5th grade

Last week, I asked my daughter how it feels to be a fifth grader. This is her final year of elementary school, so there are six grades below her (4K through fourth) and none above. Big fish in a little pond and all that.

"It feels weird," she said. "The other day I told some Kindergartners to stop throwing stuff because they were going to hurt someone. And they actually did it! They stopped throwing stuff."

She was drunk with power, I tell you.

In additional to being at the top of the social order, fifth grade in our school district also means the introduction of band.  Kids interested in being in the school's band are invited to pick an instrument and start learning. "Mom, I want to be in band but it's really expensive. It's $54.00 for the year."  It's cute that she thinks $54 is the most she's ever cost me. She takes me for at least twice that much on an average trip to the mall.

"Give me the papers and I'll take a look," I told her.

After she went to bed that night, I reviewed the band-related paperwork. She had written down her instrument of choice (the clarinet) and had misspelled it. We're off to a great start! After giving it some thought, I decided we'd better go with a rental through one of the local music stores (vs. through the school). I'm definitely not buying a clarinet outright. My girl is not known for finishing what she starts so until she can prove to me that she's the world's most dedicated clarinet player, we're going to go the rental route.  We also have to get our hands on a required book and a music stand. Oh, and cleaning supplies because if there's another thing my kid is not known for . . . it's cleaning stuff.

Her dad is concerned because our daughter is also about to start weekly choir rehearsals. Our little songbird got into our local city choir. Aside from the time commitment, there is also a pretty significant financial commitment. I just received an email the other day letting me know that we need to buy character shoes from a dance shop. I had never even heard the term "character shoes" before. I'm excited about my daughter having this opportunity, but the emails are making me a little nervous. There are a lot of BOLD WORDS and ASAPs and DUE DATES and FORMS. I talked to a friend who has been involved with the choir for years and she made me feel a bit less apprehensive. You guys know how structured and anal-retentive I am, so if an email makes me nervous . . .

Anyway, I think that between band and choir and homework . . . the kid is gonna be busy. I know she's a big fifth grader now, but I'm not entirely sure she can handle it. Earlier this evening, she burst into tears over her math homework. Her math homework makes me cry, too, but that's a whole other story. Keeping her away from her iPad will be key. There's no way she can practice her clarinet, do 20 minutes of reading, complete her math homework, take a shower, and complain about the dinner I make for her . . . all in a single evening. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Maybe this is the year when we'll see a massive spike in "personal responsibility."

In other news, we volunteered at a fundraiser for the rescue on Saturday. I handed the kid a camera and made her the unofficial photographer for the event. She did a pretty good job, but when I got the camera back, many of the photos were either of dog butts or of herself. Kids these days, I tell  ya.


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