I Didn't Even Apply But I Was Recruited Anyway

If you want to volunteer at any DC Public School, as of Fall, 2018, you have to jump through the added hoops of getting a TB test and being fingerprinted at the DCPS Central Office. Suffice it to say, most people are too busy for this nonsense, so there is a limited number of parents who can volunteer for field trips.

I received an email from M’s teacher a couple weeks ago asking if I could chaperone a last minute field trip to Nats Stadium. Apparently they applied for this field trip and were never told by the Nats people that it was a yes until a week before the date. And since very few parents can chaperone…

I agreed, mostly because I love M’s teacher as much as I love 7-11.

Right after I replied: “Dear M’s Teacher, I had one thing on my calendar that I can move and I’ll be there,” I got a text from Real Estate Dad. He said: “M’s teacher emailed to ask if we would chaperone a trip to Nats stadium but I said neither of us could as we were both busy that day.” (We were…if you count “busy” as the day of our orthodontic appointments where we’re cashing in $29 Groupons for an alleged $3000 off Invisalign.) (What could go wrong?) I told Real Estate Dad I already moved our appointments and we were going. Turns out she only needed me though. Score for Real Estate Dad. No ortho and no Nats trip.

Yesterday was the field trip. We were to report to school at 8:30. This was hard for me because I just don’t like mornings. And mornings don’t like me. But I got to be with M and two of her sweet little friends who I adore, so we expected it would be a good day.

These are some High Hopes Right Here ^^^ as We Exit Stoddert to Get on the Bus. And yes, their nametags say “Stoddert Elem” with the School’s main phone number.

These are some High Hopes Right Here ^^^ as We Exit Stoddert to Get on the Bus. And yes, their nametags say “Stoddert Elem” with the School’s main phone number.

When we arrived at the entrance to the park, they didn’t even check our bags, making me wonder why I bothered to remove my pocketknife from it. I could have used it to ward off street vagrants or alley rats should we have encountered any. We were sent through the metal detectors. There was one mom who had a trough of water who held up the line because they told her to dump it out and she refused. The guard said, “Didn’t they tell you the rules? There’s water inside the park.” She said, “I have a sick child with me, I can’t be without water.” They went back and forth a few times. He finally said he was going to pick his battles and let her through. So me and my trough went through the gate.

Real Estate Dad says I cause trouble wherever I go. It’s not on purpose. I just want what I want. The other day M whispered to one of her friends that she loves when her mom makes announcements to people, as I was telling a bunch of kids I didn’t know to get off the neighborhood trampoline. There were little kids who deserved a turn and none of the other parents would look up from their phone long enough to tell their ungracious little mini-me’s to get off the tramp. Sometimes you have to corral the crowds so things work out in your favor.

After we got inside the stadium, we began a long processional of collecting water bottles, popcorn and cracker jack bags on the way to our seats. Once we were seated, on hot metal, in the blazing sun, with now lukewarm water, the fun began.

Oh wait. No it didn’t. Some actor types came out and this shit happened:

1) Postage Stamps
2) The Postal Museum
3) The 4 Mascot Presidents
4) The History of Baseball
5) And several other things I don’t know anything about BECAUSE WE LEFT. Other moms we spoke to afterword called it a “play.”

It wasn’t fun to roast like a marshmallow while two of the three children I was in charge of were FADING FAST. One was sick, one was super hungry and one was “bored and hot.” The bored hot one was mine so I was more than happy to tell her to stuff it. But the other two were not mine, and I knew they weren’t doing well in the heat. I also knew I had to deliver them back to school alive and well.

I brought the girls up into the breezeway and went to look for food. A bunch of other parents made their way up there as well and we began chatting about this pain in the ass field trip. I said I was going to get my girls some food. I was determined too, I actually considered leaving the park because no vendors were open and our alleged free lunch of hot dogs was nowhere to be found.

I knew though that if I left the park, I’d be banished from field trips and I would be the subject of the legend about “that mom” who left the stadium to get food. Kind of like I was “that waitress” who rung up the $1800 bottle of whiskey at Ruby Tuesdays, and instead of just taking that out of the register since we didn’t even have it in stock anyway and since no one goes to Ruby Fucking Tuesday’s to imbibe on an $1800 bottle of anything, I was the subject of Waiter/Waitress Lineups up and down the east coast.

