School, Uncategorized

How to raise that grade

I came home from work the other day and was finishing up a phone call in the car. I could hear faint music coming from somewhere. I checked my car radio. Wasn’t on. I checked my work phone and personal phone in case Spotify was running… nope. Was my neighbor playing classical music while he worked outside? I opened the car door and could hear the distinct strains of… an alto sax. Jack’s alto sax. He was playing up in his room and the window was open allowing me to hear his band class in progress. Virtually of course.

Jack opted, with permission, to attend school 100% remotely, which was a change from the 2 days a week that he was going into school. There was a documented case of COVID-19 at his school, and we just didn’t want to play the odds. If his grades started to suffer, we would opt back into school at the next trimester. So far, he’s holding it together.

Jack: (via text to me while I was at work and he was at home) LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOO

me: Huh?

I looked above that text and saw a screenshot of an email from his band teacher saying that his “zeroes” for participation for forgetting his sax (when he made the choice to stay home and left his sax at school), would be changed to 80’s after Jack made a convincing argument via email to his teacher. Probably saying it wasn’t his fault, etc. etc.

me: Hey, not bad Jack. I’m glad you stood up for yourself and got the grades changed. I almost thought the letter was going to be a bad one.

Jack: You can get the teachers to do anything these days if you mention a hardship or COVID.

me: Sigh.

So, back to the car. I got out and walked into the garage. Hmmm, the door was open. That meant that Jack…actually walked Moca?

The laundry was running… he did his wash and put the clothes in the dryer??

I was feeling a bit faint.

I looked in the kitchen. The dishes were put away. The dishwasher was EMPTY.

Jack came downstairs.

me: Are you in between classes?

Jack: Yeah. For… about 3 more minutes.

me: What happened today? Everything was done?? Are you trying to give me a heart attack?

Jack: No, I just knew you would tell me to do it all anyway so I just figured I would get it done.

me: Wow thanks.

Jack: Soooo, since I’m not going rowing today can I play X Box for awhile after school?

me: Ahhh there it is…

Conversations, Subaru Confessions

Back to the grind

With the first big holiday over, we are back to the sort of normal routine until Christmas break.

Jack is back at rowing, but indoors in a gym, school is going full force (despite a snow day and delay due to ice), and I’m back at work juggling multiple scenarios involving dental marketing, furry creatures and hormonal teens! Good times!

I’m worsting this post as I hurtle down the tracks on a train headed to NYC. We have a dental trade show going on and I’m working the aisles to drive traffic to our booth.

Jack had his first gym session last night. Needless to say he was sore today. He kinda was in a negative mood and I tried to pull him out of it.

me: Anything exciting going on at school today?

Jack: I have a math test.

me: Hmmm I don’t remember you studying last night.

Jack: I did a review packet, it’s fine.

me: But did you do the whole thing?

Jack: No, just the parts I didn’t know. I didn’t have to do the parts I know.

me: You should still review those parts, it can’t hurt.

Jack: Math sucks.

me: I know but you have to pass it so you just have to do your best.

Jack: I got a 71 on my science test.

me: The one you didn’t study for.

Jack: I thought I knew it.

me: You have to study, it can only help you, it won’t hurt.

Jack: You’re putting me in a bad mood.

me: I don’t mean to.

Jack: Then don’t talk about school on the way to school.

me: There’s this football player, Mike Vick, and he abuses dogs like in dog fights?

Jack: I don’t need to hear this!

me: Yeah I guess you’re right. Either way he’s a jerk.

Jack: I hate school.

me: Well let’s turn your attitude around.

Jack: Not possible. I’m gonna have a bad day.

me: You can make yourself have a great day!

Jack: I can’t.

me: If you tell yourself “I can” you will start to believe it. If you only say I can’t, then that’s what you’ll believe.

Jack: Not true.

me: Remember positIve thinking? The last time you really tried, you got 100’s on your tests. You’re an amazing boy and student.

Jack: All moms have to say that.

me: Only when it’s true. I’m not going to lie to you. You are amazing and when you put your mind to it, you can do anything.

(We pulled up to the school drop off, and I really hoped that I helped turn his mood around)

me: Have a great day!

