Thursday, May 14, 2009

Division of Labor

We have been phenomenally busy for the first time this school year (why yes, there are only five weeks left... this probably explains why we started this pay period with 40% of the budget untouched). Here are some stats:
  • Our roster has 119 students
  • We take jobs to 17 classes
    ... at 11 schools
    ... in three districts
    ... in seven cities.
  • One class cannot work because the teacher sucks at paperwork and couldn't manage to get work permits made out for the entire year (yeah, the school would re-issue, but she doesn't follow up).
  • One cannot work because the district is hassling and won't issue work permits at all (is that steam coming out of my ears?!?).
  • One we won't take work to because he jacks everything up and doesn't currently have an aide we know well enough to trust with the jobs. The one he does have whom we know... well, she's very nice, but nice doesn't get the job done by the students.
  • One class has done very well in the past, but recently... not so much. When I tried to address some specific problems with the teacher, she abruptly ended the call. Along with her chances for more work this school year.
  • One class could get work, and is frequently offered work, but just as frequently turns it down. The last time he did it, I told him that was fine as long as he quit telling people from my office that he "doesn't get work projects"... as if he hasn't turned down the last eight jobs!

    As of 10:30 this morning, I had every single available class working. By the end of the day I was able to clear jobs from three classes, give missing items to two classes, pick up an Avon job, have it done and get it back to the employer the same day. We have one job spread over four classes. It's not a lot of pieces (3200), but the boxes are enormous. They take up too much room in the classes. I can fit about 350 pieces in my Escape at one time. So I had to go to a few classes several times, as well as to the employer's warehouse, which is about 17 miles away from anywhere. Not including my commute, I put 183 miles on my car today. That's insane!

    Normally Nance and I would be working together in separate vehicles, but she needed to take Ken to City of Hope for an extra check-up. If he passed, he could go home; if not, he would be re-admitted. I'll save the suspense and tell you he's happy to be home tonight.

    Tomorrow I have to work from home because there is no Mad-a-care. My niece is graduating from USC (ahem... with a double major and a couple of certificates, after only three years... apparently she never got the "not working up to potential" marks that I so often received, haha), so Grandma will be in L.A. for the day. Additionally, Nance won't be able to deal with any jobs tomorrow. We had two of our classes bake about 80 dozen cookies this week. They packaged them quite nicely, and Nance's task for the morrow is to take the rest of our allotment to the employers I couldn't get to today. It's a little thank you for the work that is saving our program. Add all that together, and I had to get as much done today as I could to alleviate the burden for Nance tomorrow.

    This evening Corey stayed at Mom's. I picked up Mad tonight because Tom had baseball practice (he usually brings her home). We had a brief hang-out with Grammy and Corey and then headed home.

    Mad is one of those "terrible twos" kind of girls. Tom mentioned it looked that way several months back and I denied it vociferously. But now she'll sit down and/or yell with or without tears shooting from her eyes if she doesn't get her way. She did it this morning when I had to push Pooh still in her hands under the carseat strap so I could get her out. Then, before a stress-filled, high speed day, I reacted by simply turning my head and ignoring her until she stopped (about 1.5 seconds).

    This evening it happened again before bathtime. The kids' bathroom has two doors, the "outside" one and the one that closes off the tub and toilet section from the sink. I was in the tub area, she was in the other. When she started screaming, I shut the door. Not all the way; she stopped screaming and opened it. When she started again, I canceled bathtime and scrubbed her appendages and pits with baby wipes. She's quite ticklish, so that was fun.

    Dad got home in time to put her to bed. This is "his job," as is bathtime. I'm generally the one who handles the morning stuff, which works well for us. Mad and I were quite relieved when Daddy walked through the door. If he hadn't, I'm quite sure that bedtime would have involved some rocking/walking, some squirming, a bit of fussing when I put her down. Instead she got to rock with Daddy in the big chair and when he saw that she needed to get some last energy out, he let her run around and play hide and seek with him (he was in her closet and she opened and shut the door) until she climbed into his lap for a last snuggle. Then she went down with hardly a peep.

    Sometimes it's my turn to be Supercool Mama, sometimes Tom is the Dad With All the Tricks. This is why we must have two parents in this home.

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