The Curse of Mothers EVERYWHERE

Back to School. It sends a shiver down my spine. Why? Allow me to elaborate, hmmm?

I'm sure all mothers know what I'm going to rant about today. I'm sure of it. For ME to rant about this, SHOPPING, is a major and rare thing. Although today wasn't too bad, cause I went alone. It's ALWAYS better when I go alone.

All the schools here wear uniforms, thank GOD. Ok, in a way, thank God. In another way, this is a fucking NIGHTMARE. Arianna happens to go to one of the MANY private schools here. There is ONE, count em, ONE Uniform shop in the whole of Bahrain that until last year had only one location, on a small extremely BUSY street with 5 parallel parking spaces which it must share with the beauty supply shop (also the only one) and some other shop or other. The shop is so small and crammed with racks upon racks (I MEAN CRAMMED) and counters, and sales staff and PEOPLE with their UMPTEEN children and their respective maids. It gave me a bad attack of claustrophobia which led to a anxiety attack. It wasn't pretty. Anyhow, do you all get how damn small it is? Good. ie: when they run out of your kid's size of the pre-made ones, you have to special order a custom one, which takes about2-3 weeks due to the backlog of all the other parents as stupid as you obviously are to wait till the last damn minute. (This happened to me once a few years ago. NEVER AGAIN) Anyway, last year the geniuses that own it opened another branch (AMEN PRAISE JESUS!!!!!!!Halleleuja!) in my favorite beautifully designed and laid out, but not overly busy mall not 10 minutes from my house with sh*tloads of parking! This shop is HEWGE, extremely brightly lit and spacious. I want to kiss the feet of the owner for opeining this branch. They saved my life and my sanity. Surplus of uniforms. YES! and white PE shorts (or SKORTS, whichever you prefer), and the SPECIAL DAMN T-shirt with the school logo on it (I got in trouble for this, but I'll go into this later), and the other special PE t-shirt of which I don't have the slightest clue what color to buy yet so it will have to wait. and the school ties, and cardigans... and ... and... and... and... (also, this place has maid and nanny uniforms, and medical staff uniforms- which is totally unrelated to this post, but I just thought I would toss it in for background info).

Now here comes the part where I might get pounded on by my readers (but most of you are women so you will probably TOTALLY empathise). Ari's cousin Juju (nickname for her real name, Jawaher, which means JEWELS) is 3 years ahead of Ari in the same school. This is N's youngest daughter. Juju gave Ari a couple of her old, but like new uniforms last month. Does she wanna wear them? Hell no. Why? Cause they are the "old style" uniform and since LAST year the girls have 2 options. Ok, mind you, I think the old style is waaaaay cuter. It's a square neck jumper style, with an attached pleated skirt. (bear in mind the goddamn pleats, will you?) When I say pleats, we are talking about 25-ish pleats here in the skirt. It falls just above the knee. The waist is cinched. (BTW- her uniform is a deep beautiful baby blue solid cotton with the logo patch on the left.) It looks beautiful on her with her figure especially now that she has a smaller waist and some hips. The NEW style (Juju's new uniform also) is also a square necked jumper style, but more like an A-line slim cut dress. Sleeveless also, but there is ONLY one pleat in front and NONE in back. It also has a seperate belt that goes in loops. (more 60's style) Both styles wear either long or short sleeved white blouse underneath and a Blue tie same material and color of the dress uniform. (Duh, white socks and black shoes) (Cardigans MUST be white. Anal freaking schools, all of them)

I have been swearing left right and center that I would NOT give in to the whole "new Uniform style" thingie. Guess what? Today I folded. I gave in. She got lucky, actually. There was ONE left in her size. (It's only worn 2 out of the 5 days of school, so one will do fine) Of course it's appalingly long, so I have to get it altered at the tailor, but that's not a biggie. Know my deciding factor? The wonderful lack of pleats. The other uniform is so cute, but do you have ANY IDEA WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS it is to be ironing all those pleats so they are all crisp and even?? NIGHTMARE. (I actually like ironing,but that is pushing it BIGTIME) One big pleat in the front vs. 25-ish? SO, I got the freaking new uniform for her, new shorts and a new PE Tee. I got all happy and noticed the new design for the PE shirts and thought I'd get one like that for her. You know, a big surprise. uh huh. I was doing ok up till then.

Anyway, today, I also had to go hit a big store that is as close to a Costco as I'm gonna get here since I had to get her lined notebooks and miscellaneous things needed. I also had to buy the clear adhesive bookcover rolls. (THAT took me an hour and a half to cover all her damn books. WHAT? I'm meticulous!) I had already hit this store 2 weeks ago with Her Majesty (Ari) to get some basics that I knew she needed before I got the actual list provided by the school. Pens, pencils, music books, art supplies (basic) (OK, I stocked up on the colored construction paper, cause you can never find it when the art teacher issues orders to bring it in TOMORROW!) blah, blah.bleeeeh. Ari drove me up the freaking WALL that day. Next school purchase excursion was for her book bag, since she couldn't decide the day she made me pop Xanax. In this, I triumphed! A really cute bag, and inexpensive. Actually, I love .. love.. LOVE this bag! Got her the matching soft lunchbox. It looks like Denim and has pretty Red and fuschia stars all over it. BRATZ Girls for those of you with kids. It's very cute. Lovin it. I was all smug with the inexpensiveness of it too. (Still am) The day of the schoolbag purchase I girded my loins and drug her to buy trainers. Shit.