I found a woman who worked at the stadium. I explained our plight. She pulled out a piece of paper and said, “Um, well, hotdogs are being served at 11:40 after the kids run the bases.” I said, “IT’S 12:15!!! THESE KIDS HAVEN’T EATEN ALL DAY!”

The woman started to look a little nervous. I realize these are first-world problems and I felt bad I pushed a little too much. She said she didn’t have a walkie talkie to call anyone. I said, “Fine, you said food is at the 107 entrance?” She then looked real nervous. I grabbed my girls and said, “We’re going on a walk.” I told the other moms we still had to wait until after every single first grader in the entire District of Columbia ran the bases before we could eat. We were looking at at least an hour. In the sun. Did I mention the sun?

The girls and I started walking. We got from 131 to 119 when we encountered a roadblock. It was a giant, white, toothless guard who spoke in grunts. I found another person who worked there because negotiating with Big Poppa was getting nowhere. I’m standing there telling this new lady that we needed to get through, all the while conceding inside my brain that I have literally become my fucking mother. Despite our rocky and often non-existent relationship, I have no clue if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

The woman said she’d be right back.

It took a long time. We waited. I’ve got to hand it to her, M certainly knows her mother. She was pretty much suggesting I push past Big Poppa and make a run for it. I was like god damned it M, we can rob banks and run underage sweatshops on our own time but we have two nice girls here who I cannot and will not bring down with us, now put your counterfeiting equipment away.

SUCCESS! The lady let us go through.

We got to see some neat stuff on that walk.

IMG_9825.JPG

We finally got to the food! We grabbed hot dogs and burgers and sat down to eat while we watched every first grade class run the bases. The girls were done with their lunch for a good 10 minutes when they finally called our school. We watched from the other side of the field as their classmates ran the bases. I said, “See girls, you would be down there running the bases if we didn’t come here to find food.” All three of them said they were happy they chose the food over running the bases.

I think we all know I like to complain. It’s part of my schtick. When we got back to the school and all the chaperone moms convened, every single one of them said some version of, “That was horrible!” Some moms even ran home before pickup so they could shower (again) because it was so darn hot out there.

I texted Real Estate Dad and said, “When this trip comes up in two years again, remind me to keep Chubs home that day.”

Because I’m working hard for School-Mom of the Week this week, I finished out the day by going back to the school at night for the PTO meeting. One of the newly elected officers for next year was heading up to the school a few minutes before me, sucking down what she had in her cup. She told Real Estate Dad she was going to hide her cup in our yard because she couldn’t bring it into the school.

I really need to be better friends with her. It’s gonna be a good year next year.

The Tooth Fairy

We have a unique relationship with the tooth fairy in our house.

The first time she came to our house, she took the tooth and left $5.

The second time she came to our house, as expected, she took the tooth and again left $5.

But unfortunately for M, who really behaved poorly the day she received the loot for the 2nd tooth, the tooth fairy came back. And she proved herself to be a vengeful tooth fairy. She put the tooth back and took the $5 back. Whoa.

M learned a hard lesson that day. The Tooth Fairy Does. Not. Play.

M has gone on to lose several teeth since Tooth-Gate, and she has yet to lose her next-morning loot from the Tooth Fairy a second time.

The other evening, M left the Tooth Fairy a note.

Dear Tooth Fairy, Thank you for giving us money every time we lose a tooth. By the way, what is it like being a tooth fairy?

Dear Tooth Fairy, Thank you for giving us money every time we lose a tooth. By the way, what is it like being a tooth fairy?

The Tooth Fairy responded!


I’m not decoding this. I know you can read it.

I’m not decoding this. I know you can read it.

M was very happy with this. She keeps the note from the Tooth Fairy next to her bed, and reads it every night. Last night I was in her room with her and she said, “I have another note I wrote the Tooth Fairy but I didn’t give it to her.”

Dear Tooth Fairy, I’m upset because of how I treated my family. So if you want, take all of my money.

Dear Tooth Fairy, I’m upset because of how I treated my family. So if you want, take all of my money.

Damn it. We are the worst!

