Things You Would Have Heard at My House this Morning, etc.

“When Daddy is through wrestling with the snake, he can come and watch the crab explode.”

Victoria standing in front of an open cage that was inhabited by the 8+ foot snake that Daddy was wrestling WITHOUT BATTING AN EYE, but screaming when a bug ran across her shoe.

Me screaming as Thad tricked me into watching the CARTOON crab explode by not TELLING me it was going to explode. It was on Poptropica which is a game on which is a free, educational website with lots of games. Thad and Victoria LOVE it. There was a little crab that he was clicking on, and it was sort of dancing, and I said, “Oh, that crab is dancing.” And then it BLEW UP. All the little black line drawn pieces of it went KABLOOEY all over the beach. I guess it was no worse than an anvil falling on Wyle E. Coyote’s head, but it took me by surprise and the little crab eyeballs went flying across the computer screen.

The smoke alarm near the front door going off NOT because Victoria and I had garlic toast for breakfast like we WANTED due to a 10:30 showing of our home (Sarah, I KNOW that the thought of garlic toast for breakfast is grossing you out), but because it is so hot and humid that the heat and steam from outside triggered it when we left the door open for too long.

Me divulging womanly secrets to Victoria. . .this morning’s lecture was about the many merits of NAME BRAND Windex versus generic or store brand window cleaner for cleaning mirrors. I’ve used ’em all, and it’s worth the extra to get REAL Windex and good paper towels. (I use Sparkle, because they are also very cute.)

Victoria quoting her favorite Looney Tunes lines at random.

Me explaining to the children BOTH definitions of the word trifle as well as describing the dish that holds a trifle. (Victoria was reading Chrysanthemum to Thad and it says, “She felt a trifle better. . .”).

Thad waxing poetic, profusely, and AD NAUSEUM about the many, many, many Lego sets he already owns and hopes to own in the future and what he will do with them and what movies he will make about them when he grows up and what color the hair is of the people he will hire to be in his movies and how he will have to get a black wig because to be a Secret Agent Leader you must have black hair if you are a boy and brown hair if you are a girl and he will never have black hair because his is blond and. . .at that point I got out of the car to fill it up with gas. When I got back in the commentary was still in full swing.

“When I am done rescuing the past, then I can rescue the future.” (Guess who said this.)

On a different note, the good thing about taking the teaching position someone else has vacated is when they leave their files for you.

And also, the bad thing about taking the teaching position someone else had vacated is when they leave their files for you.

While our house was showing, we took all of the animals to school, and I worked in a my room a little bit. I have NEVER, NEVER, NO NEVER, EVER, EVER started teacher inservice without my room being done. Never. Not even once. Not even when Victoria was a baby. Ever. We start inservice on Monday, and 95% of my stuff is still in boxes. The 5% that is NOT in boxes is furniture or the smidgeon I unloaded today.

Part of my limited time today was spent unloading the 8 drawers of filing cabinets in my new room. The drawers were PACKED. PACKED. Some of those things I will be very glad to have–for instance the tests for “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry and research notes for Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. But 4 files of Christmas puzzles has NOTHING to do with my new language arts curriculum. Although I am sure they are fun. I just want EXACTLY what I need. ‘Cause I have files of my OWN to put into my cabinets. Which were full of all the stuff the other gal left. Which I had to unload so I could move the filing cabinets to the other side of the room. (For the record, I left all of the filing cabinet drawers in my old room completely empty except for 1/4 of one DRAWER in which I left lesson plans, copies, and tests for the curriculum the new teacher will need.)

On the way out of the building I saw some parents, a very pretty, very 6th-grade-looking girl and her little sister standing in the middle of the science hallway staring at her schedule. It was after orientation, so I was pretty sure they were lost. I stopped to help, chatted with them–they are from California–just moved here. Although they didn’t say it, they are scared to death and so is their girl. I know this because I’ve seen the look over and over and over for the past 17 years. It is the same look you will see on my face this time next year when Victoria begins middle school–even though I have nearly 20 years experience in middle school. Their first child going into middle school. . .and in a new state. . .and in a huge building is more than daunting. I explained what I could, generally chatted, then left.

It was a very, very nice reminder of why, for all of it’s frustrations and inconveniences, I like being a teacher. I like knowing that maybe they left just a little less scared having had someone tell them that their child’s schedule looks great and that she has the best reading teacher in our building for reading this year, and that she does, indeed, have lunch even though it’s not on her schedule, and that everyone else in 6th grade–even those who have been in our district since kindergarten–even those who have had older siblings attend our school–all start out brand new on the first day of middle school. By the way, the girl’s name is Lindsey. She could probably use some prayers. And so could her parents.

And so could I. 🙂


5 thoughts on “Things You Would Have Heard at My House this Morning, etc.

  1. It’s never a dull moment with you. It makes me unreasonably happy that that little family found you of all people in that big, scary building. I was in sixth grade when we moved out here, it made such a difference to have a warm, helpful teacher there to make the school feel a little more friendly.

    Is V really heading into middle school next year? I had no idea she was that big already.

  2. Jennifer

    You’re such a good teacher and friend. Thanks for this morning. The distraction was exactly what I needed to make it fairly unnoticed by all going through the foyer.

  3. The ONLY time I have cried taking any of my children to school was dropping my first-born at middle school. It was seeing the 6′ neighbor boy of ours — who looked SCARED. TO. DEATH. that did me in (he was in 8th grade — but re-districting had put everyone in a new school — tense times). Don’t worry about the room — sounds like you’re doing what you need to be doing, like talking new girls and mommas out of their trees.

  4. I am so glad You were there for them too – I echo Rebecca’s happiness that they ran into You 🙂

    That first middle school day was bigger than the first kindergarten day too, for me, when W started. I wasn’t so much worried or scared, and he was even less so, but it was the whole ‘rite of passage’ thing.

    Strangely, today is his first day in Jr. High, and I’m only slightly affected, and mostly in a curious way, wishing I could be a bug on his shoulder all day 🙂 He’s so confident and positive about school, and we are luck yo live in a great city with great schools.

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