Sunday, May 13, 2007

My "smile muscles" hurt

Socializing is fun. But it's more exhausting.

A Day in Disarray
Friday was scheduled as a full day of swim-watching at school. All morning the K/1/2 classes were scheduled for noodle races and showing off their freestyle while the afternoon was a 3/4/5 mini-meet in all four strokes. The kids had practiced hard; my kids came home from swimming in P.E. and swimming in afterschool program, to continue swimming in the Consulate pool. Rebecca has a gorgeous freestyle, though she needs to work on her breathing. Katherine has taken on the butterfly. Nicholas likes the backstroke. Jonathon is managing a decent 5 year old freestyle himself. They were ready to take on the pool.
Only... the pool filter had failed overnight and the meet was canceled. Text messages flew between parents, multiple calls came in. There were more than a few disappointed kids and several disappointed parents.
So school went on as normal. Only the roads backed up, banners flew and someone noticed that the Prime Minister of Tamil Nadu was celebrating his 50th anniversary of service to his party. It's not like the anniversary came out of nowhere, the plans to have roads cleared at the same time an additional million people pour in from the rural areas was in the works well beforehand. At 11 a.m. I received the first call announcing the closing of the school. Closing at 12:30.
Granted the school has less than 500 kids, but some parents received the call at 12:10, and by then traffic on the roads was really slowing down and anyone who has used a carpool lane knows how long it can get. Reguarly, the elementary kids are released 25 minutes before the upper grades, that way they can get to afterschool programs or to their cars without being run over by kids twice their size. When there is an early release all the kids are released at once.
I made it with a few minutes to spare. It would have been easier to let the kids ride the bus, but Rebecca invited a friend for the afternoon and the friend wasn't allowed on the bus, so I picked them all up amidst the chaos.
The afternoon saw 10 kids in the house for lunch, along with my neighbors, followed by free play time and swimming. Come evening, Rebecca went off for a sleepover and Katherine had a friend stay over at our house.
I was just glad the day held no more surprises.
Yup, my Smile Muscles hurt.
So Saturday arrived. Piano lessons canceled, Katherine and her friend went swimming, I sent her home at 11 (she lives all of next door), and we waited for Rebecca to return. By 1:30 she was home and all the kids prepared for a photo shoot for a brochure for a new software product called Cyber School. I would link to it, but I can't find anything on-line about the product. Anyhow, it's software my neighbor has been working on (editing the content), and the brochure needed photos. So all the kids in our compound plust some others gathered and pretended they were in school. We hung around for 2 1/2 hours then returned home to change for an evening Going Away Party.
Two families are leaving, four adults who worked at the Consulate and their 7 kids between them. There must have been over 50 adults from all business walks around Chennai, plus their kids. I missed out on an easy opportunity to chat with the Head of the school, but I chatted enough anyway to have that achey face feeling after.
Then Sunday, Mother's Day, arrived. And all in all it was a good day. Church was hot but bearable, lunch at Zyng at CitiCentre was good, I got a new outfit at Lifestyle, and there was a spot of snooze time in the early afternoon. Jonathon had a birthday party to attend at 4 so we couldn't even attempt to see the sold out Spiderman movie. Instead, Ian took the wee one to the party and I brought the rest of the crew to the pool where three other families were also hanging out. It's plain too hot most days to just sit so I've spent more time in the water. Talking with the other two moms was good, but my hands rebelled from the long wet exposure and there's a painful eczema flare-up on my hands as payback.
Jonathon came home in a woefully cruddy mood from the party, insisting he had no fun and didn't get to play at all. What he meant was that even though they went to the playground and did crafty things, there was no free time to just play. He only rode on the ferris-go-round once, everything else was scheduled. By Sunday evening he was done being told what to do and where to be. He went to bed.
The rest of us followed shortly. Eventually we'll watch the latest Survivor, probably tonight since Amazing Race is done. But my goal for today is to get through photographing the 3rd graders at play and in art class, see the vet tonight and make a schedule for having the cats spayed and neutered, clean out the fridge of leftovers, and finish scrapping two more pages while Survivor is on. I think I can manage.

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