August 20, 2020

'don't sweat the small stuff' & things we suck at

My 3 high school kids were set to go back to school today (Aug 17).  It was a hybrid system.  They awaited the announcement Tuesday of last week (Aug 12) to see what group they were randomly put in.  All family members would land in the same group.  

As Reg and I were leaving for Costco to adjust his beat up glasses, I saw an email from the high school saying the groups were posted.  Once my kids knew their group, they would be texting friends to see if they were assigned the same group.  The group dictated if you attended Tu/Fri or Mon/Thurs. It was a click this link and put in a code kind of email that I couldn't do at that moment.  

I began to sweat.  I suddenly remembered that there was an email a few weeks ago inviting parents to alert the school if you just wanted your kid to do 100% e-learning.  Our kids were ready for hybrid, but I suddenly realized that I had never responded to the email.  Sweat.  

Would they automatically put my kids in the 100% e-learning group if I never clarified one way or the other?  Hold that thought . . . 

The visit before this Costco visit - also a sweaty one.  Mini and I needed 6 things before leaving on vacation.  Coach needed the car.  Lad claimed he would be back in time with the other car that he had while working out, but that's like saying there is a 100% guarantee that the pandemic will end in 2 weeks.  

Tank and Coach had a tee time because Tank was practicing for the golf team.  Mini and I divided up our 6 items in the car on the way there.  I reviewed the layout of the store.  Did she know where everything was located?  Yes, by jove she did.  

I texted Coach:  in the checkout.  

We were good.  Record time.  We were patting ourselves on the back.  I was walking away toward the door with my cart.  Once again, I reached my hand out behind me for the baton-like hand off of the receipt.  Um, no.

The checker stopped me.  It expired.

Me:  What?  My Costco card?  Can I renew next time.  Kind of in a hurry here.

Checker:  No, your debit card.

Me: *&%$#&^*(@!  WTF?

I did not even know it could expire.  The bank later claimed a new card had been sent to me, but our examine-incoming-mail system is incredibly inept.  Had I known I was expecting a new card, I would have kept an eye out, made sure it didn't slip through the cracks.  We are not ON crack, but we do have big cracks - so I missed the new card. 

I bolted to my car for my wallet, because OF COURSE I went into the store with just my debit card and my Costco card and my 6 item list.  

I am not one for carrying much cash on me.  Kicked myself for just paying the library fine of near $20.  I know, I know, we suck all around (sorting mail, losing glasses, returning shit late, responding to email).  I found like $80 and the bill was $125.  OMG - bad words tumbled over one another out of  my mouth.  Why oh why did I not organize my wallet while sitting around during the lock-down?  

Then between two cards I found a $50.  Mini and I raced back in the store, re-rung up and bolted for the the parking lot.  We grabbed Coach dropped him at the course to meet Tank and listened to him mutter about Lad's inconsiderate behavior.  

So on this Tuesday when I was in Costco with Reggie and his ill-fitting glasses, I was totally distracted by my fear of the kids at home checking the group and possibly discovering that they were assigned all e-learning, and that they would realize that this disaster was my fault. 

No photo of we in panic mode, but here's a fun one from vacation.  Reg and Tank are under the water/in a wave.  Ed standing up far right, and girls are together waiting for the next wave.

I pulled in the driveway and Tank announced:  
We are in the B group, which rocks because all my friends are in the B group.  People are arguing about which group is better.  I think there's going to be a fight (this is Tank talk that family members have learned to ignore).

Me:  **dabbing sweat off of my brow, like yeah, I didn't screw anything up** Oh, OK.  Cool.  

Mini's friends were all in the A group and she was beside herself.

Thursday night the board met.  We heard earlier in the day that a nearby high school opted to go to all e-learning and we were worried our school would follow suit.  New info about being within 6 feet of one another and crossing paths with the same kids more than 3 times a day, apparently adding up to more time than allotted for close contact, etc.  

