Mother Daughter Luncheon 2007 has come and gone. There is much to say, but I’m tired, so I will leave you with just a couple of stories and either now or later the three pictures I managed to take with my video camera. (But I took three rolls with the still camera, so that’s okay.)
Victoria has two teachers. Her homeroom teacher is also her reading/language/social studies teacher. The other teaches her math/science. Mrs. McLellan, the math/science teacher, and her daughter were unable to make the bash due to a sporting event, but Victoria’s homeroom teacher, MR. Johnson, was in attendance. He was late. Because, like a man, he did not call for directions before he left his home, nor did he call for directions when he was 15 minutes late, or 30 minutes late, but waited until he was 45 minutes late to call. By that time I’d drafted my friend Suzy to lead our prayer (he had said he would, and how incredibly neat would that have been. . .to have your public school teacher lead a prayer for your meal), and the Ravishing Hordes (see Forty-Five Females) had descended upon the chicken salad and cheese slices and SunChips with a ravenous vengeance that was something to behold.
When he finally arrived, a little embarassed and a lot apologetic, he sat at one of the tables where there were people he knew. The girls were back to playing in the yard. I gave him his specially made place card (each person had their own paper doll wearing a different color little sundress, but his was a boy doll with custom made jeans and t-shirt) and told him that he needed to know that waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in August, when Victoria found out he was to be her teacher, we had the following conversation within the first 1 minute of that revelation.
“I don’t know how to act for a man teacher.”
“Well, honey, DADDY is a man teacher. . .”
The light of realization breaking over her lovely face “Oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Mommy?”
“What will we do about the Mother/Daughter Luncheon?”
I explained to Mr. Johnson that he needed to understand the extreme bending of the Natural Order of Things to be invited to be in actual attendance at the Mother/Daughter luncheon. Inviting the current year’s teachers to attend is a tradition, so Plans had been underway since last August toward this breech of sanctity. Only one other male had ever been, and he was 3 months old. . .AND NURSING. Therefore it was to be allowed.
Not long after Mr. Johnson’s arrival, my sister-in-law came to me discreetly and said. “Roxanne? Is your neighbor’s dog a nice dog?”
And I said, “Huh?”
And she said, “‘Cause he’s in your yard.” Yeah–with the 45 females and Mr. Johnson.
Our rear neighbors have had various and sundry dogs in their time in that house. All of those dogs would much rather be at our house. Their preferred method of entry is under the fence. I have a husband who HATES dogs, and a daughter who is scared to death of dogs, so this is normally not an occurence that is greeted with smiles and laughter. Especially after the Near Miss of 2004.
Tony was at Arnold getting his room ready, and Victoria’s friend Dezirae was over playing. I heard a dog barking, but all of a sudden Victoria came running into my bedroom screaming that the dog was in our yard. I went to look out of her window, and what I saw was Chucky (the rear neighbor boy) scaling our fence (a frequent occurence with the whole dog/yard issue) and scooting his pooch back under the fence.
Then I looked down.
I did not know that Tony had left the chickens in the yard rather than in their coop, (for the squeamish, remember, this is called The Near Miss of 2005) and what I saw looked like chicken Armaggedon. There was a mountain of feathers blowing forlornly around littering the back yard. Now I am a brave woman. I could regale you with tales of all manner of slaughtered animals I have seen, helped clean, process, package, and freeze. But I could not go down and face what looked to be an all out chicken maylay in our yard.
So I called Tony. And then I hid upstairs and waited for him to get home. AND kept Victoria away from the window.
When he finally arrived and went outside to brave the massacre, there was no blood. Not even a droplet. He found both of the chickens huddled inside the stand of sugar cane, but one was in various states of undress. We haven’t gotten as many eggs since. The dog was playing with her, ’cause if he’d wanted to do some damage, he most certainly could have.
All of that to say, that Chucky is no stranger to our backyard, and he has made scaling our fence a science. And he is now 14 and huge.
I walked toward the dog (really a big puppy–it’s a lab though, so by big puppy I mean the size of an average dog)to try to get him to go back under the fence. He tried, poor thing, but couldn’t and was stressed out by the gaggle of 25 little girls all crouching at my heels. He ended up under one of the rainbow draped tables cowering and growling and snapping when someone heard Chucky hollering for the dog. So I hollered for Chucky and met him at the fence. He scaled it easily apologizing profusely all the while. “I am sorry. I am so sorry.” Then he noticed the 46 other people in my yard and the apologies grew to a fevered pitch. I assured him all was well–to just get the dog and go back over/under the fence from whence they’d come. He had to wade amongst all of the pastel females to get the poor puppy and in an effort to explain said, “He just had surgery and is taking medicine and is a little whacked out. I am soooooo sorry.”
I walked with him back over to the fence to see if he needed help. He said no, then, with all 92 eyes on him, he raised the dog up to the top of the 8′ privacy fence and threw him over–just pitched him over with flourish as though he were an errant soccer ball or frisbee.
There was a collective gasp from the porch as though all the oxygen in the back yard, low, the universe, was being sucked through the mouth of one gigantic, righteously indignant, 90 eyed female. (I don’t know if Mr. Johnson and his 2 eyes were part of the gasp or not.) When I turned and saw their horror stricken faces I began to laugh, because I knew something the appalled female population of my back yard did not know.
Through tears of laughter I said, “There is a trampoline.”
At which point everyone exhaled and then we all laughed and laughed and laughed. . .except Chucky, ’cause he was having to haul himself up to the top of my fence to get over without the aid of his trampoline.
Each year I invite my mother-in-law to attend the luncheon, and each year she declines. Her EXACT WORDS, “Things like that are boring. They are too fussy and there’s nothing interesting to talk about.”
Yeah. Right. Recently Neutered Pooch Pitching is so yesterday.
So really today we had 45 females and 3 males. . .Mr. Johnson, Chucky, and Chucky’s dog, but the earth is still spinning on it’s axis. God is in his Heaven. And all is right with the world.
AND, the carrot cake was delish.