Friday, August 21, 2009

Next week will be nice

Today was one of those more emotional days. One of those days when I'm gravely offended that the pears that I set out yesterday evening to ripen (because they were green and hard) were turning into rotten mush by the time we got home from church. Well, one of the three. The other two are still too green and hard to eat.

The bananas we bought yesterday? Also overripe.

Daylight savings ended last night because Ramadan starts tomorrow. I had a hard time sleeping last night so I got up at 5:30, intending to go back to bed. Rachel woke up at 6:00, so I never did go back to sleep. We had breakfast together and did the dishes. Rachel rinsed, which means that everything in creation got soaking wet...and that putting away the dishes will take the skills of a trained bomb squad. Silverware is sprinkled throughout everything.

We were almost ready for church earlier than usual, but at the last minute Rachel said her stomach was "popping" so she had to go to the bathroom. We ended up breezing through the doors at the last minute like we always do.

My Russian hymnbook wasn't in my church bag. I must have left it in the chapel last week because it isn't at home. I have no idea where it is. That makes me sad.

Since we're back on a three hour block this week, I packed some more entertaining things for Rachel to help her deal with the extra half hour of sacrament meeting...and extra hour of church. Not that those are extra, we've just become unaccustomed to having them be part of our meeting schedule. I packed her Dick and Jane chalkboard book. She colored so exuberantly with the blue chalk that she ended up covered in blue dust. I told her it was time to put the book away because we were getting chalk dust everywhere, but she started throwing a fit so Andrew wrestled her out of the chapel while she screamed, "I WANT MOMMY!"

When Brother Gerrard got up to fill some time at the end of the meeting, Rachel asked, quite out loud, "Who is that big man?"

We had 25 kids in primary and only two teachers. I grabbed Andrew to teach a class, all the while trying to drop Rachel off in nursery and never quite succeeding. I hate leaving her in there screaming because all the other girls start crying, almost on cue. So instead I ran around, up and down the stairs, awkwardly balancing a two-year-old on my 31-week belly, all during the first half of primary.

Rachel started to beg to go to nursery and I told her she could go. By herself. She didn't like that idea so she stayed in primary while we sorted the kids out into their classes. All the senior primary had class together. They were a huge group, but Amiee's great and said she was up to the task. Maybe next week we'll separate them. I don't know. We don't exactly have any teachers called yet.

When Phyllis called out some names to separate the junior primary into two classes, everyone got up and filed into a classroom. We had to hand-weed out a class for Andrew. Even then I think we may have missed some that belonged in his class. The minute we had pulled the kids out of the other class, they started running around the hall. I eventually did get them and Andrew all into the same classroom.

Andrew asked me to bring him a whiteboard marker. I went to the library to get one. Asked for one, was handed one.

I got stuck in the library trying to explain to a disgruntled parent that we can't use the old Gospel in Action cards and award children with jewelery anymore because that program was discontinued. Five years ago. This same parent wanted to know the schedule for primary activities for the current school year because their children missed so many things last year. Because their children are in extracurricular activities every day after school. Which they claim their children need so that they can earn scholarships to college.

It's impossible to work around a schedule of "we're busy every day" so I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Also I don't think you need to worry about your child earning a college scholarship when they're ten years old. Really. A lot of things can change between age ten and age eighteen and I don't think having your child in tennis at age ten is going to increase their chance of getting a college scholarship. But I didn't say any of that because I don't know a whole lot. Instead I kept saying, "I really need to go give this marker to the teacher that needs it."

Also I couldn't say anything because we don't have a schedule worked out for this coming year.

While I was trying to get out of the library, Phyllis ran in to tell me that I was needed in a meeting, so I made my exit, ran the marker to Andrew, got yelled at by Rachel for running in the church (really I was walking fast, but it made her run after me so she interpreted it as running) and then sat down in the primary room for our meeting. It was a good meeting, in my opinion.

After the meeting I tried to put Rachel in nursery again. She didn't want me to leave so I was sitting in with her. Andrew poked his head in the door. Class time was over. I left Rachel crying to talk with Andrew in the hall, express some relief and horror that I had suffered in the past hour, and to ask him how his class went.

He said the class was fine. But the marker? Was permanent.

