Well, in my corner of the world the school year is in full swing. I’ve mentioned before that my kids attend a smaller, rural church school, which I love–except when I don’t. I’m very fortunate that the school is small enough that my kids get plenty of individual attention and I get to go on all of the field trips I could ever want to; but there are drawbacks such as everybody knows more about everyone else than they ever thought they needed to.
For example if Billy’s parents have a fight on Tuesday night, you can bet by six o’clock Wednesday night, everyone including the teachers and their families, and all the other families who send students to school there will know not only that there was a fight, but a few extra details, too. Needless to say, Bob and I learned very early on (and thankfully not firsthand) that if we have an argument, it’s best to wait until the kids are asleep, then go hash it out elsewhere. That or use code words.
This is also true in trying to keep up ANY type of pretense. You can’t. “Oh, my mom didn’t really make those cookies. Our babysitter did.” Well, thanks, son! I’m so glad you announced that and now everyone knows I can’t cook/bake.
Last Friday was what had to be my tipping point and for me one of the most humiliating moments of my life.
Now, please bear in mind, I’ve attended the church this school is attached to for about 12 years now and have a spot on both the church and school boards and I write cough, cough classy romance novels. Okay, even if I don’t write totally pristine books, they’re not total smut. Not to mention, every Friday almost all four of the mothers who have kids in school there go out for breakfast and have tea and scones, one of my favorite things to do with others since I’m such a tea connoisseur and could eat scones and pizza every single day–but not at the same meal. So anyway, I try to keep up my image as a somewhat classy lady raising two perfect gentlemen for children…
Or I would be if my parents didn’t insist on giving my children absurd things like a boxed set of books titled Fart Powder that came with an added bonus of a certain type of cushion. Just sayin’.
But I do try to keep up a pretense that we’re a nice, decent family and send them to school in collared shirts each day.
So, last Friday, we were on our way out of town for my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary when Eddie, my second grader, sighs and makes a sad announcement.
“We don’t get to do show and tell at school for the rest of the quarter.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, why is that?” I ask as I set the cruise control to 70 mph.
“Because people keep interrupting me.”
“Does everyone get interrupted?” Seriously, if I was in a room with a gaggle of kids doing show and tell where they all interrupt each other I’d have put a stop to it a long time ago.
“No, only me. I bring the best things!”
“Yes! A few weeks ago I brought my walkie talkies and everyone wanted me to leave the room with one and give the other to Henry while he stayed in the classroom so we could talk back and forth. Then last week, I brought Stinky and…”
Oh my lands, Stinky?! He brought Stinky?! If you’re unfamiliar with who/what Stinky is, he was the “Toy of the Year” a few years back. He’s a battery powered garbage truck that will “eat” a Hot Wheels car then make a commotion about how his stomach is upset and proceed to “poop” the car out the other end, complete with sound effects. Awesome gift from my father-in-law!
My ears perk up. I cannot imagine what he brought that could top Stinky and whatever fuss he caused
“–it was really bad because I couldn’t hardly talk without being interrupted with questions and the kids getting out of their seats.”
“What did you bring?”
“My glow in the dark dog poop that MiMi gave me last weekend.”
I could have died. Absolutely died as images of this sticky neon green glob made to look like a pile of dog feces popped into my mind along with all the uncouth things I know they might have done with it in the classroom–such as throw it on the window or ceiling where I know for a fact it DOES stick. Don’t ask, use your imagination of how I’d know.
I know, I know, to most, it’s not THAT big of a deal, but to me? The field trip driver and school board vice chairwoman who writes those high class novels? I was mortified.
On the plus side, I guess I can let down whatever pretense of being a lady I ever tried to erect because the cat is out of the bag. I ain’t no lady and my boys aren’t perfect gentlemen (still gentlemen though, just not perfect) and if anyone needs further proof of how “normal” my life and family is, they only need to come into my living room and look up on the ceiling… That, or ask my son to tell you how he managed to get show and tell shut down for the rest of the semester.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and could at least snicker at my crawl-under-the-seat-and-die story.