "...so I was like, I'm so done with this dude." That's a direct quote, folks. I hope she maintains the same presence of mind in all her future romantic endeavors.


exploshun time

If one of your children is quietly occupied in his/her own room for more than two hours after school one afternoon, you don't really want to bother said child for fear of disturbing the peace and quiet of the house. Of course, the usual parental paranoiac questions run through your head--What's going on in there? Is he building a bomb? Is she digging a hole through the floor so she can escape while we're all sleeping one night?--but you really like a quiet house, so you overlook all the possible bad scenarios.

When Catcher emerged from his room just before dinner, he proved that my paranoia was unfounded (at least this time) when he asked me if I would like to take a look the comic he had been creating--"Exploshun [sic] Time." Boys like action--generally involving guns, swords and the archaic TNT--so even though the comic hinged on violence, I was pretty confident there was no actual TNT in Catcher's room that I should be worried about. Also, this is a kid who's always telling me he "doesn't like art," so I'm pretty much going to encourage any kind of sketching that comes from his imagination.

It should be noted that even following a tutorial from the author, I understand virtually nothing about this comic. Like why is there a host? And why did Catcher give away the ending of the story in the title? And what exactly happened "3 seconds later?"


you say it's your birthday

...well it's awkward family photo shoot day, too. While all my Facebook friends were posting adorable back-to-school pictures of their children today, this is what you get when you ask the Wheat kids to stop, collaborate and listen:


the last weekend

We had a somewhat eventful "last weekend before school starts" weekend. We rode bikes. We attended a birthday party at the bowling alley. We scratched our heads wondering who crunched into the back of our car while we were innocently riding bikes at the park (no eyewitnesses came forward; no note left at the scene). Oh, and the toilet also overflowed as we were heading out the door to church this morning. Did I mention Alex's travel schedule is back in full swing? So yeah, the children and I kept it real.

For the past two weeks I've been wishing for the end of summer to arrive. Perhaps I should have asterisked my wishes, stipulating a "calm, uneventful" end of summer. Then again, when is life with three kids ever calm and uneventful?

Tomorrow is my birthday. Ever since this year's school calendar was released last spring, I've been looking forward to my birthday--the first day of the 2015-16 school year. Now I have an appointment to leave my car at the service station and a call out to the plumber to fix the toilet. Maybe they serve cocktails at the service station.


summer wind down

This is it! We've reached the last week of summer vacation. Perhaps you can tell by the faces in this photo--except Scout's, maybe--we are all ready for a new adventure. Yesterday we celebrated the last day of summer break with Dad (he' s the one in the "Dad Bod" shirt in case there's any confusion) because he journeyed off to Minnesota this morning and won't return until the first day of school.

We honored the occasion in true Wheat fashion with a picnic I had planned at a nearby park. There were ducks and geese and people fishing in a manmade pond (I guess you can do that). We sent the kids on an adventure to find out what people were fishing for, but they were more interested in hunting down the guy biking around with an ice cream cart trailing behind him. Catcher thought perhaps there would be free ice cream but no such luck. Scout asked a lady by the pond what she was fishing for and got the response "Anything that's biting." It wasn't the specific response I was after, but she got ten points for effort. Tillie ate more baguette than I have ever seen a human consume in my life; she promptly worked herself into a hot, sweaty food coma and insisted on being carried to the car. In the meantime, I polished off a bottle of Trader Joe's sparkling wine while silently chanting "four more days" in my head.