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The grade says it’s perfect, but it ain’t right October 29, 2011

Filed under: I am still learning — stepheppichdaily @ 2:14 am
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My son, my son, my son. 

At times it’s endearing how much alike we are.  When Kameron and I click, it’s truly magical.  When we don’t, well, I can sorta understand that concept of  mothers eating their young.  Sometimes, like today, he calls me out on my own stuff, like stuff I’ve tried to teach him.  Let me tell you, it pisses you off.  In the moment you want to strangle the kid, but later when you’re telling the story, or writing about it, you just kinda have to laugh at yourself.  (I guess he showed me.)  Like something that I would complain about to a friend, and the friend looks at me and says, yeah, but you kinda do that too.  Then I’m left eating my own crow.

Most of you know that sixth grade has been a struggle.  There was the cheating on the test thing that we had to live through. The planner issue, (where he has to write down all of his assignments for the night) forgetting it at school.  Leaving books in the locker when they should have been brought home.   The homework, the freakin homework is unbelievable.  I just don’t remember having this much homework in sixth grade.  Mr. D and I, we divide and conquer the homework.  I take all the English/Lit work, Art, Spelling.  Mr. D handles the Math, History.  We split the Science most of the time.  Kameron can have anywhere between 4-5 subject a night.  It’s tough, but we get through it.

Recently he had an assignment to recreate a Fairy Tale.  I guess they got to choose which story they would put their own special twist on.  From what Kameron told me, most of the kids in his class chose “Jack and the Beanstalk.”  Not my son, shocker, he wants to stand out.  He chose “Little Red Riding Hood.”  Probably because he did the play “Into the Woods” over the summer and thought he would have a seemingly advantage because he knew that story/play so well.

When he told me what the assignment was, to have to put his own spin on the play,  my immediate thought was awesome.  We renamed the feared Wolf,  Ezekiel, and made Ezekiel a vegetarian wolf.  So Granny doesn’t die. In fact,  Ezekiel ends up making a vegetarian stew for Red and Granny to enjoy.  By the time we put the rough draft together Kameron and I were laughing our heads off.  A Vegetarian Wolf – who thinks of that?

The final copy was due Tuesday.  I typed up the paper for Kameron.  Which I probably shouldn’t have done, but, I figured, he knows how to type.  The anticipation of another two hours of homework was validation enough for me to get it done, one less thing to do.

So when I picked him up from school today, he had a scowl on his face.  I thought, uh oh.  I knew it was report card day, but we get weekly updates on grades, plus we can check progress anytime we want.  It’s not like when I went to school, when if you were paying attention you should know what your grades are before you got the dreaded envelope you had to had over to your parents.  I knew where Kameron’s grades were, and knew he made second honors with a 3.1 GPA.  So I’m wondering what the scowl is all about as he approaches the car.

He got in the car and heaved a heavy sigh.  I smiled and said “how’s your day bud?”  Without saying a word he pulls a paper out that has some red markings on it.  I looked, it was his version of Red Riding Hood, it looked ok to me.  Even better when I flipped back to the last page I saw that his grade was and A+, 50 points out of 50 points.  I looked at him and said “Kameron, this is great bud, you got an A+, that is awesome!”  Not concerned with the praises I was giving him, he rolled his eyes and said “LOOK.”  I looked, yep, it’s still an A +, but that wasn’t what he was referring to.  He was referring to my typing error in the first sentence of his revamped version.  He pointed at the paper and said “MY” “Mom?”  I looked again, it was true, I had accidentally typed my instead of may in the first sentence of his paper.  Never mind that him and a friend spilled a drink all over the computer I was using and sometimes, the damn keys stick. No one cares about that.  In my defense the error was unintentional, but I could see that Kameron was not happy.  I said “bud, I’m sorry, but look, you got an A+, that is awesome!”  Not interested, he said, “Mom, we can’t make mistakes like this.”  What the hell do you say to that?   How could I possibly get mad at him for pointing out my mistake? Part of what I do is write.  It was the way he did it, it was like looking in the mirror, it made me proud, and scared the crap out of me at the same time.

So hey, problem solved.  No longer is Mom going to type out the finished product on Kameron’s assignments.  I suggested he hire and editor, he wasn’t interested.

And he’s only 12.


The Date Heard ‘Round The World October 21, 2011

Filed under: Stuff — stepheppichdaily @ 1:28 am
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Well, at least to three people.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 the (1-4) Green Bay Packers (with Brett Favre) were playing the Miami Dolphins – in Miami.  It was a typical Sunday afternoon for my Dad.  He got up, went to church, and came over to my house to watch the Packers play.

What he didn’t know is that his “baby” met a man the night before.  A man that she had planned to go meet at a winery around 4 p.m. the next day to do some wine tasting and get to know him (without the crowd of people who surrounded them the night before –  at a party she had crashed.)  Which meant she had to leave her Dad alone, at her house,  in the latter part of a Packers game (an unprecedented event.)

Dad didn’t seem to notice that I didn’t have my typical Packers gear on, he probably thought since their record was so crappy I was testing out a new outfit to help our superstitious minds/Packers karma.   Nothing was out of the ordinary as far as he was concerned.  We had beer, we had chips and dip, we were both cussing and yelling at the game.  He was focused on false starts,  I was watching two clocks.  The game clock, and the clock on my wall.  I thought when I planned the meeting that the game would surely be “over” or in the hands of the Packers before I announced that I had to leave.  Sometimes, if the game was completely out of control (Packers winning)  Dad and I would switch over to another game just to see what else was going on in the league.   This particular game, the game Gods were not in my favor.  The game was entirely too close, with the Packers down a touchdown at the end of the third quarter, my Dad sighed, cracked open a beer and said, “let’s see how the Skins are doing baby.”  I never knew why my Dad was interested in the Redskins, until later, I realized that it was where Lombardi went after he left the Packers.