So now there's a whiteboard forever covered in drawings of church buildings with a bewildered, stick-figured Joseph Smith trying to decide which one to join. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ is scrawled across the board in Andrew's terrible, terrible handwriting (that, amazingly enough, the OCR on his computer can read--impressive since sometimes Andrew can't even read his handwriting).

I almost tore my hair out. The last hour of church had been that horrible.

But Rachel had stopped crying, so instead I sneaked away from the nursery door and debated going to Relief Society to get some relief. But the kids were so wild today so when I walked past the primary door I decided I should really go back in there to help contain some of their energy.

I survived the second half of primary. Brother Barton gave an excellent sharing time on temples. And I only threatened to drop one child. No really. I threatened to drop him. He's four and I was escorting him back to his seat like a prisoner, holding both his hands. He lifted up his feet so he was dangling in the air and looked up at me, asking with his eyes, "Now what are you going to do?" I responded with a whispered, "I'm going to drop you." He put his feet back down and walked to his chair. Smart kid, because I really was going to drop him. He was only two inches away from the ground...I wouldn't have hesitated.

After church was better. I chatted with Sister Lawrence and set up some French lessons. That's the only thing that makes me nervous about applying to McGill. My French is terrible! If I had to get a job on the side and we lived in Montreal, I'd at least need conversational French, which I don't have right now. The Lawrences are from Canada, but Sister Lawrence is from France. She served a mission in Canada and her husband served a mission in France. They speak French at home, so even Cloè speaks fluent French. Lucky.

We came home and had lunch and I Googled how to get permanent marker off whiteboards. It's possible. So I'm not too worried...except that we won't be in church next week since we'll be in Israel.

I took a long nap and I'm feeling better now. I've been remarkably not-emotional this pregnancy. If I had had a day like today when I was pregnant with Rachel, I would have been crying hours and hours ago. Still, I am so glad today is almost over. And next week we'll be going to church at the Jerusalem Center in Israel. And I'll be a visitor and not responsible for anyone or anything.


  1. The easiest way to remove permanent marker from a whiteboard is with a real whiteboard marker. You just write over it and then rub it off with a cloth. Hey presto, vanished! We use it here in the library all the time. Whiteboard markers also remove permanent marker marks from CDs and CD cases. On and on. Easy-peasy! Just go to the church tomorrow and use a whiteboard marker, and no one will ever know. And I am sorry about the rough Sunday (Friday). Those who call the Sabbath a day of rest aren't primary workers!

  2. I'm so sorry I wasn't there to help--especially since I'm sure my kids were adding to your stress! I'm almost sure I have some whiteboard cleaner (and that takes permanent marker off). I'll do my best to remember to take it next Friday so when you return the following week the drawings will be gone. I've never heard about using WB markers removing PM. I'm going to try that one.

  3. Thanks, Catherine! :) We actually went back in today and used my mom's idea. It worked for the most part, but it could definitely use a good scrub down still!

  4. Based on the title of your post I was going to tell you not to be too optimistic because you never know what it's going to be like, but it turns out, you're right. Next week will be better.

    Also I was going to tell you the same trick as Myrna already told you (she's smart!) but she beat me to it. Just make sure sure you don't wait TOO long (like until you're back from your better week) because eventually I think it doesn't work anymore.....just sayin'.

  5. Plus, going to church at the Jerusalem Center is just plain awesome. I can't wait to hear about your trip!

    Sorry church was so rough. Wish I could help out in some know...a way that doesn't involve being in Egypt ;)

  6. Had no idea you were having a rough day. Funny how I thought the Primary went pretty smooth considering how many kids we have now. You do so much behind the scenes to make it all happen that I guess I don't even notice that you are ready to fall apart at the seams. I appreciate all that you do to keep us up and running. As for next week, I have two... Read more subs lined up to teach. so we have three of the four classes covered. I'll work on getting one more person to cover the other class. You asked someone for nursery and Michelle will do sharing. She is thinking of splitting it into a younger and older sharing so if that happens I will do the younger group. But we will have singing all together. Sister Perry will play the piano for us. I should call and give her the songs.
    Well you have a great time in Jerusalem. It is a beautiful place and you will love it. We'll miss you while you are away but you deserve the break. Good to go and see some sites before Andrew goes back to school.

  7. Thanks, Phyllis! :) It's not every Friday that I'm ready to fall apart at the seams. Just some of them. Like today. :)

    Good luck next week! We'll be sure to have fun!