Sometimes I wonder if we take things too far. I’m guessing no Tooth Fairy in the history of Tooth Fairies ever took money back and returned a tooth. I probably just cost my first born a few extra 50 minute hours on the couch. It’s reminiscent of that time the Elf on the Shelf and his buddies (Mr. Chocolate and Mr. Candy from Hershey Park, a.k.a. the Hershey Bar stuffie and the Reese’s stuffie) were all wearing frowns one morning. M cried.

Anyway, M said last night, “A girl in second grade told me that there is no Tooth Fairy, and that it’s really just your parents who take the tooth and put money under the pillow.” Who the hell is this second grade buzz-killington. Sorry that your parents suck so bad that they had to ruin your life, but losing a tooth is a right of passage. Unless it falls out from meth-mouth. Then it’s just sad.

Anyway, I was able to say with a totally straight face, and actually mean it, because I am a Terzis*, the following statement:

“M, if I was the Tooth Fairy, do you REALLY think I would give you $5? I’d give you a penny.”

She said, “Oh yeah, that’s true.”

*The Terzis cheapness trait is an exceptional inherited trait. It’s a constant battle to fight what’s flowing in my DNA. The Terzis cheapness is responsible for hundreds of rotten bananas eaten, many pennies spotted and retrieved in the middle of major highways, dozens of questionable motel stays in the 1970’s and 1980’s, a warped interpretation of the “free, take one” sign, a stint in Disney Jail (you didn’t even know such a thing existed, did you? I do, I lived it,) a decades-long secret way into NYC to avoid the tolls, the family mantra to “eat around the mold,” staying on a beach in Greece filled with cigarette butts in a hotel with a Pick Up Artist Convention, Nissan koozies, 417 TD Bank pens in your junk drawer, your father falling down the stairs at a hotel because he was avoiding handing his bag over to a bellhop, never setting foot in a NYC cab when you can just walk 40 miles, your spice cabinet containing 547 sugar packets from McDonalds, running the gas tank beyond empty because gas is cheaper over the Georgia line, being the only family in Connecticut to not have call-waiting, and almost sinking on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.


Spring Break Week

The girls are off school this week, so unfortunately we have to parent more than the usual minimum wage work ethic. We’re at the beach, getting the condo, that I convinced Real Estate Dad we should buy, ready for the summer rentals.

The entire process of buying the condo was quite a saga. For anyone who doesn’t have my blog posts memorized, this was the property purchase where the listing agent went all Sybil-menopausal at the closing table because her commission was wrong. We sat there with our jaws on the floor, as she told anyone who would listen, how she gets 100% of her commission. We patiently waited for her to realize we didn’t have keys to the condo she just sold us. We waited in vain. She was too busy lamenting the woes of her commission check to give a rat’s tiny ass about anyone else. I really hate other Realtors® for giving us a bad name. I also hate having to put that stupid R in the circle, but if I don’t, the NAR will email me tomorrow saying that I’m improperly using their trademark. No, I’m not kidding.

The post script to the condo story is that at Christmas, I went to visit clients at the SW Waterfront with a little holiday gift and they asked me how my year had been. They knew from Facebook that I was in the path of the Logan Circle murder a few minutes prior to when the jogger was murdered last fall, and that it was about enough for me to pack everyone up and get out of dodge. I told them we had just bought a condo in Rehoboth, and that having an escape plan made me feel better. They said, “Oh our neighbors just sold a condo in Rehoboth. They don’t live here full time, they come down on weekends from Frederick.”

I said, “Their names don’t happen to be….” and sure enough, my clients live next door to the people who sold their condo to us in Rehoboth. It was even wilder for my clients since they already had all sorts of coincidental connections with their neighbors. DC and Rehoboth are both small towns it appears.

The other post script to the story is that anyone who has an Airbnb or rental property has to be insane. I’m convinced of it. I have pulled pillow after pillow out of the closets here, and they are all stained, half with blood, half with mysterious fluids. I suppose I’m a believer in my mother’s standard of cleaning: It’s not enough bleach until your hands crack.

Anyway, this week is shaping up to have some real interesting conversations with the girls. I’m not sure if these exchanges happen all the time or if maybe I should listen more.

M, to Real Estate Dad: Your dad was our best best Papou.

Real Estate Dad: You never met him. He died before you were born.

M: I know, but he was our best best Papou.

Me: Uh....how can he be better than the Papou you have that's ALIVE?

M: MOM!!!

My dad is gonna be pissed. I suppose that’s a repercussion of grandparenting solely via FaceTime.

