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We’ve all seen the commercials. You know the ones; parents are happily getting ready for back to school while the kids are looking miserable.
A few times this summer when I’ve been out and about with my four kids, plus my niece who I’ve been watching for the summer, people have given me a look. That look. The I-feel-sorry-for-you-because-you-have-so-many-kids look. The oh-you-poor-woman look.
I’ve also had a number of people say things to me like: “Don’t worry, the summer is almost over” or “I bet you can’t wait for back to school”. I usually just give a weak smile and ignore the comment.
Here’s the thing people: our lives are so much crazier once school starts. I am dreading September. Once school starts, so too does the perpetual rush. My days are so chopped up with school pick-ups that I can hardly get anything done. School things fill up my time like nothing else – parent council meetings, endless emails, forms to be filled out, field trips to be planned and donation request for everything under the sun. Couple that with our regular things – check-ups at the doctor, dentist appointments, birthday parties – it’s almost too much to manage. In fact, it is too much to manage. Once September is here I’ll just never quite be on top of everything.
So why do people think that I’m happier once school is in? Oh ya, because I can get rid of my kids. Everything will fall into place and my life will become more serene once the kids are in school. Umm … what?
There’s also this: I like my kids.
I can’t lie; I do love a quiet morning coffee. Some things are easier to do when they’re in school. And no, I’m not complaining about a little one-on-one time with me and Moonie. I like seeing school friends that we don’t see during the summer and the kids really do like school. But I miss them when they’re in school, especially the ones who are in school all day. At the end of the school day, once dinner is made, clean-up is done and the kids are in their jammies, there doesn’t seem to be much time left before bedtime.
So, no, I don’t look forward to back to school. And no, I don’t think it’s the most wonderful time of the year. But still, we’ll be there, bright eyed and bushy tailed on the first day of school.
In the Spring, Yo-yo’s grade 3 class had a used book sale to raise money for a gardening box in their classroom. With my two year old in tow, I happily volunteered to help out on the day of the sale. I have volunteered a couple of times in that class, and I always love how the kids dote on Moonie. There are always at least a couple kids following her around and take care of her. It’s very sweet. I love that she gets to be with me and experience these kinds of events at the school.
At the used book sale, I picked up a handful of books, including a set of three Nancy Drew books. Yo-yo is beginning to read chapter books. I’d told him before about Nancy Drew books and how I used to read them when I was around his age. These books were my favourite and I’m sure I’ve read every single one. So when I saw those Nancy Drew book, I snatched them up without a second’s thought.
Later on, when we were home, I took a closer look at the books. One of them is called Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #1 Sleepover Sleuths. Hmm … Clue Crew? Sleepover Sleuths? This wasn’t ringing a bell, so I read the back and flipped through a few pages. As it turns out, it isn’t the Nancy Drew that I know and love. This from the back cover:
“Nancy and her two best friends, George and Bess, are so excited! They have been invited to Deirdre’s sleepover party! There will be pizza, cake and even a pajama fashion show. But the most exciting thing is that the party has a City Girls doll theme. All of the guests are bringing their dolls with them!
But then Deirdre’s City Girls doll – Hollywood Heather – goes missing. Is her sleepover ruined? Or is there a detective in the room who can make sense of this mystery?”
The modern day Nancy Drew is 8 years old and is busy solving the “mystery” of where some stupid doll went. Ugh.
What happened to the cool, brave, smart, late-teenaged Nancy Drew that I knew and loved? The one that drove a convertible and raced off in the night chasing bad dudes, putting herself in harm’s way and saving the day? The one who was fearless and outspoken?
Nope, the old Nancy is gone; traded in for an eight year old at a sleep over party with some fancy-schmancy, no doubt expensive, name brand doll. Blech.
This annoys me. Why did they change my Nancy? Times have changed, I suppose. Surely the original Nancy Drew books are not politically correct. I expected an updated version of Nancy, but not this. Essentially what they’ve done is created a whole new series, hoping that the name will make suckers like me buy the books without looking at them. Or maybe (sadly), this is what sells nowadays.
Apparently there are other new Nancy Drew series, Nancy Drew Girl Detective is said to be the series to replace the original and there is also a graphic novel series. A search of the Toronto Public Library only lists the graphic novel series, so I’m going to check it out. If I can get my hands on a copy of Girl Detective I’ll let you know. Maybe it will be the updated version of Nancy I was expecting.
A friend of mine, having heard me rant about this outrage, saw and picked up for me classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys; the first two of each series. I am now the proud owner of Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew books The Secret of the Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase as well as Franklin W. Dixon’s Hardy Boys books The Tower Treasure and The House on the Cliff.
I’m starting with The Secret of the Old Clock (it is, after all, number 1 in the series) and I can’t wait to dive into it. I don’t know if Nancy will be as I remember her but she will surely be more impressive than the new clue crew Nancy.
As I flip through the books, they are just as I remembered; a distinctive type of artwork on the cover, the yellow spine, the black and white pencil-like drawings throughout the book, the classic typewriter font.
I love you Nancy Drew.
I swear sometimes. Sometimes I swear a lot. I don’t swear much on my blog though, and I’m not really sure why. There is a blog post I want to write. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, and every time I think about it a lot of swear words come to mind. Then I think “oh, I can’t write a blog post full of swear words” and then I think, “why not?”
One of my kids asked me one day, “Why is the f-word a bad word?” I had to really think about this one. Why is the f-word a bad word? How do words become bad? What I came up with – quickly on the spot – is this: the f-word can hurt peoples’ feelings and when you use swear words, sometimes people make judgements about you; sometimes people think you’re not nice or you’re not smart when you use bad words. Having had the chance to think about it some more, I’m not sure if that was the best answer but it was the one I gave at the time and the kids seemed satisfied with it.
Here’s the thing: swear words are just words.
No seriously, hear me out. I can use the work frack, or frig, or frick and all of these are a-okay but fuck is a whole different story. Why? They all mean exactly the same thing! Same with “oh, shoot” and “oh, shit”; they mean the same thing. One is “acceptable” and one is not. For some reason, our society has deemed these words “bad” and I guess that’s that.
The radio version of Hedley’s Cha-Ching bleeps out three words: ass, lesbian and fuck. (Funny, the YouTube version only bleeps out fuck. Varying degrees of “bad” when it comes to words, I suppose.) Lesbian, a bad word? Really?
There are lots of bad things in this world that I don’t want my kids to see and hear. Lesbians are not one of those things. The word fuck also isn’t one of those things.
Don’t get me wrong; we’re not sitting around the dinner table saying “Will you please pass the fucking salt?” or “How the fuck was your day today?” I generally don’t swear around my parents, or my in-laws or when I’m talking to the kids’ teacher. Obviously there are times when “bad” words aren’t appropriate. But if my kids hear the odd f-word, I think its fine. Personally, I’d much rather hear kids say that something is “fucking awesome” than hear them tell each other to “shut-up”. Hmm, I guess there are varying degrees of bad words.
So there, I’ve said it. I swear.
Don’t be surprised if you see a blog post with lots of swear words sometimes soon.