We got a message that night while we were all watching 'Deep Water' - great movie by the way.  Our school switched to e-learning.  100%.  For now.  Mini cried.  I mean she literally wept.  My heart breaks for them.  

Wear masks, divide the school in smaller classes as planned, but please let them be in school a few days a week.  My kids are a social bunch, well - then there's Reg . . . a freshman who clings to egg cartons to elevate his social standing.  He needs to meet a new crowd.  Ed had a good group of 8th grade friends back in his day, who all went on to the same high school, but by graduation he had a whole new group.  The greatest kids ever.  How are freshman going to develop that from home?  Tank is a senior, who hates school, but is literally dying to get back.

I started babysitting again.  Last week I had the 5 mo old twins one day.  This week it will be 3 days.  I also have worst-baby-ever, who is 20 months now, 3 days a week, and the other little guy just one day a week till December when he comes 3 days a week.  Where are my gang going to e-learn?  Riddle me that?  My upstairs is shut down come nap time.  

Silver lining here:  Curly's school still plans to go back 2 days a week.  Curly is set for Tues/Thurs in school.  With the new guidelines, they have pushed her start date back a full week.  One more week of summer.  Can you say sweet babysitting assistant?  ** edited to add:  Curly's school just announced last night that all classes will be on-line.  Sadness.**

Curly is going to end up being a wet nurse.  This 12 year old knows her way around a baby, or two.  If there is one thing we don't suck at, it is babies.  Seriously, I am super grateful to have an extra set of capable-Curly hands for these first few weeks.

Anyone else have a Costco experience that made you sweat?  Kids that are 100% e-learning and bummed?  Of have you seen Deep Water (which I keep calling Dark Water and it is making Tank come unglued) or another great movie to recommend?


Suzanne said...

I'm so sorry the kids are so disappointed. I hope elearning goes WAY better than expected for everyone.

Beth Cotell said...

We are planning to start on 9/1 with all in school except those that opted for 100% online learning. I have no idea how long it will last. I am trying not to worry about it and just hoping and praying they can have a semi-normal school year.

It sounds like with all your kids at home e-learning and all your babysitting duties, you are going to have some great stories for upcoming blog posts!

Kari said...

Well, as a homeschool mom we are always e-learning so that never changes. Anna is online learning at college but she is at her apartment down there. I am on a "need to know" basis about what the hell is going on down there because she is an adult now, wink wink.
I do feel bad for the kids that it's e-learning but I think it's best because of what is going on right now.

I do love Costco for so many things. They have the best toilet paper and paper towel. Sorry, I just needed to say that.

Ally Bean said...

"We are not ON crack, but we do have big cracks - so I missed the new card."

Oh I hear 'ya on that one. Slipped through the cracks, like mail often does. So sorry.

As for CostCo, love to wander around the place, but don't buy too much there. Still when I do I feel like I scored big.

Kara said...

My kids are elearning for the first semester, at the very least. My Middle Schooler was supposed to be in the classrooms this week, but that didn't happen, and that was also pushed back to October 12. I honestly do not think my High School kids will be in a classroom this year. They're doing a block schedule this entire year, so they only have 3 classes for each half of the year. So far, it's been pretty successful. The Middle Schooler has 8 classes, and that's A LOT (4 classes a day A/B schedule, no classes Fridays). My husband also works from home now, so he's supervising the learning.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - I found a few positives in the e-learning department . . . usually my kids are at school when I notice that they left a wet towel on the floor or neglected to load a dish in the dishwasher. Now, I can confront them in their zooms and if they learn to live in fear of that they might be more attentive to those things. ;)

Beth - someone just told me that they think the kids will be e-learning all year and that would just crush Tank for his senior year. I so hope that is not the case. Yes, we have had e-learning for a few days now and STORIES abound. Will share soon.

Ally - my dad used to read or deal with every article of mail delivered to our house. Um, neither Coach or I are all that meticulous. And if a kid brings the mail into the house, no guarantee that they put it in a 'normal' spot.

