The FCAT Makes Me Want to Gouge my Eyes Out With a #2 Pencil

I’m running in a wooded swamp. It’s murky and dirty and foggy. All I can smell is sulfur and I can’t see my hand in front of my face. But I can hear my 8 year old is screaming for me, crying, yelling my name and I can’t find him. I’m covered in a think, choking fog and then I wake up in a cold sweat.

Okay, okay, this is a bit dramatic but I had this dream the other night. The same night after my son forgot his homework folder on Tuesday and his lunch bag on Wednesday. I finally sat down with my oldest and said, “What’s with you?’ That’s when the floodgates opened and tears began to fall and the bitter truth about the FCAT began to pour out of him.

8 year old: I’m worried about the FCAT (sobbing)
Me: What are you worried about that for? You’re a wonderful student
8 year old: It’s a “High Stakes Test” (and he did air quotes for me, freaking air quotes) and I’m worried about my score.

And that’s when I knew that this whole thing was screwed up.

My son is a really smart and genuine kid. He’s a great student, a loyal friend, a good athlete, and his IQ is over 130. He can mentally run circles around his Father and I, when he wants to (he is only 8). With all that in mind he’s worried about the FCAT. Beyond worried, he’s petrified.

I cant say that I blame him. In the last month I’ve received papers upon papers about how the FCAT is coming, how we (as parents) can prepare our kids for the FCAT. Make sure they’ve eaten the morning of the test, (like I don’t feed my kid). Write them a letter for the day of the test (like I don’t communicate with my child). Study and practice and review past tests with them (like I don’t drill my son and work with him all year round).

The State of Florida is driving the schools crazy. The schools are driving the teachers crazy. And then, they are handing that crazy down to my son.

This merit pay issue is insane. To even imagine that a teachers actual worth is based upon the scores of their students, who come from all walks of life, with a specific skill set, and take ONE Test!! ONE TEST! that can determine if they correctly have done their job, is asinine.

I’m saying it out loud, right now; The FCAT only teaches our children one lesson, and personally, It’s not the correct one. It teaches them that the journey doesn’t matter, only the destination. And I think that’s bullshit.

 

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The Untimely Death of my Perfect Day

Eek,
It’s already Wednesday… shit, it’s already APRIL!
And with time traveling at Mach II with it’s hair on fire, I am finally coming to the grips that there is no such thing as the “Perfect Day”.

Considering I don’t really look for perfection in any aspect of my life it’s kind of humorous that I expect a whole 24 hour period to go off without a hitch. Actually, it’s completely and utterly absurd. What on Earth am I fucking thinking?

With 3 kids and a husband nothing is every going to go according to plan, EVER AGAIN. They never even went according to plan before. I’ve just glorified my memories to think that maybe, just once, just for a teeny, tiny, hot minute, they did.
They fucking didn’t.
I just rolled with the punches better back then.
There were less people depending on the outcome of other things. There were far less responsibilities and I really allowed myself a little wiggle room for things to go to shit. I don’t have that wiggle room anymore. If my life was a size 16 I’m trying to squeeze it into a pair of bedazzled, size 6, cutoff shorts with the pockets poking out the bottom.

Oh My G-d!
My whole schedule is like a wicked step-sister trying on the glass slipper.
IT’S NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!
THAT SHIT DOESN’T FIT!

And with this amazing realization comes the even bigger task of figuring out how I will allow the shit storm to fly around me and not get caught up in its gust.

Because the 8 year old is going to forget his homework. And his lunch bag. And his IPad. But that’s his responsibility and I’m only spinning my wheels when I let it effect me.
And 3 year old is going to have accidents. And paint on his clothes. And a million temper-tantrums. But I can only control the way I handle these things. Nothing more, nothing less.
And the baby is going to have fevers. And gas. And constipation. And as his loving Mommy I just have to roll with the punches and jump off each bridge as we come to it and stop worrying about the fall before I even get to the top.
And dinner is going to be late. A lot. Or from the freezer. A lot. And although I love to cook I have to remind myself that the little fires get put out first or else the house will burn to the ground…. so I might not have time to indulge in making the homemade things I love because homework, and driving to sports, and Hebrew school come first.
There is only one of me and I only have 2 hands.

Here lies my perfect day.
“Bury the dead, they stink up the place”

Broken By Spring Break

This shirt meant something entirely different 10 years ago…..
College and drinking and bikinis and the beach and booze and staring at hotties…. Oh, to be young, carefree and freakin’ childless… Ahhh, the memories. 

So after a whole weekend away for the 8 year old’s soccer tournament  last weekend (which is a whole slice of insanity I’ll save for another post), we had the pleasure of ALL OF LAST WEEK OFF (I know FML) and then today, Monday, off as well. Having today off was basically the “Fuck You” to parents everywhere. If last week wasn’t enough… Monday will put hair on your chest.

TODAY WAS A SHIT SHOW! 

It really was…
No one was happy up in this joint today. The 5 week old seems to be colic and the 3 year old is a complete mess, but only around me. The 8 year old came back from a weekend with buddies exhausted and crabby. Can we have our normal children back please?

I can’t wait for school to start up tomorrow and our schedule to get back on track. Big ups to the teachers for doing what they do so I can get back to doing what I do…
Laundry,
Dishes,
Cooking,
Driving,
Sorting,
Arranging,
Scheduling,
Joking,
Listening,
Talking,
Eating,
Feeding,
Changing,
Some Drinking (okay, more then some)
Visiting,
Calling,
Volunteering,
Commandeering,
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree…

Come on, sing it with me “Aaaaannnndddd, A Partridge in a Pear Tree ee ee ee!”

Thanks for commiserating with me friends,

ONM