Jack: You too.


Not sure if Jack will keep himself positively motivated but all I can do is keep trying!

Here’s a text exchange we had (in photos) when I saw an Instagram post that kinda looked like Jack… Lol, virtual restraining order.


Conversations, School, Uncategorized

High School Highlights – Part 1

Here are a few stories from this week. It’s been quite a transition from middle school, to high school. (for me anyway!) 🙂

Jack: I have gym class now everyday. Whoof…I really need to get in shape.

me: We can get you back in shape in no time… we’ll go a few days a week to my gym… and you’ll be back in shape in a few weeks. Gym class every day will actually be so good for you. They should do that all year long, I don’t know why they only do it part of the year. So weird.

Jack: I think we’re playing basketball tomorrow.

me: Oh, cool. What did you do in gym today?

Jack: We watched a powerpoint.

me: Um… ok…

Jack: Oh and I need a lock for gym so my stuff doesn’t get stolen.

me: Ok, we can go get one after we go to the gym tonight. Wait, we have a lock in the drawer in the kitchen. Just use that one.

Jack: I don’t remember the combination though.

me: I think there’s a 7 in it and maybe a 9. Just try it and I think you’ll have muscle memory because you always remembered that combination before.

Jack: That was like 5 years ago. It’s not working. I’ve tried every combo… I need to get a new one.

me: Ok, we can go later.

(Later, after eating dinner out…)

Jack: Let’s just go to Stop and Shop instead of Walgreens, they’ll have more of a selection.

me: Ok, I need a few things there anyway so that works.

(In the store)

Jack: Well, I guess there are no locks.

me: Wait, here’s one. It’s the last one! Let’s grab it.

Jack: It’s green! I don’t want a stupid green lock. Besides I want the speed dial kind that you just push and not have to spend an hour twirling the numbers.

me: How do you even know that’s green? (he’s color blind) Jack, the dial takes 2 seconds. We’re getting this one just in case so you don’t have to go another day without a lock.

Jack: But this one’s tiny! Let’s go to Walgreens.

me: Sorry, I’m freezing and tired and it’s late and we’re going home.

Jack: (extended grumblings all the way home … not using this lock… not taking gym class… need a real lock… etc…)

(Later at home, Jack rips open the new lock to show me how tiny it is and how awful the color is and how hard it is to dial, etc.)

Jack; This one is terrible!

me: What’s the combination, I’ll do it. (Jack stares at me). What… what is the combo? (more staring… I turn the lock over and the combo sticker is still on there back). Sheesh Jack you coulda just told me. This one’s easy to open, you just go past zero and…

Jack: Oh! I’m going to look at the old lock again. (he fiddles with the old combination lock). I just had to go past zero, that’s what I was doing wrong…now I remember the old combination! 7, 23, 9!!! (or whatever he said)

me: Really Jack?!

Jack: Now I don’t need the stupid green lock after all. Hah.

(I look at the counter where the packaging looks as if wolves ripped it apart with their teeth.)

me: I need to return that one now Jack…Grrrrrr….

And in other school news…

Jack: Oh, Our science teacher got into a car accident.

me: What?? Is he ok?

Jack: Yeah he’s ok. He had a doctor’s appointment today so we had a sub.

me: Oh, was it a he or a she?

Jack: A he, and he made random weird comments through the entire class, especially when a plane went by overhead and he told us about how he has an army of squirrels.

me: What?!

Jack: Then he ran out of the room and never came back.

me: What???

Jack: Well he eventually came back. But by then class was over.

me: Um… Ok….??


I’ve also heard stories about how Jack’s band teacher has them show up to class but doesn’t do anything. So they sit around for a half hour until class is over. But hey, Jack is getting good grades, so I can’t really complain! 🙂

Conversations, School, Uncategorized

Soooo Bored!

me: Let me read your homework before you submit it, okay? (Google docs is the site of choice in 6th grade).

Jack: Yeah, ok here it is.. (he pulls up a question and answer sheet for Science)

me: Good answers Jack. Wait, for this one, instead of saying you found it boring… here when you answered “What did I like least about this assignment”… (he wrote, “It was boring when I had to … ” something or other about the project), I think you might want to say “I found it tedious” or something.

