I took the boys to school, then took Ella with me to church because Jeff couldn't take her to school. So she went to school late without her sleeping bag because it wasn't washed from the weekend. She reminded me on the way over to school that she didn't have her sleeping bag, which I appreciated, but I already knew.
Instead of going swimming, I went back over to the boys' school to "work" the Scholastic Book Fair. I detest Scholastic. I don't understand the relationship/appeal/deal that goes on between that company and public (& private) schools. I hadn't been in the foyer ten minutes before seeing all three of my sons. Timmy really seemed to be loitering. I had to chase him and Kenny back to their rooms. "Aren't you supposed to be in class?!"
From 10 AM until 12 noon, there was a steady stream of students "previewing" the book fair materials. Tim's class was first. I know those kids the best having been on several field trips with them already this year. They needed some help finding prices. The second group was more challenging, preschool. Even with a teacher, two aides and two volunteers, the kids still had to take turns. It really made no sense to me that preschoolers would be shopping for books without their parents' help. Especially because Scholastic offers more than books available for sale. Kenny's teacher from last year was slow to bring her class down, so under orders of the PTA secretary, I went to her room to get her. She had gotten the time wrong so she quickly brought her class. Good thing, because two classes were due simultaneously in the next slot!
After her, sixth grade came down with the kindergarteners. I thought they were working in "buddy" fashion but they were all on their own. So I helped about four kindergarteners fill out their wish lists. One girl had money and bought the book she wanted. The others were supposed to take their wish lists home and bring money in the next day. Then Chris's class came with 2nd grade too. That was alot of kids and they all needed help. Finally, Kenny's fifth grade came and Kenny actually bought the book that he wanted.
The books got very messed up on the tables with so many kids looking at them. So even though we straightened up each chance we got, there was still a need at the end to give everything a once-over again. By then it was close to noon, so I got out of there because I'd forgotten all about lunch ... and I hadn't eaten anything before going to church!
But since the kids had a half day, I was due back to the school at 12:30 for early dismissal. I managed to get only something to drink and nothing to eat. Then they wanted to play on the playground, so I foolishly let them. I was supposed to pick up Ella at 12:30, especially because she didn't have her sleeping bag. I actually don't know what time her "rest" period is. But I called over there and delayed her pick-up until 1:30.
We left the playground around 1:10 and drove over to Ella's school and got her just as she was about to go outside to play on the playground! About 1:20. I felt so bad! But it was cold today anyway. We dashed home for a few minutes and I got those guys some crackers and then we were back at school for parent-teacher conferences at 1:50 and 2:10. Chris's conference was first and since he's doing so well, it was over in five minutes. Then I had to wait around for Kenny's conference. And the parents in there ahead of me talked over by fifteen minutes. So, it was difficult to keep those guys behaved in the school hall for 25 minutes!
Last year, Kenny was scoring well above grade level. This year, not so much anymore. So that private school foundation that he has hasn't lasted.
We got out of there by 2:30 but it's good that I had picked up Ella already because 2:30 is her dismissal time. I would have never made it over there by then. Besides, we had to leave for fencing practice 45 minutes away in Tinton Falls by 4! So, again, a quick trip home for a nibble of food - the boys hadn't had any lunch and I hadn't eaten anything all day but crackers. We left the house around 3 and got to fencing quite early, 3:45. Last week there was construction on 520 in Lincroft that made us late, so I allowed myself enough time for that - and it was already completed. My boys didn't know what to do with the extra time.
But class started soon enough and was over by 5. I had to swing by the bank to get money for the babysitter. We were home a little after 6 and Jeff was already home. I started dinner even though I knew I wouldn't get it completed. I fed the kids. The babysitter arrived on time and we went out to our conference with Tim's teacher. We were done with that by 7:30 and back home. I got dinner on the table by 8:15.
Tomorrow promises to be better. I am still working the book fair and the kids have another half day. But without conferences and the drive to Tinton Falls, we'll have more time at home. Oh, wait, I have to go grocery shopping!