John and I are just sitting (laying) here in front of football.  He’s typing a brief that’s due tomorrow while I tackle my back-to-school to-do list (or at least make a plan for when I can accomplish all of these things) and we both just said, “Hm, haven’t called my parents in a few weeks.”  So just to let you know, we aren’t slacking off.  We’re treading water right now and be patient with us.

You know we bought a mini-van.  Very exciting stuff.  Of course the anxiety roller coaster that comes from writing a huge check, feeling (at last) ready to add carseat number three, trying not to freak out when sticky hands want to push every single button within reach, and doing that thing where we park about a mile away from the nearest entrance to prolong the inevitable idiot door dings a few more months, has left me somewhere in La-La Land during downtimes.

Back to school shoe shopping was exactly as painful as I expected it to be and today I declared a new manifesto that resembles my Christmas shopping manifesto.  (1.) Obtain accurate shoe size.  (2.) Go home and find shoes online.  This morning in Sunday School our leader was making a brief modern day point about the walls of Jericho and asked, “I mean, what if I said today we’re going down to Hanes Mall, we’re going to march around the thing six or seven times, give a little yell, and watch it crumble?”  This afternoon, I would have completely supported such a command.

Having leftovers tonight for dinner gave me this brief feeling like I had finally caught up for the day, when, at ten till seven, Eliott got up from the table and grabbed a piece of paper off the desk.  Her homework assignment that’s due tomorrow.

What the crap, Kindergarten?

It’s a show-and-share “activity” for parent and child to “enjoy creating together.”  A name collage.  Materials: construction paper, glue, various items such as macaroni noodles, small sticks, buttons, and other textures.

We don’t exactly have construction paper handy.  But I found something that would suffice.  Also, it dawned on me that macaroni noodles might be a little bulky for computer paper and glue stick.  The final product includes cupcake sprinkles and safety pins and in no way should her teacher believe she had any help whatsoever from mom and dad.

As a teacher myself, it is important for me not to become one of those private school parents who is clearly doing my kids’ homework for them.

As a teacher myself, let me also say, for the record, that Kindergarten homework is more like punishment for the likes of craft-avoiding pre-school parents like me.  It was all I could do not to break out every squeeze bottle in the fridge and just let Eliott write each letter of her name in a different hot dog condiment and call it a weekend.  (In hindsight, I’m regretting not doing this now.)

And, alas, I need to go make lunch for tomorrow.

So forgive the lack of phone calls.  And the mid-church pocket dials.

We’re just trying to get a grip around here.  Love, John and Claire.

Dear Mom and Dad
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