Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Settling in

Comparison Week seems to have gone off the rails. It was weak at the best of times, so we’ll just let it lie.

We’re settling into the fall routine and I’m remembering all the things I dislike about non-summer. Early mornings, forms, cheques, busy evenings, not to mention cooler weather. Sigh. Even the novelty of having the house to myself has worn off. It’s definitely easier to concentrate on work, but the days are long and quiet. Sometimes I consider going into the office more instead of working from home, but the advantages of being at home by myself still far outweigh the disadvantages.

But it was a great weekend. The weather was warm and sunny and beautiful. There was a big festival called Manyfest on Broadway this weekend, so the kids and I biked down there on Saturday to walk around and get some food-truck food.
Found ourselves a quiet spot away from the crowds to eat our Red Ember pizzas.
The girls biked home after that and Spencer and I continued on to the Exchange. We went to a few record stores and Red River Books, which has got to be one of the most crazy/awesome stores in this city. There is shelf after caving shelf of books, magazines, movies, music and random objects including toys, weird clothes and vintage suitcases. Some bookcases are held up by boards. It's a wonder no one has been crushed to death by a falling bookcase. Or maybe they have; it's so chaotic in there that it could take years for anyone to notice. I remember coming here with Spencer a few years ago when he was at the height of his germ phobia. He kept his hands in his pocket the entire time and couldn't wait to leave. Now he not only touches the books and records, he actually buys them. People do change. Next thing you know, he'll be eating strawberries (after washing his hands).
On Sunday night we went back again with a bunch of friends and family to watch “Inside Out” on a big outdoor screen. We had food and blankets and were all having fun waiting for it to get dark enough for the movie. Alas, it was windy and the inflatable screen was apparently designed to work only in perfectly calm situations, so it fell over while they were inflating it. After that one attempt, one of the workers told the large expectant crowd (unapologetically, I thought, and without even a microphone), “Sorry. The screen’s not going to stay up so we can’t show the movie. Thank you for coming to Manyfest.” Then the crowd nicely dispersed in a calm, orderly manner.
Winnipeggers are awesome.


Then it was Monday again.
Neve struggled through the first couple of days of school coming to terms with the fact her best friend isn’t there anymore. She was also stressed about having homework (mostly reading). But when she came home yesterday, she said it had been the best day yet. She loves her school and has other good friends to play with, so I know she’ll be fine.

Spencer is still adjusting to high school. He has never loved school and this year is no exception so far. It’s a big school; intimidating and overwhelming for someone who’s gone to the same familiar school all his life. He’s known most of his friends since kindergarten but here he’s on his own. I keep giving him instructions on how to strike up a conversation and make friends but he does not welcome my advice. I have so much wisdom to impart, but I’ve narrowed it down to: “Put your head up. Smile sometimes.” That’s all I can get in before he runs away from me. I’m thinking of recording the rest of my advice, including such gems as “Ask a classmate if they understood the homework!”, and playing it as he sleeps so it will subconsciously penetrate his brain. That’s one of my better ideas; I could add things like “Hug your mother” and “Don’t forget to turn on the dehumidifier in the basement when you’re done watching TV.” But I feel confident that Spencer will get more comfortable in his surroundings and make a friend or two in the near future. He’s interested in a few extra-curricular activities, so that should help him get to know like-minded kids.
Chloe is an old pro at high school by now. Most of her classes are with the same IB group of kids, so it’s like a little school-within-a-school. She’s got a pretty heavy workload this year and has commitments every weekday evening so it’s going to be intense. One of those commitments is … a job! Baby’s first job (not counting babysitting)! She will be teaching swimming lessons two nights a week starting in October. We’re all pretty excited about that; it’s just the right number of hours and it’s close to home.

Dale and I are starting to think about next month’s trip to Vietnam. We’re not actually doing anything yet, but we’re thinking about what we should be doing. That’s the first step. Knowing that we have tropical-climate days ahead helps me deal with the cooler September temperatures.
So that’s what’s going on over here. Hope you’re all transitioning smoothly into your September routines.


Anonymous said...

Vietnam! How long are you gone for? Wow. You'll blog about it right? :)


Anonymous said...

Wow! Big trip! Sounds so cool!
Cousin carolyn

L said...

Vietnam: 15 days. It's a work trip - bonus! I will definitely blog about it!

Anonymous said...

You're going to Vietnam??? Cool!!

Spencer will make friends in his on way. Don't worry about him.

Where will Chloe be teaching swimming?

And maybe the government can give some money to that bookstore so it can be human proofed. They are, after all, spending millions to baby proof the house of commons, which makes so much sense I might dye my eyebrows purple and get a tattoo of a bowl of jello on my ass.

xo Sio

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