Last night I forgot the Golden Rule with the girls - control the amount of sugar they ingest. They went off the rails crazy. Real Estate Dad and I finally had enough, so we told them they were being annoying and we were going to lock them up in the condo and go out for a drink.

M: You can’t leave us alone.

Me: Why not?

M: Someone could take us. You are parents, you should know that.

Real Estate Dad: No one is going to take you, all you have to do is act like you’re acting now and they will leave.

Me: Or they will take you but they will bring you back in a few minutes.

M: YOU CAN’T LEAVE US ALONE.

M starts to cry.

Me: Oh yeah we can!

Real Estate Dad: You better start behaving.

M, still crying: “NO DON’T LEAVE US!”

Me: Please, have we ever left you alone?

M: No.

Me: Exactly.

Chubs: You left me home alone.

Me: Well, err, I ONLY DID THAT ONCE AND I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE IN THE HOUSE!

Man. That was over a year ago and she’s still holding a grudge.

At least the corgis are having a good time.

Deeelicious treatz wash up right down there! Nom nom nom.

Deeelicious treatz wash up right down there! Nom nom nom.

Some Will Win, Some Will Lose

Don’t Stop Believin’ is forever ruined for me thanks to that dumbass Meadow Soprano. No one, and I mean no one, is that bad at parallel parking unless they are from Maryland.

Oh don’t cry, Maryland. I googled “state with worst parallel parkers.” After 4 YouTube videos, the 5th match was an article about how Maryland has dropped parallel parking from the driver’s test. So, see? It’s not your fault you suck at parallel parking. In the spirit of “everyone’s a winner,” the entire state just lowered the bar for you.

Anyway, it is no secret that my parallel parking skills and my ability to find ace parking are, well, ace. I inherited both of these parking skills from my dad. Every other weekend we drove from suburban Connecticut into New York City for some nonsense that we all coined, a “Mommy Fun Day.” The neighbors found it odd that we would drive and not take the train. My dad was always confident he would park right in front. And my mom always wanted to go to the Bowery to buy jewelry and it was oddly safer in the late 70’s / early 80’s to drive in New York City if you were coming home with loot.

Although now that I re-think that, it seems weird because I remember being parked on a sketchy street, waiting in the car for my mom who was spending her fun day eyeing a bracelet. Some man and his daughter (I assume) were walking down the sidewalk. The little girl was walking really slow while drinking a McDonald’s soda. The dad turned around and yelled at her for being slow. He snatched the drink from her hand, threw it at our car where it smashed on the window and he beat the girl’s butt. It was something you might call the police for now but back then we looked to our Dad for guidance. He just stared straight ahead and said, “Keep your mouth shut.”

For the record, I would have already been on the phone with the police once he threw a perfectly good fountain soda away because that is the real crime here.

So, parking. For various friends and clients who all remark on my ability to find a spot “right in front” and my knack for squeezing my car into the smallest spots, I started taking pictures of my coups. Don’t be jealous. We all have to be good at something. You can perform a heart transplant, I’m a good parker!

Here’s my car that day I thought, “I’d like to go to the Amazon Store but it’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday and Georgetown is going to be more of a zoo than the zoo.”

Amazon Prime Parking

Amazon Prime Parking

Or that day I said, “Let’s eat dinner at Clyde’s in Georgetown” and Real Estate Dad said, “But, parking.” And then I parked right in front. There’s my car! You can see it through the front door of Clyde’s!

“It’s cold out here Real Estate Mama, can I get a Molotov Cocktail with a match to go?”

“It’s cold out here Real Estate Mama, can I get a Molotov Cocktail with a match to go?”

Or when we went to Arcuri’s and drove because even though we live 3 blocks away, sometimes we’re lazy asses.

Anyone with a remote sense of shame wouldn’t post such a shitty picture, but alas, ‘tis me.

Anyone with a remote sense of shame wouldn’t post such a shitty picture, but alas, ‘tis me.

The other day I had the girls with me and we had to pick up something from the hardware store. There was not a spot in front. But, I was one illegal u-turn on Wisconsin Avenue away from a spot right across the street. I did my magic, and started backing into the spot.

Then I stopped paying attention. That happens sometimes.

And I heard a giant smash.