Kara - I am home while they are e-learning, but I would not call my involvement supervisory AT ALL. In Illinois they had everything figured out for hybrid model and then the state came out with new guidelines and it all switched to e-learning. Ugh.

Charlie said...

Ernie, I feel stressed for you just reading this! I love how laid back you are about it all. So sorry for the kids, it all really just sucks. In England the plan is to get all kids back in person the week after next. Let’s see how long that lasts. My daughter has important exams next year, so I’m praying they stay at in person school for as long as possible. Please hurry up with the vaccine folks! (I’m actually from Oxford and our University seems to be making good strides in that area, so here’s hoping)

Gigi said...

Our county is doing the first nine weeks online. The county my son teaches in started back on Monday. He has reported that there is basically NO social distancing - considering he teaches at an elementary school, I'm not surprised. How do you get kindergartners to social distance?! I wouldn't be surprised if they end up going back to e-learning.

From what I'm hearing the server keeps crashing which is not helpful at all for those that are learning virtually.

Ernie said...


Ernie said...

Charlie- this is my 3rd attempt to respond. My own blog conspiring against me - will only work from my phone but I can't comment on Suz's blog from my desktop. Grrr. I think I am more chill about it because I have no control over it. If I felt like it was my fault, like say I failed to enroll them in hybrid, then I would lose it. I do hope we get to go back to some form of normal soon. Come on, Oxford, we need you on this!

Gigi- I have wondered since this started which group I feel worse for: college kids who are missing study abroad and other exciting adventures, or kids who do not get to socialize because they don't know how to social distance. I think the older group is worse off, but imagine what kind of struggles the younger set will have after lacking normal social interaction. I am guessing teachers have never been more appreciated.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I've never heard of that movie. Either of them.

So bummed for the kids and you too. Well, except for your wet nurse....which I hope she doesn't actually do the 'wet part'. I know you know what that means. I'm sure they are all ready to get back into a regular routine with seeing friends, having activities outside of the house, etc...
Will this year ever end? Lord, I hope so.

I went to costco yesterday and spent way too much money. It might have done me some good to have forgot my cc. Wait, don't you have the Costco credit card? As much as you are there, you will be earning points ($$) hand over fist.

Ernie said...

Suz- Dark Water is a great movie. Kind of like Erin Brokevich. I like a true story, so if you are into that kind of thing. I also really enjoy Mark Ruffalo. Yes I do get the wet term in wet nurse and no Curly cannot perform like that but dang this girl can change, burp, feed, and properly hold an infant, and assess what is troubling him/her with like 89% accuracy. She is the master. I am fortunate to have her on staff. My kids have been hanging with friends all summer. Not in groups of 100 but they gather and hang out and wash hands, etc. We do not have many cases near us. Curly started volleyball but no spectators. Curly dances and wears a mask. High schoolers are doing hs sports with temp checks, etc. I workout and wear a mask in and out of class. We spread apart and do not share equipment. If the schools were allowed to open, I feel like things would start to feel somewhat normal. Hoping they are not out all year. I do NOT have a Costco credit card. Did not know there was a thing. Hmm. Might need to look into it. I like having just one cc and I earn miles when I use it but if I can earn cash back on a Costco one vs. using a debit card, well that might be sweet.

Ernie said...

Kari - How could I have skipped you? Sorry - this is what my mind told me as I was going to bed last night. Odd, yes. With all the little ones here with my babysitting - it is going to be a challenge to find a quiet spot for each of my kids to do their e-learning. I hope college feels mostly like college for our kids. Enjoy your weekend.

Bibliomama said...

Is Deep Water the shark one? No, that's Deep Blue. I'm not sure if I've seen it, lemme check. Wait, this new one? That does look really good.
We keep getting emails with new plans and the first day of school keeps getting pushed back. Eve and I are just hanging out in denial until someone tells her where to be when. I've been back in my library just trying to dig out from when we abandoned everything in March. Five kids doing elearning from home sounds... not ideal.