Fourth Quarter and my clocks are not agreeing with each other.  I knew I would have to leave my house at the very latest by 3:30 pm to make it to the winery on time, or at least with a few minutes to spare.

I remember the fourth quarter, watching most of it, while keeping my eye on the date clock.  I finally went in my bathroom, checked the make up, checked the outfit, and with a sickness in my stomach, ventured back into my living room where Favre had thrown a touchdown, and the Packers were up by 7, I felt confident that they were going to win, and that Dad would totally understand the plan I was about to present to him.

I remember walking into the living room and Dad saying, “can you believe this shit- they’ve (the refs) have  been calling offsides on us (Packers) all day today.”  He looked at me, and I said “Dad, I have to go.”  He ignored me at first, until I kept standing there.  I looked at the game clock, there was 3:23 left in the game (I know that was the exact time, I’ll never forget that.)   He looked at me and said “where the hell are you going, the game isn’t over yet.”  I looked at the game and I said “Dad I know, but I met this guy last night,”  my Dad took a disapproving drag off his cigarette and shook his head.   I went over to him and kissed his cheek,  just about then Longwell had kicked a field goal to put the Packers up by 10 points.   I put my hand on his shoulder and said “Dad, if I didn’t think this might be something special, I would never leave, can you just lock the door behind you when you go?”  I remember him smiling at me and saying “Baby, I’ll lock everything up, if you don’t mind, I might stay a while to see how these other games turn out” – then he said, “whoever he is, does he know you’re leaving at the end of a game to meet him?”    I smiled and said “no Dad.”

Nine months later my Dad walked me down the aisle to marry that guy that interrupted the Packers game, he was pretty happy about it.


Stephanie Speechless? October 8, 2011

Filed under: I am still learning — stepheppichdaily @ 4:30 pm
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It rarely happens, but when it does, it’s something big.

One of my least favorite things to do is to go to Walmart. It’s one of those necessary evils that has to be done if we want to eat in the Daily household. I’ve tried going other places, but always end up spending more than if I would have gone to Walmart. The Walmart curse is that eventually, if not every time you go, you’re going to see something or someone that repulses you. I mean, google “The People Of Walmart” if you need evidence of what I’m talking about. I’m guilty of snapping a few pictures – a guy with a mullet in isle five debating on what kind of peanut butter to buy, a girl with a too tight shirt (and no bra) in the frozen food section (you get my drift). You know, just the typical people of Walmart stuff. Sometimes you hear things, like a woman screaming at her child from three isles over, or a man and a woman arguing about cheese – do we spend the extra fifty cents on the regular cheese or go for the Great Value brand?

Either way, it didn’t see to bother me as much when I parked my car at Walmart that Thursday. It was a beautiful day, and I was just running in to pick up a few things for Kameron for his CYO weekend camp. I wasn’t going to be there long, in and out I told myself as I walked in. I walked through the isles quickly with toothpaste, bug spray, and shampoo on my mind. Checking off mentally everything I needed, I was on my way to self check out and, in record time, out of Walmart. Self checkout was slow, which is typical. I saw that there was just one family checking out the next isle over. Victory, I’m almost outta here!

There was a mother, looked early twenties, a grandmother, who looked early forties (maybe even late thirties) and a little girl who looked about two and a half. The grandma and mother looked tired, and well you know, Walmart-ish. The little girl was adorable. She had light blonde hair with tiny curls (the ones most women would kill to have.) Her clothes looked a little dirty, her hands a little messy, but all that could be forgiven from her sweet, but rather loud voice. She was rambunctious. I thought to myself why don’t they have her in the seat of the cart? They’re let the child run wild. Wild she was, scurrying around picking up things and asking if she could have them. I laughed to myself, and thought of Kameron when he was that age always wanting out of the cart.  I would never let him run wild around a store.

Then something happened that I will never forget.

The little girl picked up a package of cookies and quickly asked Mi Mi (the grandmother) if she could have them. The grandmother said “No, you can’t have them.”  I thought to myself, probably enough sugar for the day the way she was running about.  Then Mi Mi asked “do you know why?” The little girl said “yes, because I’m fat.”

I gasped.

The grandmother turned and looked at me, then turned back to the little girl and said “yes, that’s right, you’re fat.” The little girl put the cookies back and went over to her mother.

I looked at the mother, who had obviously heard what just happened. She looked at me as if to say, lady I’m tired. She was obviously too stupid to realize what just happened, or maybe she just flat out didn’t care.

They left, I paid for my stuff. Got in my car, started the engine, and sat there for a moment. I thought to myself, they’re killing her. Not like cutting her up into pieces killing her, but killing what self esteem she could have or should have at two and a half years old. It was very upsetting to me.

As girls and as women, we have a hard enough time fitting into what “standards” other people have created for us. It may sound cliche, but we see it everywhere, on tv, movies, magazines, the internet, everywhere we go, everything we see says this is what is beautiful, and if you’re not half of that, then there must be something wrong with you. Unless you have fantastic support from the people that are suppose to love you the most, your family, your self esteem can go sideways.

I hope for that little girl that she can break out of that situation, to be strong enough to realize that she is beautiful, as we all are.

If I knew I wouldn’t get arrested, I would have punched Mi Mi right in the face.