Jack: Okay.

me: Instead of sounding like a dumb 11-year old all “I’m bored”, and “That’s Boring”, you can use a bigger word and sound smarter. Kay?

Jack: Okay. There done. (he submits the paper again online)

me: So, for the record, you know what “tedious” means, right? In case they ask?

Jack: Yeah, it means it was boring.

me: Sigh.


Itchy and Scratchy

Could you even guess that I’m sitting on the couch eating smoked chicken, watching Breaking Bad (the pilot, I’m a little behind on TV), with my hair in a bun looking around at my stripped clean house.

Ever have a head lice infestation? Well let’s hope your little kiddies don’t come home with it.

Lets just say I had a hunch. Jack and I played catch after school. I decided to go through his hair. I don’t know why. I saw a few white dots. Not many. Then one little louse. I pinched it out of his hair. I couldn’t be sure so I looked again and found 2 more. Bleh. You never seen anyone drive so fast to the pharmacy.

Jack: Ohhh is this badddd??!

me: It’s not good but it’s ok. Don’t worry…

Jack: Does it hurt???

me: Lice? No. Do you feel pain?

Jack: Ohhh I feel itchy!! Drive faster!

me: Relax. We will get the lice kit and shampoo you up and be all set.

Jack: Hurry!!

me: Here we are. Lets just look for the lice section.

Jack: You’re stalling!!! Will the lice die??

me: Yes.

Jack: Will they come back???

me: Maybe… (I’m trying to read lice boxes and answer his questions.)

Jack: Whaaaatt??!! Will I need a SHOT!!!???

me: Oh for Pete’s sake calm down. I’m trying to read these. No you won’t need a shot. Sheesh.

(By the way, I think I like this show. Even though it has the perverted dentist from Seinfeld in it ha ha. He’s pretty good!)

Anyway, I did the shampoo on Jack and was then forced to admit to myself that my head had been a little itchy for a bit. Ugh! I then treated myself to a lovely medicinal head wash. Then Jack and I got a great gel rub with a nit combing to follow. And thennnnn… I got to strip every stitch of bedding clothing rugs stuffed animals baseball hats couch cushions cat beds etc etc etc and either wash and dry them in hot, vacuum them, clean them with rubbing alcohol or stuff then into plastic bags only to be opened in 4 weeks time. I could have an open house tomorrow this place is so clean!

Jack: Can I tell people I have head lice?

me: I wouldn’t exactly be bragging about it ok? Just go to school like normal. The nurse says its ok.

Jack: Awww…

So now I’m on to episode 2 as the hot water replenishes for the next load of laundry and I wait for the dryer to end. I hope that this is our first and last lice experience!


Any guess as to why he’s hurt?


Perhaps because he’s a giant 8-year-old trying to fit into a baby shopping cart?


Jack: Guess what? “Friend” totally eats stuff off the cafeteria floor at school.

me: Ew, come on Jack, no way..,

Jack: He totally does! One time he found a cookie under the table and he picked it up and ate it!

me: I hope you don’t do any gross things like that?

Jack: It wasn’t even in a wrapper. And it had a bite taken out of it.

me: Sigh.


Sh*t a 3rd Grader Says

Jack: (showing me a long hair he just pulled from somewhere) Ewwwww, I think this just came from my neck!

me: That’s one of my hairs.

Jack: Oh, I knew I was too young to start shaving.


me: How was the 3rd day of school?

Jack: Oh, I got yelled at by the principal for stealing the ketchup at lunch.

me: Sigh.

Jack: I didn’t really steal it. There’s one bottle for everyone to share and I got tired of getting up and down so I just brought it to my table.

me: Sigh.

Jack: He’s fine with it now. Don’t worry.


Jack: My teacher is SO mean!

me: You said she was nice. What happened?

Jack: I got to know her, that’s what.


Jack: Uh, can I have a little privacy here?

me: While you put your shorts on?

Jack: Yeah, you don’t have to look at my privates you know.

me: I made those privates.