Here again, the freaking school is anal and precise. A-N-A-L. Must be white. No color allowed on it excecpt the same baby blue of the uniform. A-holes. FINALLY I found some that she would put up with that didn't cost as much as her school books after much coaxing, pleading, whining and begging... on my part.

I bought a damn mountain of white socks. Why so many? Cause somehow, they go missing. Maybe the cats? I dunno. (Scarlett the Calico-tabby kitty DOES have a weird shoe and sock fetish, maybe she's the culprit?? Could be Angel also, since she worships anything to DO with Arianna. Whatever Angel finds that has Ari's scent on it, she rolls on it and purrs real realll loud. (She guards Ari when she sleeps by sitting like the Sphinx on her pillow next to her head and watching over her, or at her feet, facing out. She follows Ari all over the house like a shadow wherever she goes also.) Although, I DID catch monster wearing Ari's casual socks, the new ones I had bought her for the cooler weather which pissed me off to no end. Not as much as it pissed Ari off tho! Hahahaha. I sicked her on her grandmonster. (Me: Pssst! Lookiee, she's wearing your new socks you were lookin for!) heh heh heh. Have you seen two tomcats fighting? That's what it's like when Ari finds out Monster has swiped some of her stuff. We ended up not finding black shoes we could agree on. That I will leave for DADDY to do. (Cause I'm beat, frankly)

See, Z went and picked up her new school books for this year last Thursday. 5th Grade. We have to buy those too. I have a problem with this. Know why? Cause I spent only slightly more on my books for COLLEGE. $240.00 for the school books only. Not to mention all the other supplies. Thank GOD she is in the British Curriculum school. It's a good school. I wish I could afford to put her in one of the 4 American Curriculum schools, but the damn tuition is so bloody high its rediculous. One is run by the Pentagon (Bahrain School). One by Z's Auntie (where I taught for a year) and their is one owned by a Sheikha, and one other. The two worse of those is the Pentagon-run school and the Shaikha's school (which is only for girls) Bahrain School is about $16,000 a year. The Sheikha's girls school is about $8-9,000 a year PLUS BOOKS. The books for all of those American schools are much more expensive since they bring the textbooks from the US. My other neice, Mimi is in the Auntie's school and her school books are $800.00 I'm sorry, but that shit is just SICK. So, British Curriculum it is! The tuition is much more reasonable. A fraction of the other fees actually. We pay about $160.00 a month including bus transport to and from school (we only gave in to the whole bus thing from this year). That breaks down to US$ 1,600.00 PER YEAR. Plus books and the usual crap. Big difference, no?

2 months ago, I happened across a big fat sale on school blouses and excercise pants, etc.. so I DID stock up on the things for this next school year in that way. (I'm waiting for you all to pat me on the back.... it was a 50% off sale)

Today, I even stocked up on goodies for the lunchbox. I'm racking my brain trying to think of anything I might have forgotten to get (excecpt for the black shoes) OH SHIT! The hair stuff. Must be school colors also or the teachers NAG.

Soooo, I crawl in shortly after 6pm bag laden. I mischeviously wave the House of Uniforms shopping bag in front of my gonna-be-10-in 7-days pre-teen daughter. She starts squealing with joy. Ahhhh music to a Mama's ears. Uniform: WOOHOOO! Fits, just waaaaay long. I swear I will get it fixed properly and not let monster near it to alter all crooked herself. (I can sew, but this is major) New PE shorts. She loves em. Then we get to the new style PE shirt. Remember that?

I fucked up apparently. She went from ear to ear smiles and hopping up and down to a truly irritated and angry grumpy face. Ugh. "Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! EVERYONE HAS THAAAAATTTT!" Guess what my response was? Come on, guess! I said.... "SO. WHAT. The logo is much smaller and the shirt will stay nice longer and WHY ON EARTH AM I EXPLAINING MYSELF TO YOU? YOU'RE WELCOME!", and I walked out.

School starts Wednesday. Yeah, THIS Wednesday. Wheeeeeeee!

PS: The weather today was fucking NASTY. 100% humidity. God but I hate the humidity. I felt totally lightheadded from the heat. ewwwwwwwwwwwww. Stupid weather. Have I mentioned that the humidity stays at around 100% from now through Mid -late October? (ie: my hair becomes like Chaka Khan in this weather no matter how much Frizz Ease I use. *SOB*)


amyesq said...

Geez, whatever happened to a couple mellow trips to the mall to get everything we needed? Your experience sounds like my mom's when my family was living in Scotland and needed three kids' worth of crazy uniform nazi's clothes, with matching gym outfits, shoes, etc. Thank God I always went to public school...

amyesq said...

Geez, whatever happened to a couple mellow trips to the mall to get everything we needed? Your experience sounds like my mom's when my family was living in Scotland and needed three kids' worth of crazy uniform nazi's clothes, with matching gym outfits, shoes, etc. Thank God I always went to public school...

Catrina said...

I am so glad that Jazz doesn't have to wear uniforms anymore! Or am I? She does borrow my clothes and "forgets" to hang them up...Hmmmmm...Well the uniform places are icky here too. If you don't go to the dirty uniform store in East LA, you go to the trashy Wal-Mart 3o min away! And tell me....WHY ARE THERE 40,000,000 SIZE 22's???? I know alot of American kids are overweight but......COME ON!

Hula Doula said...

Holy Crap! Sounds like my life in stereo!! LOL
THANK GOD WE DON'T HAVE TO DO UNIFORMS!!!!!!!!!! I don't think I could stomach it. There are some days I would love it but others where it would stink stink stink.
Have a great 1st day of school ARI!!!Q