Do you remember that Soul II Soul song? Now, who doesn’t, come September, get that song in their head?
The kids have been back at school for over a week now. The Montreal French School Board likes to think out of the box and make the kids all start on a Thursday. Innovative or blasphemous – you make the call. As for me, my linear self considers it completely blasphemous to transfer the Monday blues to Thursday, the day of hope, the one-more-day day. On the other hand, it does feel a little like a soft opening. Test the waters, get all the organizational crap done on the Thursday and Friday and dive in the next Monday. The folks over at the CSDM or either sadists or geniuses. But as the Marquis de Sade sadly demonstrated, there is no reason they can’t be both.
So. Last Thursday, they started their school year. C in 4th grade and S in 6th, her last of elementary school. She is now one of the oldest people in the school. Here in Montreal, following the sadist/genius theme, we have to figure out where we want her to go to school in October, by visiting a whole bunch of schools, studying their stats, their specialties, losing sleep, gaining large craters under our eyes and generally getting stressed out. I am leaning toward the sadist side of the coin as I think about this. I wrote about this first part last year in this post.
That whole ball of fun is coming down the pipe, but first we just have to get through this first full week of school. This would be easier done of course if we weren’t in the middle of a heatwave. I swear, I feel like I’m slowly melting away, and not in that fun losing weight manner. No, I mean I feel like my insides are boiling and that my skin is melting. Even now, as I write this at my desk in the living room at 6 am in the morning, when the sun hasn’t even showed up yet, I am sweating as if I were in a sauna. I. am. tired. of. being. hot.
Okay, then. School. So far, it seems that everybody’s pretty happy with their lot. C has a new teacher whom I haven’t met but I’m hearing glowing reviews. S is happy to be the oldest in the school.
However, some of the same mean girl issues are already popping up from last year with some interesting twists. Her best friend is no longer at school, having moved away to be homeschooled by her dad for the next year. (oooh, I forgot to write about this precious little gem, where both mother and daughter learned a valuable lesson).
Flashback to the end of June:
Actually more. Remember these posts I wrote last year? Well, I think I neglected to mention that my daughter told the mean girl she didn’t want to be friends by email. Now, at the time, I didn’t have much of a problem with this because, well, she wasn’t good friends with the girl anyways, the girl kept on emailing her and she was just responding and it was a way that she could stand up for herself without getting into any emotional booby traps. So we praised her for standing up to the girl, for sticking to her guns and for dealing with it without any nastiness. Okay then. All is fine in the world and I am super proud of my daughter.
But come the last day of June, my daughter and her best friend had a fight. Well, actually, it was one of those cumulative avalanches on my daughter’s part where something in their relationship had been bugging her for a while. She felt that her friend was always attacking her, and would be mad at her for no reason. This was getting her down and seriously undermining her self esteem (that last part I added- she wasn’t aware of that, or if she was, she wouldn’t put it that way. She just said she was making her feel bad about herself, which I guess is the same thing…)
So, unbeknownst to me, right before we leave for vacation, my daughter sends her friend an email saying that she doesn’t want to be friends anymore, that the girl makes her feel bad about herself. essentially the exact same email she sent to the bully. Of course, the moment she sent it, she realised it was the wrong thing to do. So she had this sword of Damocles hanging over head for the whole trip.
The moment we got home, I checked our phone messages and yes, there was one from her friend in a soft, hurt voice saying how she would have been liked to have been told in person. My daughter bursts into tears. Welcome home!
Lessons for daughter:
#1: Don’t break up with people over the phone – it’s tacky.
#2: Talk to the friend about what is bothering you before you discard years of friendship on a whim.
Lesson for mother: Don’t forget to mention that breaking up with people over email, live chat, texting, twitter, facebook and any other way that doesn’t involve seeing them face to face (and not through skype either) is tacky.
Okay. Flashback over.
So here’s the new mean girl situation. At the end of the year, the mean girl’s friends turned on her. She is now the pariah. My daughter reports that she is trying hard to change her ways. Nobody else will hang out with her except my daughter who has already received flack from the new head mean girl (it’s like a hydra, I swear. Heathers all over again. Which we just watched with the kids, so they now get the reference.) However, once again, my daughter is only a little bemused by all this hating and switching of allegiances. In her mind, it’s pretty clear: don’t be a jerk and we can be friends.
Which seems to be a good way of looking at it.