Archive for August, 2008

Getting ready for school

School starts in three days. Since last week, I’ve been trying to get the kids ready for school. I mean not just ready in getting school supplies and new school clothes and shoes, but also getting their bodies accustomed to going to bed early and getting up early. I would let them stay up late until 11:00 p.m. and let them get up at whatever time they would get up, sometimes even as late as 11:00 a.m. But last week, I made them go to bed at 10:00 p.m. and I’d wake them up at 8:00 a.m., with a phone call from my work. That was their alarm clock. But starting next week, they have to go to bed at 9:00 p.m. and I will wake them up at 7:00 a.m. before I even leave for work.

Speaking of school supplies, here are just some of the things from my fifth grader’s list that I found interesting:

1 package faint-lined 1/4″ or .5 size squared graph paper

When I first went shopping for school supplies, I only found the kind that’s on the right. The lines are kind of dark for me. But you see, I’m the kind of person that sticks to the rules, and when the list says faint-lined, I want to find a faint-lined one for my child. It’s also because I know why the list suggests faint-lined. After all, I’ve been a math student myself. The reason is so that you can see your pencil or pen markings better on the paper and not be overshadowed by the dark lines of the paper.

1 30 cm ruler (without inches) (metal or hard plastic)

This is the first time I’ve seen a 30 cm ruler (without inches) on the list. It’s true that we use the metric system here in Canada, but we usually measure things in inches, even the kids, and we’d just convert to cm, if that’s what’s called for. Most rulers that are sold here have inches on one side and centimetres on the other side. But we found a ruler without the inches. And had we not, my son could have used a ruler with both inches and centimeters.

1 calculator with 4 basic functions (+, -, x, ./.)

My son chose this one from the many calculators displayed on the rack. His basis for choosing it is the basic keys on the calculator. But look, it’s a Canon recycled calculator. It’s made from recycled Canon copier. I sure hope it does the work as the regular calculator.

And this one baffled me since I saw it on the list:

1 package end of pencil erasers

This is also the first time I’ve ever seen it on the list. What does that mean? End of pencil eraser? Do you take out the end of an old pencil? And he needs a package of it? How many in a package?

Well, I finally asked my sister whose son was in fifth grade last year and if he ever had to get this school supply. So she showed me what they look like.

They are these:

I couldn’t find a package of end of pencil erasers, but I found this kit, which has only 4 of those things. So I guess that would do for now.

Deodorant (no body spray) for gym

My son doesn’t smell yet, but I guess there are kids in fifth grade who already stink. 🙂

My son (we’re still talking about my fifth grader) was asking me a few weeks ago if I would be bringing him to school on the first day. You see, I have always walked with him to school on the first day of school since he started kindergarten. The students bring all their school supplies on the first day and their backpacks would be really heavy. Since he was still young and small, he needed help carrying his backpack. I was already working at home when he first started school and it was very convenient for me to start work late on those days. But I have gone back to work at the office and things are quite different now. At first I told him that I have to think about it and I might not be able to walk with him to school on the first day. I started a new position at work and I have a new supervisor now and I am not so sure how lenient she is. Besides, he would be walking with his cousins and my sister would be walking with them and she has this wagon where they could all put their heavy backpacks in. And my ever dramatic son said, “Oh, you don’t like your son anymore.” And I said, “Of course, I do like you.” I explained to him my situation. “Besides,” I continued, “I have always walked with you on the first day of school. This is the first time I won’t be there.” He said, “Huh, I thought it was only Tita Carol who comes with us.” I said, “What are you talking about, I have always been there.”

See, he doesn’t even remember that I have been there all those times. Well, anyway, I told him the other day that I can’t make it. He’s already a big boy and he will be with his cousins anyway.


August 31, 2008 at 10:20 pm 9 comments

A fun day of bowling

For school outings, my kids would usually go bowling once or twice a year. And at the end of every school year, the schools give out coupons for a free game of bowling at Rossmere Lanes. My youngest son had been asking me to go bowling since school ended. We finally decided to go last weekend. His brothers and dad didn’t want to go so it was just the two of us.

“I have a reservation for two for niceheart at 3:00 p.m,” I told the guy at the counter.

He checked his computer and then he asked,

“What shoe sizes?”

“Five and six,” I replied.

“Do you want bumpers?”

“What are those?”

“They’re railings for children under six so they won’t get the balls in the gutter.”

Okay, my son is already ten and I thought that we didn’t need those. So I told the guy, “No.”

“For how many games?” he asked.

“Oh I don’t know. It’s my first time bowling. What do you recommend?”

“A game has ten frames. And lasts about 15 minutes for two players.”

I thought for a moment and said, “Two games then.”

“You’re on Lane 6.”

So Ryland and I put on these ugly shoes.

I let him go first so I can watch him play. Because I’ve never bowled before. But I’ve seen how people do it on TV and in the movies. 🙂

Ryland was a good and patient teacher. He told me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. He’d even give me two thumbs up after I finished my turn even if my balls went in the gutter. I thought that I should probably have asked for those bumpers. 🙂

“Mommy, I think you should go closer to that line,” Ryland said.

“But I don’t want those people to see me,” I told him. “They might laugh at me.”

He even showed me how smaller kids do it and as a beginner he thought that I should do it this way. Spread my legs apart. And throw the ball from between my legs.

“It’s okay if you look like a fool, Mommy.”

He he he.

Although it was my first time to bowl, I had a lot of fun. Even if a lot of my balls went in the gutter. After two games, we wanted to play more. So we paid for two more games.

I was so excited when I got a spare, and then a strike.

But don’t be impressed too soon. There were only five pins and those balls were smaller than the regular ten-pin balls. They were not that heavy and they fit in my palm. They don’t have any finger holes.

We worked up a sweat. After about an hour and four games, we went to Dairy Queen and treated ourselves to these.

Banana split for me.

And strawberry milkshake for him.

More of our bowling video clips here.

August 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm 11 comments