Kein Ayin Hora

I Am Not Too Crazy About 5:45 Either

Oh. Well. Oh dear. Scotland.

I have a friend who was once sued for malpractice. Although such cases are often settled out of court, the facts in this instance were so strongly in my friend's favor that the insurance company refused to negotiate and he had to go through a jury trial. When he was subsequently found to be blameless I congratulated him. 

"You must be so relieved," I said.

"Actually," he replied, "I feel numb. All this stress and time and at the end of it all nothing has changed except I feel like [hell] and I am sure [the plantiff] does too."

I expect that must be the way most of Scotland is feeling right now. Like they have the biggest hangover in the history of time. For what it is worth (exactly nothing) I am still impressed by the process and although the romantic in me sighs over The Corries it was difficult to ignore the way the markets slumped and then rallied as perceived momentum swung from yes toward no.

Moving, as one must, on.

Since I spent last summer lying in a hammock with X's for eyes you were spared my daily angst over school choices but from June until late August I was really annoying about it.

At one point I had Patrick and the twins enrolled in schools that start and end two hours apart from each other. This would have meant that not only would I be getting up at 6 (not my favorite time of day. I am really at my best between midnight and two) and repeating the entire morning routine with more children an hour later; but the resulting gap would have left me with four childfree hours a day. Four. That's, like, Mommy's Day Out at a church preschool. So I decided that sucked too much to be borne and I veered in the other direction, placing them at schools that are separated by 14 miles but which start at 9:20 and 9:30 respectively.

Steve said, "So you are thinking about putting Caroline and Edward at A?"

I said, "Yeah?"

"And Patrick will probably go to B?"

"Hope so."

"And they start at more or less the same time?"


Steve said, "Hmmm. How is this possible?"

I mumbled something about mysterious ways my wonders to perform* and went back to trying to rig waiting lists using nothing but the power of my mind.

Surprisingly, this worked. Random Charter School 2 was able to offer spaces to both twins. Patrick Specific Charter School X finally shook free a sixth grader, making room for one more in seventh. The buildings are a (biggish. orc operated) catapult's launch from one another and they start ten minutes apart around the exceptionally civilized time of half past nine.

I spent the week leading up to school all smuggety smug smug as I pondered all of the great work I would be doing at one in the morning now that I did not have to get anyone anywhere until AFTER NINE. Then Edward's OT person offered him a prime early morning slot so he wouldn't have to miss school (um, great. thanks. so much for Tuesdays) and I got the first of a hundred notices from Patrick's new school explaining that all extracurricular activities would be held in the two hours before school starts.

Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha.

I know there are parents out there who would allegedly shiv someone in order to insure that their child gets a spot on the junior varsity glassblowing team and I will believe this to be true but I can only assume that the glassblowers do not meet at 7:15 in the morning. There was a reason I did not join the crew team in high school and that was because they met at 7:15 in the morning. Well, that and the fact that they were always rowing and swimming and lifting heavy things and my high school did not have any boats** so the crew team had to run down to Georgetown every morning to borrow one of theirs.

So if you want to do anything beyond punching your timecard at this school you have to get up at dawn and for this reason I have been following Patrick's science bowl team aspirations with a jaundiced eye. Apparently the team was filled at the end of last year but they lost one (an eighth grader - I hope I didn't knock him out of school by accident when my mind tried to free up space for Patrick) and they are seeking a replacement through a process that appears to be modeled after the one used to seat justices on the Supreme Court. First, the interested had to take a pretest (at 8:15 in the morning which left Edward, Caroline and me sitting in the Home Depot parking lot for an hour listening to an audiobook because I couldn't think of anything else to do with them to kill time before their school opened.)

Patrick said he thought he has done well.

"Oh. Great." I said.   

After the pretest was graded they invited four hopefuls to come the following week to a practice (at 7:15.)

"And?" I asked.

"Pretty good!" said Patrick.

I gave him a distinctly limp thumbs up.

Then there was a second pretest (again at 7:15.)

Afterwards Patrick said he didn't think he had done a very good job; too much math that needed to be done quickly. Not his thing.

I brightened perceptibly, "Aw! That's OK! You tried it, you now know that it is fun. Maybe next year! Let's celebrate how far you made it by sleeping in tomorrow!"

Then he got invited back for a second round of practice. At 7:15.

"?" I said.

That afternoon I asked Patrick had practice had gone. He said that this other kid was better than he is and he thought he should get the spot. I agreed too quickly. Patrick looked wounded.

Do you remember the book Fortunately and Unfortunately? Unfortunately I fell out of an airplane. Fortunately there was a haystack beneath me. Unfortunately it had a pitchfork in it. Loved that book.

Anyway on Monday Patrick brought home a fortunately/unfortunately letter. Fortunately he had done very well! Unfortunately they picked the other kid. Fortunately it was a really difficult decision! Unfortunately, you know, the other kid. Fortunately they have decided to form a second team!

Unfortunately they will be meeting every Wednesday. At 7:15 am.

*I wrote this and then worried I was being sacrilegious. But it's ok. I looked it up and it's just Cowper.

**Isn't that kinda adorable? A couple of years before I got there some kids at my high school started a crew team despite the fact that they did not have a boat.

A year or three later they qualified (somehow) for a regatta in Philadelphia but they still did not have a boat. The story got picked up by a local news channel and a few days later they arrived for their 7:15 run to discover that outside the school an anonymous benefactor had left them... a boat. 

I don't know how much of that story is apocryphal but, regardless, I always liked it. Oh and I know it is called something else (schull? shell? skull? something) but you knew what I meant.