Random Flotsam 3: Parenting Rant-Du-Jour

Apr 14, 2011 by

This mother is tired – and not just physically, although that is a good part of it right now.  You’d be zonked, too, if you walked with your child’s class twenty-plus blocks from his school to a local library lugging a book sack the whole way…but I’ll get back to that in a bit.

Saw this Twitter hashtag the other day, commented on its creation and how dissatisfied more parents seem to be with the whole process and hype of charter schools, and got a response from another Tweeter Tuber saying that most New Orleans parents seem to be giving the most kudos to the charters here.  My answer to that: depends on which parents you talk to and what their experiences are.  It’ll be intriguing to see what happens with my son’s school in the next few years in this regard, as I’m no stranger to gripes about administrative actions large and small – or teacher actions – but now that we’re set to have the school building worked on for the first time in ages, there’s already serious questioning of the site where the kids will be for the next couple of years.  I personally like where it is, as now the place will be within walking distance of where we live…but hey, parents, news flash: lead is everywhere and so is crimeThe International School is right by there and I don’t see people yanking their kids out of there every time something happens in the neighborhood.  But the bigger concern for some parents is how much the school has fallen in the state rankings, which are based solely on the results of the LEAP tests.  I am mightily dreading next year’s emphasis on the LEAP in the little guy’s third grade year.  I heard tell of the late arrival of LEAP study materials this year, and then the supplemental instruction parents had to do on Louisiana history, because the school doesn’t obsessively teach to the test in every way.  Has anybody outright boycotted the test in Louisiana? If so, lemme know.

And then, amid the front page reports of wild chickens roaming our city streets (they’ll form Mardi Gras chicken tribes next, recording chants such as “Meet De Chickens On Da Battlefront”, “Pluck My Peace Pipe”, and “I looove to hear him caaall Rhode Island Reeeeeeeed…”), there’s now the added stress of dear God, parenting is making me fat.

There was a time when we parents were entitled to our zaftig states, but now it seems we aren’t running after our kids enough to make it worthwhile for the childless in our society to retain their stick-figure physiques.  Case in point was yesterday’s LEAP week field trip the little guy’s class took to a local library branch.  The emails were sent out previously to let everyone know a brisk march was going to be the mode of transportation, but boy, did the kids’ energy test the parent chaperones in attendance. I’m glad I began working out in early December, myself, even though I’m not svelte by any stretch of the imagination – it helped endurance-wise.  The double-time walk back was what did most of the parents in, especially since some of them were toting back loads of books the kids got at the library’s Wednesday book sale (including a few hardcover dictionaries, as the kids have gone mad for definitions).  We were all simultaneously envious and slightly scornful of the cute, skinny, marathon-runner teaching assistant who ran, without breaking into any visible sweat, ahead of the kids to direct traffic at each intersection so that our group could keep marching safely.  I certainly needed a drink after all that, and I was quite ready to buy my fellow parents a few rounds of their alcoholic beverages of choice, because, by God, we deserved it after all that kid-wrangling and speed-walking.

Another news flash, to first the women: you will gain weight in your pregnancies.  If you didn’t gain a fraction of an ounce after having four kids, you are an anomaly and I hate your genes for setting some impossible standard.  Most mothers out there are working too damned hard to worry about extra pounds, so if you’re all up in our business about our weight, then get some better working conditions going for all parents, better food prices, better schools that don’t cost an arm and a leg in time put into getting the kids in or in tuition payments – hell, better lifestyles regardless of race, class, or economic status.  Don’t keep it so that having anything to do with the birthing and raising of children makes us non-people.

Pardon me while I kick back responsibly with food and drink I like because I earned it, despite constant admonishments that I’m just a lowly part-timer in the working-for-bucks world.  If I were getting paid for all this worry and all the explanations of why Big Freedia is a she, I’d be doing quite well, thanks.


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