Monday, April 12, 2010

Wind Out Of Sails

Last week was too busy. Well, it was too busy for me. Too busy for FDPG. Too busy for Dominic. But the Teenager said, å propos of nothing "That was a GREAT week! I LOVE busy weeks!"


Let's see, we had: a Shakespeare play performance, in which the Teenager played Duke Orsino and had to spend several full days at practices; two 4-H meetings, one of which involved the twins giving speeches; a field trip; several track practices; a Science Fair, which involved too many logistics of photo developing, matting, and framing for all three kids; and FDPG's finale for her last year of Brownies, which involved her doing every badge she hadn't already done - and that, Gentle Reader, saw her doing eighteen badges last week.

Now FDPG has every single badge in the Brownie Handbook. This was her goal ever since she joined Brownies almost two years ago (because I like you all, well, most of you anyhow, I will spare you her interpretation of how the Brownie Motto actually adjures each and every Brownie to do each and every badge - just know that this, err, logic underpins her methodology). I'm sure some of the Brownie mothers see me as a Bossy Stage Mother, pushing FDPG along on a demented quest, and I wish I could convey to them just how demented, err, motivated our little FDPG is, but I can't so I won't. I will say though that FDPG was quite thrilled with herself when she got that little packet stuffed with 18 badges. Sadly, her sash is so filled with all the other badges we're not quite sure what to do with these 18.

Even Sunday saw us busy: attempting to erect a large, solid, polycarbonate-sided greenhouse in the back of my father's garden (aren't adjectives handy?). All I will say about that is this: whoever owns that greenhouse-making company should hire more skilled instruction-pamphlet-makers. That pamphlet was a wonder of obtuseness. A marvel of incomprehensibility. An impressive formation of nonsense. A complete distraction, from start to finish. The only thing that was barely legible was the equipment list, and even there they mixed up the GO13s with the GY12s.


Today we are resting after our labours. Well, me and the twins are. Yes, I realize some of you are thinking to yourselves "Gosh, what terrible grammar, she really should be saying 'The twins and I'" now, aren't you? But really, grammar is a much more fluid thing than most people give it credit for (barring people who use "U" in place of "you" and "2" in place of "to" of course - even I can't bring myself to go quite that far. Heck, I even struggle with using LOL in an email but enough of all this parenthetical nonsense). I figure I can move pronouns around a bit without totally enraging the Grammar Gods. Don't you think?

Grammar God in the sky, gazing down at us all.


Rebecca said...

I like your grammar god.

He's very Monty Python-esque.

You can mix up your pronouns anytime, Sheila. I'll still be willing to swill gin and tonics with you.

("crast" - aren't I just?!)

Andrea said...

Actually that is a much more linguistic approach to take. Linguistics believes in a DEscriptive grammar - describing how we actually talk. Whereas the English Dept. believe in a PREscriptive grammar - telling us all how to speak. I, myself, have a minor in linguistics so you're safe with me!

sheila said...

Thank you Rebecca. Grammar God will no doubt bless our gin and tonic-infused events. And yes, you are the crastest woman I know.

Anonymous said...

EVERY Brownie badge in the book! That's one dedicated Brownie I'm impressed (c:

Michelle said...

Ugh. I'm no longer goin 2 b readin dis blog. Da appalin gramma makes me sick. C U l8r.



sheila said...

Excellent point, Andrea. I did not know that.

Nicola, she is one indefatigable Brownie, that's for darn sure. I wish I had her motivation.

Michelle, I will take up texting lingo just 4 U!

Rebecca said...

You may enjoy this blog post. I did.

sheila said...

Oh my goodness, that person is my new BBF!

ALOT! There really IS such a thing! I KNEW IT.

What a funny funny post. I will henceforth send it to everyone on every list I am on who posts in this way. Or pretend to.

Kez said...

lol, I can just see my son wanting to do every badge he can in the cubs book - he's already lined up a few to do and he's not even invested yet!!

He insisted on doing the Promise Challenge at Joeys because no one else in his unit had done it before..

So yeah, the pushy stage mother gets thrown around here too..

Robin said...

Can you believe in my son's cub pack he is only allowed to pass one or two badges each time they do badge testing and they don't do badge testing every week? And this is for a kid who is badge-oriented rather than sport and game oriented like the majority of the cubs. In addition, many of the badge requirements insist that in order to pass the requirement he "shows it to the pack" or "report to his six" etc. and there is no time allowed on a regular basis for this to occur during meeting time or before or afterwards. We would have him join another pack, but it is the only active one around us..........

sheila said...

Robin, that is too bad. Brownies only allows for up to 3 badges each time, all year, until the very last declaration in April, then they can do however many they want. And they don't do them each week, either. That was why FDPG ended up doing 18 at the end there.

That whole 'show it to the pack' is a weird thing: in Brownies (now) they don't do that, even though the badge requires it, because they don't want to discourage girls who are shy, yet in the boys' packs they ALWAYS have to do such things.

FWIW, my sons both dropped out, one at the Scout level, another at the Cub level, because of the "idiot" quotient. Instead of a really great adventure group (like they'd had in Vancouver), the one we joined here was like a babysitting club for RBBB (really badly behaved boys).

One thing that bothered me about the Scout groups was how girls can join - it really changes the dynamic in ways that are not good for the boys, IMO.

Robin said...

Yes, the "show it to the pack" requirements are fruitless......once he went to great lengths to prepare a super presentation and the leaders gave him 5 min at the end of the meeting when 20 boys were antsy and sitting on the floor waiting to go home. There was no control of the group and no one paid any attention in the least.We noticed that cubs seems to draw a bunch of RBBB...our gentle, pacifist son got socked for absolutely no reason once and then proceded to kick the leaders as they were trying to get him under control. (Fortunately they sent the kid home for the evening...but the child remains) His pack, fortunately, does not have any is true, that there ought to be at least a few single-sex activities around from which boys and girls can choose. It is just a different dynamic and less accomodations need to be met. He is fortunate to belong to a choir of boys that is just boys and he enjoys this greatly. Not to say he doesn't enjoy his other music activites which are co-ed. It's just nice to have exposure to both dynamics.