There was a man on a ladder cleaning the store window. M yelled, “MOM HOW DID YOU NOT SEE THE CAR ON THE CAMERA!” She’s right. I am actually so confident in my parking abilities that I don’t use the camera. Don’t ask. It’s one of my quirks. I can “feel” where all the cars are around me. Except for this day. My feels were off. The guy screamed “WHOA! YOU SMASHED THAT CAR!”

It wasn’t just any car I smashed. It was the top of the line Lexus truck. I mean, if you’re going, you may as well go big.

The guy on the ladder was now the guy off the ladder and I was momentarily distracted by the fact that he was talking out of a hole in his throat. I think. He sounded like a robot. I was mostly hoping the kids didn’t say anything.

We all gathered around the back of my car and the front of the Lexus and I didn’t see any actual damage. The guy is saying that he can’t believe it, he heard a smash, he expected the car to be wrecked. M and Chubs are like, “We can’t wait to tell Daddy!” (Traitors!) Then the owner came out and saw us milling around by her car. I told her “I hit your car when I was parking.”

She said, “Oh I do it all the time!”

I said, “But don’t you want to look? I think I busted your Lindsay Lexus license plate holder.”

She laughed, hopped in the car and took off. Of course then I realized she was actually parked illegally in a loading zone and jumped out to get herself a salad at Sweetgreens.

So I rewrote history* for the kids, and rewrote the future for me where they would tell Real Estate Dad. I said, “See, that’s not a legal parking spot. She shouldn’t have been there. If she parked somewhere legal, Mom wouldn’t have hit her car.” They didn’t figure that one out because duh. Of course if she wasn’t there I wouldn’t have hit her.

*If you need a course in “How to Rewrite History” or “Parallel Parking & the Associated Lab Course: Getting a Spot in Front,” both are taught at my parent’s house.

Kids, Corgis and Work... How Does She Do It?

You know how you guys ask how do I do it with kids, corgis and work? I did a little video for the rescue, and how I'm combining rescue, family and work.


Piper will be the fan favorite I'm sure. Yes, her tongue was hanging out.

First video, let me know what you think!!

Let's Play - "There's Nothing Sexier Than..."

Quick! Fill in the blank!

There is nothing sexier than waking up to _________

Okay okay, now me!

There is nothing sexier than waking up to the sound of your dog vomiting. If you have a dog you know that sound. It’s similar to the human dry-heave, except it’s a wet heave. You can actually hear the vomit in their stomach, gurgling and bubbling before it comes out. All over your new carpet.

But I’m not bitter.

There’s an upside. By the time I went to find and clean the vomit, one of our very efficient dogs had already taken care of it.

I get extra credit because that, my friends, is sexy.

Welcome to the Jungle

When people say “You should get out more” I’m pretty sure they aren’t talking to me. Because every time I go out, something stupid happens. Both days this weekend I woke up “early” and was surprised to leave behind a house of sleeping kids, dogs and husband, only to learn that the rest of the world was already out and at ‘em.

Sunday I was out early* to take an awesome Pilates class at Fuel Body Lab in Georgetown. I might be in love with that place. Anyway, the class was the only good part of my morning in Georgetown. Then, these things happened:

  1. I walked down M Street to return something and I bumped into Nancy Pelosi. Literally. Like, she was wandering aimlessly down the sidewalk, distracted at something shiny, and I had to dodge out of her way. For the record, her face is every bit as frozen as it appears on TV. For the record, she looked every bit as confused as she does on TV. For the record, I’m scared of her.

  2. I lost complete faith in my favorite rock band ever when I saw this nonsense.

Alice & Olivia.jpg

If you’re buying your Guns N Roses shirt at Alice & Olivia or at H&M, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. The edgy, “IDGAF” band of the 80’s that got signed for Appetite for Destruction and promptly went on a bender instead of actually recording - is gone. It’s like a sad, pathetic last-chance-money-grab.

I had fun at three of their concerts on this last never-ending tour, once with KFrat, once with the fam and once with my Newly-Minted 87% Ashkenazi Jew BFF.**

And! Unlike in 1988, I wasn’t grounded this time when they came to town!

3. Then, I passed this madness. What the hell is this? This is a thing?

Kittens.jpg

Pretty much no matter where you are, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a bunch of stray cats, so I really just need to ask: why? You have a room. A bunch of cats. A bunch of crazy cat ladies in training. There’s cats that wander all over Hemingway’s house in Key West but at least you are at HEMINGWAY’S HOUSE! This is just an old space in Georgetown that used to be a secondhand store - you know it, where they sell raspberry beret’s.

