I need a vacation.  I don't really have one on the horizon - or at least not a long one.  My friend Rachel and I are going to Chicago for a three-day weekend in a couple weeks.  She is driving out from New Joisey. We thought we were going to have to prostitute ourselves just to afford a hotel in the Windy City - and don't even get me started on the parking costs. Holy cow. We are excited about the trip, though. If you have any recommendations for stuff to do in Chicago (or maybe even stuff we should avoid), feel free to leave a comment.  Our hotel has a pool and a whirlpool so maybe we'll just hang out there, adult beverage in hand. I have a firm policy that in order to see me in a swim suit, you have to be acquainted with me for a minimum of five years first.  She's got almost 32 years of knowing me on the books, so I guess she's in.

I gave this blog post the title "Irritable" because it reflects my mood recently. Any little thing seems to send me into a dark, crabby place. Here's an example. I bought my daughter a new pair of shoes. She begged to be able to wear them to school on Monday. I let her do it, but specifically told her to change into tennis shoes or snow boots for recess.  She wore the new shoes at recess.  They are ruined.  I showed her the price on the box.  "$34.99," I said.  "How are you going to pay me back for this?"  She looked a little worried.  Granted, they were on sale at Kohl's and I had a coupon, but I am really trying to teach her the value of money.

Anyway, I rode her about these shoes for two days. I don't know why it bugged me so much but I just couldn't let it go.

On Monday, when I picked A up after work, a Kindercare staff person handed me the summer registration form. Not unexpected. I bristle at the summer and fall registrations every year, mostly because my daughter has been there for five years and it seems redonkulous that I need to keep registering her (and paying registration fees) for a place she ALREADY GOES. I didn't really look at the form until I got in the car.  It was then that I spotted a little notation that said, "For the 2013-2014 school year, we will transport to the following schools . . . "  The list of schools followed and my daughter's was not on it.  They have been transporting my daughter to her school for the past three years. I called Kindercare and a staff person confirmed that yes, my understanding of the list was accurate. I guess I just wanted to make sure it wasn't an accidental omission or something before flying into an apoplectic rage.  I wanted to speak to the director but she was not available.

The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. We have spent nearly $35,000 at that joint. For ONE child, mind you.  And now they are effectively kicking us out.  I can't imagine doing something like this at my job. It's the equivalent of me sending out a letter to all of our clients saying, "Here are the websites we will continue to host . . . "  And if yours isn't on it, well, good luck to you.

I sent the director an email to express my frustration and she apologized for not telling me in person. She said that they can't transport her because this year there aren't any other kids on the same transport.  I guess I kind of get it, but the whole thing is still annoying.  Anyway, it was made clear to me that they'd still be happy to accept my money all summer long.  However, I am looking into other options. We have a community center (sort of like a YMCA) on the other side of town that has a summer camp program. Kids can choose a different type of camp each week (sports, nature, etc.) I have filled out the registration form and am working on getting my daughter into that program. The beauty of it is that I wouldn't have to pay a registration fee and would only have to pay for the weeks she actually attends. At Kindercare, we pay whether she is there or not.  A will be gone for at least four weeks this summer so if I can avoid paying for those weeks, so much the better.

So yeah, I've been crabby this week. I went to yoga Tuesday night and felt a little better after that.  You can file this under "TMI" but now that I'm an old lady, Aunt Flo shows up only sporadically - which is fine because, truth be told, I never really enjoyed her act all that much anyway. The downside is that I never know when she might show up. Today I woke up with a cold that I caught from Patrick (that's the last time I swap spit with that guy) and oh yeah, the house guest. Effin' great.  It does serve to explain the over-reaction to the shoe incident, among other things. Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take some Nyquil now and I expect to be unconscious in about fifteen minu . . ..


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