First Day of School 2011!

August 17th, 2011

The boys started school today and I took the day off work so I could enjoy dropping them off.

They had been looking forward to this day with gloom and dread, but it turned out to be really nice. Isaiah had been pretty cranky about getting up, but the power of Mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls changed that. In fact, just before it was time to go we were taking pictures of Gideon and Isaiah out front and they were smiling and laughing. The laughter may have been partly due to the fact that while I was taking Isaiah’s picture Gideon was behind me giving me the ol’ ‘bunny ears’. In any case the attitude improvement was welcome.

After the boys were dropped off, which was complicated by the fact that the city of Alton had, in a masterstroke of bureaucratic wisdom, decided to paint all the uptown crosswalk stripes within walking distance of the middle school on opening day, Elsie and I hung out at home for a couple of hours. A couple of hours because the school board in another brainstorm only a committee of municipal officers could concoct, decided the first day of school would be only a couple of hours long. Don’t ask me why- it probably has to do with funding. Anyway, it gave Elsie and I a bit of time together.

Since the night before she’d been talking about watching Fishtronaut this morning. So I obliged. It’s a cartoon we recently discovered on Netflix. For some reason it’s caught her interest and putting it on allowed me to do a bit of computing. After a while I joined her on the couch and she enjoyed her show on my lap, and I enjoyed a brief nap with her on my lap.

Aside from enjoying dropping the boys off (not in a sadistic way, but in being able to participate in an aspect of their lives I usually only get to hear about), I took the day off because Ruth and I had the idea that since the boys were only in school half the day, we could have a picnic in the afternoon. Additionally, we could take the time to go to Best Buy to get me a new cell phone case and belt clip, and a pair of earbuds for Isaiah. I’d gotten my phone at Best Buy just about a year ago and I’d gotten a hard case with and belt clip combo there, too. The one I’d gotten had worn out and I wanted another just like it. Isaiah needed a pair of decent earbuds for a class he’s taking this year called ‘music tech’ which sounds pretty cool and I’m a bit jealous of, but such classes were unheard of in middle school when I was in it. In fact, middle school was brand new when I was in it. My 6th grade year the 9th graders were at my junior high. My 7th grade year was the first year of middle school in the Alton district.

The closest Best Buy to us is in Edwardsville, IL and is just a few miles away from the very cool Edwardsville Township Community Park. So we figured that would be the perfect location for our picnic. The fare was nothing fancy- sandwiches and chips, but it was a picnic so everything was more fun. The weather was pretty nice, a bit warm but not hot. The kids played on the playground after we ate. At Gideon’s entreaty, I joined them for a bit on the ‘wobble board’- a platform about four feet square suspened by chains on each corner. It’s hard to stand on cause it wobbles. Gideon called me over to wobble it for him and Elsie soon joined till we were all wobbled out.

The kids were pretty good at Best Buy. At first I thought they didn’t have the main thing I’d come for but we eventually found it. Isaiah got some decent but inexpensive earbuds made by Sony for about $11 which I felt wasn’t too bad. After that we went to the Borders bookstore in the same retail complex. You know a place is going out of business when you walk in under a sign that says “50% off everthing!” to find price tags on all the shelves and fixtures.

Somehow, even at 50% off EVERYTHING we still ended up spending $20. Two princess activity books- one for Elsie and one for cousin Chloé’s upcoming birthday, one Peanuts desk calendar (which will be an xmas present to me- nice at 50% off) and two blind-bag Lego minifigures. Those last two items were purchased against my better judgement and in a rare flash of me wanting to be nice for some reason- which, of course, turned out to bite me smack dab in the keester.

The boys and I went to the car while Ruth took Elsie to the potty so they could rip open their little pouches of crack- er, their Lego minifigures. Gideon got the super cool VIKING! and Isaiah got the relatively lame bowler– which he apparently already had and which (I learned as I googled for the link over there) is actually a soccer player (who knew?). This resulted in much anger, whining, griping, and general attitudinous crap. So I took the little bowler from him and put it back in the bag with the princess activity books.

When we got home I wanted to ride my bike. Isaiah’s attitude must have improved somewhat cause he, at Ruth’s persistent and pointed suggestion, agreed to go with me. We had a good ride- a bit short for me, but just the right length for Isaiah since we were running short of time. This great day was to terminate with dinner at a local fairly decent steakhouse to celebrate Ruth’s folks 43rd wedding anniversary. I told Isaiah our ride would be time-based to get us home and both showered in time for dinner, not distance based, despite the fact that he wanted to reach a certain landmark and turn around. His prediction was spot on. We got to where he wanted to head back right on time to head back. We made it home, both got showered and got to the restaurant right on time.

Hopefully all the extra cool stuff helped ease the pain of starting school again.

I know I had a good day, but then I’d taken the day off work so all the fun stuff was icing on the cake!