I know Georgetown retail is hurting like hell for tenants but who the hell wakes up early on a Sunday (okay okay, 11:00) to go pet a bunch of cats? Dogs? Maybe. Piglets? Yeah! Goats? HELL YES. But cats?

Nope.

*I realize early is 6 a.m. for most of you. Early for me is 9:30. Don’t judge!

**She is really embracing this. Not that she didn’t already know, but she’s diving head first into this “discovery.” She’s picked up several dreidels to hone her craft. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

DCPS Lottery ~ All Cleared Up For You!

Whenever there’s a question about DC Public Schools and their “clear as mud” lottery system, several people in my brokerage like to point to me. I mean, they point to me for a lot of stuff like “Who stole my space heater?” (sorry Lisa) “Who has the white out?” (I have a paper planner and I like to keep it ACCURATE) and “Who ordered this stinky cabbage from the Chinese Restaurant"?” (It’s me and work-wife. It’s always me and work-wife.)

“So, what is the DCPS lottery and what the hell do you mean my kid can’t go to the school I can see from our front door?”

Buckle up, mofo’s, you are in for a ride.

Here are some hard and fast rules that never change. Keep these in mind as we discuss.

1) Your child is never guaranteed a seat in public school anywhere in the city until Kindergarten.

2) Your child is always guaranteed a seat in public school from grades K - 12, at your in-boundary assigned school.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that Rules 1 and 2 seem perfectly logical and why even mention them. Well, about half of the people get stumped on Rule #1. All they hear is “free Pre-K” and they’ve sold their house in Maryland or Virginia, moved to DC, dropped their kid at the front door of the neighborhood school on day 1 and peeled out of the front circle. If you even bothered to look back, you would have seen this.

IMG_6544.JPG

Except that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works!

No one is guaranteed shit until the age of 5. If your kid is 5 on or before September 30, they may enroll in Kindergarten at their in-boundary school.

You have a child in K-12 and you are going to send them to your in-bound school? Great. You’re done here. Go tell the Barista you want yours to go and get on out of here. The rest of you, listen up.

Anyone who wants to apply for PK-3, PK-4, a school that is not their assigned in-boundary no matter what grade, or a charter school IS OFFICIALLY PART OF THE LOTTERY.

Here’s what you need to know. This is the priority on which all DCPS lottery decisions are made:

  1. Child lives In Boundary, with a sibling already in the school.

  2. Child lives In Boundary, without a sibling already in the school.

  3. Child lives Out of Boundary, with a sibling already in the school.

  4. Child lives Out of Boundary, without a sibling already in the school.

This means that you could have scored a spot for your Sally, even though you live out of boundary, but Sally’s younger sister may not get a spot when it’s her turn, if a child who lives in boundary without another sibling in the school wants that school.

Here’s something else you need to know. The lottery is unequally equal. What the hell does that mean? It means you’re nothing, even when you sort of should be. A family who has never been on this continent can move here from 10,000 miles away for a one year job. They can fill out the lottery application without even living here, as long as they have their DC address, and can prove it by the start of school. Their child has just as much of a chance as yours does to that coveted Pre-K space. Yes, even if you were born here, even if you have been paying taxes here for your whole life, even if you went to that school as a child. DC does not have any system in place to prioritize the children of families who are domiciled here.

If you think you can dodge this order because you’re charming or you know people, take note. The powers that be at DCPS may be a colossal joke but they take the lottery very seriously. This city may run just as incompetently and corruptly as it always has, but the DCPS lottery is no joke. Case in point: Chancellor Antwan Wilson made it a whole year on the job before his resignation/termination. He had called in a favor to jump the lottery and get his daughter into a different high school. You can just keep clicking links to see the prior Chancellor, Kaya Henderson’s story. She lasted 6 years but she also played the jump the lottery game for various high ranking people in the Mayor’s Cabinet.

The history of the Chancellors before Henderson (pre-2007 they were called “Superintendents”) is spotty and varied. No real surprise that the whole school system is a disaster when you see the constant changes in leadership going back to the 1970’s. Thank your lucky stars for the parents and teachers who came before us to have accomplished what they have. But, that’s a post for another day.

