Well tonight was scheduled to be a festive kick-off to the holiday season. Mr. Sweetie's company was holding an office party at the local British Pub, with employees only from 4-6 for nosh and ale, with families welcome after 6. The pub has floor to ceiling windows, and fronts onto the traffic restricted (buses only) Nicollet Mall, creating a perfect viewing position for the Holidazzle Parade.
This illuminated holiday parade is now in its 16th year, and was originally conceived as a way to lure holiday shoppers away from the mammoth Mall of America and back to downtown retailers. There is some anecdotal evidence that it doesn't work, because families come downtown to see the parade, visit the animated show at Macy's (previously Marshall Field's, previously Dayton's), sit on Santa's lap and then go home.
Be that as it may, the plan was to join Mr. Sweetie with the kidlets and watch the parade from the warmth and comfort of a place that serves alcoholic beverages. But it was not to be.
First off, after school tonight was already scheduled for math tutoring. That is its own entry, but suffice it to say that we were already going to be running and gunning to get back from tutoring (usually at about 5 p.m.) get selves and dog fed, get all sufficiently well groomed for a company event, get across the river and parked and into the pub before the parade starts at 6:30.
Then it turned out that the Bunny was doing a lot of math successfully and wasn't quite ready to quit at 4:30. Or 4:45. And really, part of the reason for the tutoring was to turn around the growing insistence that "my brain just doesn't do math." So, she wanted to keep doing math? I was going to let her keep doing math.
Math kept going until roughly 5:45--by which time I had already sent Mr. Sweetie the message that we weren't going to make it. We came home, had dinner, and the girls started on their homework.
And Pony had a meltdown. It's hard being 14, as I think I have mentioned before. We had a number of good days, but tonight it was all just too much. Too much homework, things are too hard, there are teacher requirements that can't be fulfilled in the time they have to do it (just when are you supposed to find time to practice storytelling with 3 different friends, if each telling takes 15 minutes?) Plus, even the classes that used to be fun aren't fun any more because they are doing hard/dumb/complicated/unnecessary things.
This would maybe be funny if it weren't so obviously painful. Pony is a good student, a responsible girl, and is frustrated because she is getting dinged for not turning in assignments that the teachers have misassigned, or that have changed while she was not in the room and so didn't get the change in the assignment.
And what can I do, but listen and murmur sympathetically? And keep her at home on a cold November night so she has at least that time to face the overwhelming task of managing life?