Friday, May 20, 2011

Basically, (other people's) kids suck

I've used this blog to rip on my kids, pick on lazy people, vent about inconsiderate morons, complain about school projects and talk about my hatred of people that insist on texting/eating sloppy joes/putting on make-up/watching Days of Our Lives while driving. Today, however, is best summed up as... other people's children kind of suck.

As you may or may not know, my seventh grader, who is twelve, plays tennis. My ninth grader and soon-to-be seven-year-old also play tennis, but this blog isn't about them. It's about my twelve-year-old.

Now, this kid doesn't just play tennis. He plays tennis. Among his accomplishments:
  • Selected by the USTA to attend two camps at the USTA National Training Center in Carson, CA.
  • Ranked in the top eight for 12-and-under in the USTA Northern section, which includes Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and eastern North and South Dakota.
  • Is a 3-star recruit on
  • Currently playing 3rd singles for the high school varsity. He is the only 7th grader on the team.
During his first season of high school tennis, he has a 16-3 record. Over the past few weeks, he has pulled a win out of close three set matches, beating seniors and team captains along the way. He loves being on the tennis court, and loves the team he's playing on.

Today (if it doesn't rain) is the semifinal sectional match, which is kind of a big deal. Since this is tennis - not football - the amount of school spirit directed towards the team isn't exactly overwhelming. So, in an attempt to let the school body know that "hey by the way, the high school tennis team is pretty damn good this year," all of the boys are wearing their uniforms (white shorts, maroon Dri-Fit shirt, tall black socks) to school today. And of course they just had a match yesterday afternoon, which meant that I quickly did a couple loads of laundry last night so that everything would be ready for this morning.

But Charlie didn't want to wear his uniform to school.

Because he was so sure that he was going to get laughed at by a certain group of kids. Or, in his words, "They're totally going to make fun of me and won't care. They'll just think I'm stupid."

I know kids are mean and that they say things to other kids without thinking first -- this will never change, and there's nothing I can do about it. But right now, I'm pissed off, I hate the fact that my kid is being made to feel bad about something he's good at and passionate about and, if you happen to hear about a zit-faced seventh grader that got nailed in the side of the head by a Babolat racquet, I didn't do it.

It was probably my kid, after I gave him permission.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thank you, now kiss my ass

With just over a month left of this school year, I can safely say that A) the last day can't come soon enough, B) science teachers that also happen to be Atheist have an interesting teaching style, C) there are a lot of clueless parents out there, and D) I'm sick of being in my car. Or, to be more specific, I'm sick of being in my fucking car, listening to my kid tell me about how it's his science teacher's goal to fail everyone in the class "to make a statement," only to deal with stupid ass annoying parents as soon as I get out of my car.

Since there are at least three days out of the week where I look at my calendar and discover that I'm supposed to be in at least two different places at exactly the same time, I have had to suck it up and occasionally ask other people to give my kids a ride. After recent events, however, there is one family in particular that will never again be responsible for getting my kid from point A to point B.

Toward the end of every school year, in addition to the dozens of choir and orchestra concerts, the junior high hosts an Honors Night, recognizing those students that have maintained an "I'm not a moron" GPA for the majority of the year. This convention of smugness has always been held on a Monday evening, which coincidentally is the same evening that my kids have piano lessons. And high school tennis matches. And homework that needs to be completed in order to maintain the GPA that got their asses invited to the Honors Night to begin with. So since we have always had conflicts and my piano teacher seems to be as inflexible as a landscaping paver when it comes to canceling lessons, and even though my kids have always received the "Please Attend..." postcard, I've never made it a very big priority to attend this thing.

Both of my boys are on the varsity tennis team and last Monday (Honors Night) they both had fairly difficult matches that went to third sets. As I sat in just-below-40-degrees-not-including-the-wind temperatures, trying to say something more encouraging than "I'm freezing my ass off here so end this thing already!" and mourning the loss of feeling in my toes, I watched as their matches moved along and the time got later and later. When the last points were finally played, I realized that there was no way in hell that anyone was going to make it to their piano lesson and was instantly relieved that I had never even considered trying to make it to Honors Night. And then, as soon as I got in the car, Zach said "Okay, so I'm going to Honors Night. It's my last year at the junior high and I want to see what the thing is. Will you drop me off?"

I said fine, but I'm not staying (even though I know that every other parent would be there). And by the way if you see anyone there that lives within two miles of us, ask them if you can get a ride home. After all, I was planning on putting myself into a calorie coma with the beef stew that was waiting for me in a crock pot, so as far as I was concerned, making an unplanned drive back to the junior high was on my list of things to do, right after "Feed self to flesh eating zombies."

Fortunately, my kid found someone to ride home with and I was overcome with joy. And I didn't even experience too much guilt since these people live a whopping 1/10th of a mile away. But, like a good neighbor, I made a mental note to make sure and thank them for driving that extra tenth of a mile next time I saw them.

As luck would have it, both of us were back at the junior high on Wednesday night for a concert and sure enough, we bumped into each other. I said "Hey thanks for giving my kid a ride home on Monday night! My evening was chaos so I really appreciate it." And then, instead of just saying no problem, I got a fucking eye roll from her. And then a mini-lecture about how she couldn't believe I just dropped him off and didn't stay, and that they have a busy schedule too but some things should be viewed as a priority. And, well, to each their own but she makes her boys go to Honors Night because she's really proud of them and everyone should see that they got good grades and were invited.

And here's where I could have launched into a "do you know where the fuck I just drove from and what I just sat through" lecture, but it would have been pointless. I could have explained that FYI, just because I thought about driving to the bar as soon as I dropped my kid off at the front door of the school, it doesn't mean I actually followed through with it. (After all, I had my dog on my lap and the last time I checked, they still don't allow dogs in the bar.) And by the way, stupid wench, I already know my kids are smart. I certainly don't need to waste a Monday night standing around a school cafeteria, gnawing on a crappy cookie, to reassure myself of that fact.

Turns out that my kid only stayed at Honors Night for about 15 minutes after I dropped him off and as he ate his dinner, he filled me in on the details: he picked up a certificate, stood around, ate a couple crappy cookies and told people that wondered where I was that "she didn't want to come because she thinks it's pointless." So now I am beaming with pride because not only am I raising a smart kid, but I'm raising an honest kid, too!