Jack: That doesn’t mean you own them your whole life!


Jack: Can I please please please get this toy and I promise I will listen and not give you any trouble for the rest of the week.

me: Sorry honey, I don’t have enough money for that toy.

Jack: Go to the bank and get some.

me: The bank only has money for me if I put money into it.

Jack: Huh?? The bank does NOT ever run out of money!!! It’s a BANK!!!


Apology Letter

Really? The 2nd to last day of school? The day before, Jack came home and told me he moved up to “Great Day” on his chart. I couldn’t have been prouder. I was so happy that the year was going to end on a good note. Until I went to pick Jack up at school today. They had a half day. His teacher stopped me in the hallway to give me the lowdown. Jack hung his head. I looked at him like he had 2 heads. He really knew better than to do this. I mean…really? With a BAGEL??


Conversations, School

Just another day at the mountain


Not enough arm strength to type. But this means that I’m back to regular posting! Aren’t you happy? Wait…are you asking why? Well let me tell you.

I just finished 2 days of Tough Mudder. Yes 2. Because 1 is for sissies? No. I guess because I’m crazy. I did day one with my personal team. And day two with my work team. There was no getting out of either of those events. So I did what anyone else would do. I trained like a mo-fo and hoped for the best. I’m broken, beaten and scarred, but still standing. And I had so much fun (like last year) that I’m sure I’ll do it again next year. Maybe just one though.

Here’s my official “finisher” badge. I got two. hee hee!

Because I’ve been training, and working, and handling my personal consulting at night, and raising Jack, and working on a divorce, and and and…you know…blogging just had to taper off a bit on the priority list.

Jack spent the 3 days at Grandma’s and had so much fun that he was sad to go. I’m glad he wasn’t missing me. Though he did his usual “punishment” of Mommy, which means have a brutal temper tantrum over nothing and freak out completely. Then eat dinner and all is well. Sigh.

me: Hey, let’s take a look at your homework.

Jack: I don’t have any.

me: No? Okay what’s that paper then?

Jack: That’s a list of things for teacher appreciation week. We have to do something every day this week.

me: We missed the flower today because we were away.

Jack: I was the only one that didn’t bring a flower.

me: We’ll make up for it tomorrow ok?

Jack: Ok. What else do we do this week? (he grabbed the paper and started reading)

me: I don’t know, I think we give money one day for a manicure, then candy another day… Do you think all your friends will follow the sheet and do all the teacher stuff?

Jack: Mom. Kids barely read the stuff that they have to. They’re not gonna read all this grown-up paperwork! (said as he continues to read the grown-up paperwork)

me: Oh, forgive me.

Jack: We have to remember to turn in that teacher questionnaire on Wednesday. Don’t forget.

(says the child to the parent)


Bambi Eyes and Butter Churn


(I know, it’s been awhile, sheesh, I’m trying! And this is an older photo. I never have my camera when Jack does real Bambi Eyes these days!)


So, what have we been up to? A lot. More than you would care to hear about. I could go on for days about what I’ve been doing. But, eh, it’s not a blog about me is it?

Let’s talk about Jack. Jack has had EXCELLENT behavior in school this week. So much so that I was unprepared for just how giddy and excited that would make me. Giddy I tell you! He’s extremely proud of himself too, coming off of a few rough weeks, so he’s really been feeling good. Yay!

Jack: Mom, can I watch a video AND get a book at Linda’s Story Time?

me: When you’re that good you can have anything you want. Definitely. See how this works?

Jack: And I don’t even have to give you Bambi eyes.

me: What?

Jack: (whimpers and fans his eyelashes at me with big eyes) Like this!

me: Wow, that is super cute.

Jack: I know. I only do it when I have to.

me: Yeah you gotta save up with that. You don’t want to use all the Bambi eyes at once. It’s more powerful once in awhile.

Jack: (rubs my leg) Wow you are so smooth just like a butter churn.

me: A churn? Okay thanks. You know churns are usually rough….heyyyy…

Jack: (smiles)

me: Are you complimenting me or what?

Jack: Whatever you want it to be! (he runs to turn on the video.)

Did he just zing me?