What can I tell y’all? It’s just been a little nutty at our house. Recently Cute W said something about one of the girls being particularly cranky, and the truth is, they are always pretty cranky for the first couple of weeks of school. We all are. It’s exhausting. Waking up early makes everyone feel a little sleep-deprived, and adjusting to the new year is emotionally exhausting. And the girls are both doing school sports, which takes up a lot of time and just plain wears them out. Meanwhile, Cute W is always busy this time of year preparing for his all-week-long work conference, so he’s stressed out as well. But now we’ve moved into the next phase: Cute W left for the work thing yesterday, which means I fully intend to slack off with this week’s dinners, and the girls are getting pretty acclimated to the new routine. And I can take a break and update you.
Even before school started, the girls were both busy with sports. Over Labor Day Weekend, J volunteered to serve as manager for the varsity volleyball team’s tournament (she’s JV again this year, as expected). She had assumed that other girls from her current team would volunteer, too, but then it was only varsity, which made her feel awkward. It turned out that she had a ton of fun, but she hadn’t processed when she signed up that the tournament was a 4-hour drive away. As in, 8 hours round trip. Then both girls had games on the Tuesday after Labor Day.
J started 9th grade on Wednesday with the freshman orientation day, and M, who’s starting 12th grade, attended part of that day to be a tour guide for new students. Thursday was the official first day for both of them. So. School seems to be going well enough. There are some classes and teachers that they like more than others, of course, but nothing’s actively bad and stressful. J was initially worried by math, but that seems to have receded a bit. Each of them had a class in which they were bummed about their assigned teacher based on reputation, but the teachers are better than they expected, so: yay.
But it’s been very hectic. That first weekend after school started, the soccer team hosted a tournament, which meant games for M and concession duty for me and parking lot monitoring for Cute W. Plus I spent Sunday working the Carrot Festival.
Meanwhile, my masochist J volunteered to be manager for another volleyball tournament on Saturday. This time she really didn’t want to do it, but they needed help and no one seemed to be volunteering, so she felt compelled. I was like, “Oh, my gosh, you have got to stop volunteering! You need to take care of yourself, too! It’s okay to say no sometimes!” and this just had Cute W laughing because of course I was saying this while dealing with the Carrot Festival and Newcomers Dinner. In my defense, I’d skipped Carrot Festival last year, and when I was at the PTO meeting someone tried to recruit me to do something else, as well, and I shut that down pretty quickly. So I really am trying to follow my own advice.
Anyway, when J got to the tournament she realized that another teammate had volunteered, after all, and then of course it was fun and social as well as tiring, so that was good. Except when she called late in the afternoon from a friend’s phone and started with, “I’m really fine and everything’s okay,” and then proceeded to tell me that she was bleeding profusely from a head wound and they hadn’t actually gotten the bleeding to stop quite yet and perhaps she might need a couple of stitches, but maybe not.
Awesome. Cute W took off for the tournament, where it was established that the cut was really quite small and the bleeding had stopped but maybe poor J should just go home anyway and take the rest of the day off. She had basically backed into a jagged edge of a fan that really had no place in a gymnasium full of volleyball players, but all’s well that ends well.
As you might expect, the girls weren’t feeling entirely rejuvenated by Monday morning of their first full week of school.
Which is too bad, because the next week was crazy, too. M had her first NGS (Niskayuna Girls’ Soccer) Pasta Party on Monday, then both girls had games on Tuesday and Thursday, plus our whole family was helping with my new PTO responsibility, the Newcomers Dinner, on Wednesday (more on that later). All of these activities have their subcategories of craziness, because of course both dinners are potlucks, and J’s home games require goody bags for her volleyball buddies, plus she has to stay late for all the varsity games, and M’s first home game meant don’t-forget-the-baby-head to display in the stands.
Oh, and also, sometime that week (which is last week, now, so you’re almost caught up!), J accidentally dropped her phone in a pot full of water. And then lost her geometry book. Cute W declared Time of Death on the phone while I was running around doing something else. Once I got home I was still too busy to be of help hunting for her geometry book. Instead, she asked a friend take photos of the textbook and text them to M, who ended up forwarding them to my phone because of course she didn’t want to cede custody of her device until all of J’s math homework was done. And then, when I finally got a chance to look for the geometry book, which poor J had been searching and searching for, it was in a perfectly logical, comically obvious place (sitting on the low table in our dining room, but camouflaged because a cat had flipped a place mat over it). After all of her stress and lost time searching for it, she completely failed to appreciate the humor of the situation. Of course it was particularly maddening that, as predicted, once again Mom had triumphed and Found The Unfindable.
Another massive time-and-energy suck during this week was coordinating a college visit with a soccer coach for M. I think we might stay deliberately vague on the finer points of the college search until we know a little bit better how it’s all going to work out.
J was still very busy over the weekend (school volleyball tournament + club volleyball tryouts), and there have been some fairly entertaining time-sucks that deserve their own blog posts, but in general, we’ve slowed down considerably.
Phew! This week is much more mellow, with only one game for each girl (once again many of the games are happening simultaneously, so I’m running between games like the video I shared last year). Then we have a modest amount of activity this weekend. On Friday, Cute W will return exhausted but relieved to be done with his big meeting, and everyone will be rested up and ready to kick some ass on Monday.