So let’s finish up the lottery. The deadline for high school is February 1 every year, and the deadline for PK through 8th grade is March 1 every year. Results come out May 1.

When you get your results, here’s what you do next:

ENROLL YOUR CHILD; ENROLL YOUR CHILD; ENROLL YOUR CHILD!!!

Why am I yelling? Because you need to enroll your child. There are so many other people whose lives are hanging in the balance so I beg you to have some compassion for your neighbors, fellow parents and the school staff. Everyone is waiting on this information. There will inevitably be people who move to DC from another country the night before school starts, speak little to no English, who plop down in the school office on the first day.

This is where the school’s office staff shines. They scramble to complete paperwork and find the newbie a seat in a class - ever so careful to consider the current students in a class so as not to disrupt balance for the teacher. The arrival of a new student at the classroom door will surprise a teacher who forfeited the last 2 weeks of their summer to prepare a classroom for the children on their list. Now there’s a last minute addition for which they weren’t prepared.

The teacher smiles, and welcomes the child in, quickly making them feel at home as they gracefully glide around the room pulling a desk from here and a chair from there, not showing an ounce of the stress they suddenly feel. The addition of a child who woke up yesterday in their home country and is on the verge of tears is the equivalent of 3 children with the language barrier among other issues to overcome. If you’re watching, your eyes get misty because you realize, this teacher, loves their job so much. A ton more work just arrived in their lap and do they get more money?

Nope. But you will never notice the difference in their attitude because they won’t let you see. Not the good ones, anyway. And we’ve been amazingly lucky to have snagged some amazing teachers for our kids thus far. So when my ire at DCPS surfaces, it’s never about the teachers and staff who are on the ground, doing what they do every day. It’s about the f*ckery that happens “downtown” where the leadership is.

We’ve got a new Chancellor. We should all cross our fingers.

And I Didn't Puke This Time!

Guess who went on another field trip as a chaperone?

Yes, this glutton for punishment. As someone who gets car sick backing out of the driveway, you would think I would stop raising my hand for this stuff.

Here’s the good news: I can finally say I’ve been to and toured Dumbarton House!

Here’s the other good news, according to their website:

This is excellent marketing right here ^^^

This is excellent marketing right here ^^^

Here’s the bad n… What? You didn’t think there would be bad news? I threw you off with two pieces of good news. (Well, three pieces if you count the implication I made above about how I didn’t vomit.) Listen up because you should know by now that bad news is practically the underlying theme of this blog. So here it is:

The condition of the bus that delivered us to and from Dumbarton House should have been junked a decade ago. I’m not even sure my snark can capture the torture that was this bus, and I’m not sure my outrage could properly be contained should I actually choose to, gasp, complain.

Here’s the floor of the aisle, if you can even call it a floor. Parts under the rubber mat and duct tape were rusted through.

Here’s the floor of the aisle, if you can even call it a floor. Parts under the rubber mat and duct tape were rusted through.

Here’s a hole in the 2nd step, which I’m about to fall through as I exit the bus.

Here’s a hole in the 2nd step, which I’m about to fall through as I exit the bus.

Oh this looks safe. This is the emergency exit on the roof of the bus. You want to know how well the duct tape prevents the elements from entering the bus?

Oh this looks safe. This is the emergency exit on the roof of the bus. You want to know how well the duct tape prevents the elements from entering the bus?

Not well at all.

Not well at all.

I wish I wasn’t just screwing around here, there was a ton of water pouring through the emergency exit in the roof and I’m sorry people but this is not acceptable because my hair is keratined within an inch of its life and I can’t afford for it to get a ton of dirty rain-bus water on it and not have a hair dryer and sulfate-free shampoo close by. While my umbrella kept me and the cuties dry, the water was flying off the umbrella toward other people. There was no way to win this one.

In other news, f*ck you DCPS, for not bothering to require a minimum standard of safety. I almost want to be that mom who drives my kid to every off-campus happening.

Then I remembered:

1) They go to Fillmore for their arts education every single week.

2) I don't really like rocking the bus boat bus-boat.

3) I have a job and that job entails selling houses to people. I can't sell houses to people if I have to moonlight daylight as a school uber driver.

Next field trip, barf bag and roll of duct tape go in the bag. Because you just never know.