Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bete Noir

I am in a dark mood today... bete noir.

I picked up Kylee and we headed to the 4H meeting. We got there about 5 min. late... the meeting is run by the kids and there are 3-4 of them at the front of the room. I assume the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. I wouldn't KNOW because NO ONE is giving me any sort of 4-H handbook, rules, outline about what 4-H is and how it is supposed to go.

There was discussion that we should have our rule books by now but they are unavailable and they will try to get them to us by the end of the month. Great. In the meantime I am left completely clueless.

I don't understand anything they are talking about. There is some 4H Carnival and evidently they run a booth and last night they were voting on what sort of prize to give away at the booth, the tickets to win the prize and the cost of the booth.

I have no idea what the booth is about... is it a shooting gallery? A guess your weight booth? And then there was discussion about a sign up sheet for demos. Wha? Demos? Demos on what? Changing a flat tire? Shoeing a horse? Feed and care of a rabbit? I have NO CLUE.

The meeting adjourns and then there are 2 demos. The first is a girl with a cat and she talks about preparing the cat for the 4-H Cat Show. The second demo is a girl who shows us how to decorate cupcakes.

Once the meeting broke, I asked Hannah - the oldest child from my favorite family, The Larson's. She tells me that the booth for Carnival is a big piece of canvas painted like a shark with a hole painted into a big open mouth. The game is to slingshot Barbie parts into the mouth. Carnival is on March 21. Everyone has to do a demo but for first year 4-H'ers the demo is only 2 minutes long, has to be about their project and is really easy. Then Hannah tells me that Kylee can do the demo for friends and family and it doesn't have to be at these meetings. I'm relieved because Kylee is pretty aprehensive about all this.

Kylee is SUPER QUIET at these meetings and seems pretty intimidated. During the meeting I sorta kick her shoe and she kicks my shoe or I'll poke her in the leg and she will poke me. I'm trying to let her know I'm there and we will have fun and it's not anything to be afraid of...

The meeting is over, the demos are over and I go to the group leader lady and I say, "Hanna tells me that they don't have to do the demo here in front of the group, is that right?"

"No. They HAVE to do it here!"

"Well, Kylee isn't that comfortable. If I sign her up for a month and she still isn't comfortable, can I scratch her and move her to a later month?"

"FAIR IS IN AUGUST!" the group leader says in this voice like - duh! - and sits there looking at me like I'm stoopid or mentally ill.

I look at her like - are you friggin' kidding me? I say in a very testy voice, "I'm new and I don't know what that means"

A woman sitting nearby sees the tension and tells me she signed her son up for July so they can watch a lot of the other demos and get an idea of what they are supposed to do because they are new too. Thank-you - now THAT is helpful. I signed Kylee up for July. I told Kylee I signed her up for a demo and she looked totally and completely terrified. Seriously. Like a rabbit about to be mowed over by a truck. I quickly told her that it was a long way away, not til July and we can watch other demos to see how they go and I will help her. She looked better.

Hannah walked with me out to the car and asked if we would be going to the goat meeting next Tuesday. First I've heard of it. She said it's in the 4-H newsletter...and then says, oh. You probably aren't getting them yet... she said she'd have her Mom e-mail me the information.

I am really annoyed. I am absolutely HATING the completely unhelpful bordering on rude group leader lady right now. I think the goat meetings will be good - they will be smaller and about the project Kylee and I are doing together. Screw these bigger meetings that seem so chaotic and less than helpful for someone completely brand new to 4-H. I mean - hey - people. News Flash - I don't have 5 children and I haven't been coming to 4-H meetings for 20 yrs.

Now that I've had a full night's sleep I'm like - screw that. Kylee doesn't have to do a demo if she doesn't want to - I mean I'm doing this because it's supposed to be fun and a bonding thing for us, not some terrifying public speaking event. We'll see - if it's closer to July and she still isn't comfortable, I'm not makin' her do it.

AND every muscle in my body hurts from the classes I took yesterday at the gym.

AND I bit the inside of my lower lip in the front. Now it's swollen and every time I try to eat something I bite it again and it hurts so much that I see stars like in a Wil E. Coyote cartoon. It's all I can do not to shout out some horrid explative and lose my job. Good thing I have soup for lunch today.

AND when I opened the door to leave this morning, Split Pea, our indoor/outdoor kitty came running inside with a BIRD in her mouth. I put a collar and bell on her to stop this bird killin' and now I know it's not working. I am especially pissy about this because I had just filled my heated bird bath with clean water, stocked the tube feeders and platform feeder with seed and practically rang the dinner bell.... both for the birds AND Split Pea.


Kelley said...

I shouldn't laugh at your pain... but man, what a pain in the ass... and now mouth... and yard!!! : )

I know what you mean about 4-H. I got a rabbit when I was 8 and went to some meetings, and it was a lot like that.... so we just stopped going. Too "structured"/"competitive" and unhelpful. I think you will find the goat meeting WAY better (I'll keep my fingers crossed). And I totally support you not making Kylee do the demo. Just tell her that.... go, see if it is fun... and roll with it. If it's fun enough and she still doesn't want to do the demo... just get her name scratched off and be a big "flake" and not get her back on. It'll annoy the Huffy 4H parents... but screw them, you and Kylee are there for fun. What are they going to do... send you to the 4H "pricipal"!?!?!?! HA!HA!HA!HA! Kylee is lucky to have you watching out for her... you two will have fun.
Good luck with the lip ( I hate it when that happens) and the bird issue. Other then the bell and the best placement you can find for your bird stuff... I don't think there is much you can do. Cats will be cats. I had a hunter years ago, and realized the only thing I could do was NOT feed the birds... and I wasn't willing to do that.... so as long as I could minimize what Oscar could catch... I just had to be happy with that! Good luck!

Shanster said...

I know... someone else told me I was feeding more birds than the cat was catching... so I have to be content with that.

Yes, I think you are right - we will just do the goat thing and have fun and screw the bigger/lamer meeting.