Monday, August 9, 2010

ADD trumps emotion.

Happy back to school week!!

Strip is starting kindergarten, and I can hardly believe it. I knew this day was coming, so I've been preparing. Shopping! New backpack, new lunch bag (which when she saw it, she said, "That's cute, but I'd prefer to just buy my lunch."), new clothes, new shoes, and of course, the first day of school outfit.

With everything ready for her, there was only one thing left to do; Kindergarten Parent Orientation. All summer people have been asking me if I'm ready or sad. Why would I be sad? My baby is 5, and she's emotionally, physically and mentally ready to take her first steps into real school! I think I'd be sad if for some reason she WASN'T ready to go to kindergarten! Plus, it helps that she's SO darn excited about it. She's been "ready" since she saw the neighbors catching the bus last year. Now, if she were a crying, screaming mess every time someone brought it up, then I might be a little more stressed, but she's golden.

Hubs and I got a sitter so we could go together. I wanted him to see the school and hear about how kindergartners ride the bus so he'd feel a little better about it. Afterwards, we were going to grab some dinner. We didn't take the kids because it specifically stated in her paperwork, "This meeting is for parents. Students and siblings are welcome to join us for an ice cream social on Sunday."

As I waited for Hubs to get home from work and was cleaning up, I thought back six years. Could it really have been six years ago this month that I was waiting for Hubs to get home from work and frantically cleaning, but with five positive pregnancy tests lined up in the bathroom?! It seems both so far away and just like yesterday all at the same time. And yet, here we are, 3 states, 2 jobs and 1 more kid later with a kindergartner! Maybe everyone was right. Maybe it will finally hit me tonight and I'll be a sobbing blubbering mess.

Hubs and I arrived right in time, still able to get a good seat, but with a few minutes to spare to scope out the crowd. I was looking for preschool parents I knew. Hubs was checking everyone out.

Hubs: Those are the oldest kindergarten teachers I've ever seen.
Me: What?!
Hubs: Look how old those three are!
Me: Um. I'm pretty sure those are the principal and vice principal. And there are at least a couple of young teachers because I met one when Strip had her testing.
Hubs: I hope there's a hot one.
Me: Shhh!

The principal (one of the "old ones" and she is not really old by the way) then got to speak. Ok. Here we go. Cue the emotions, this is real. My baby's actually going to-

Me: What?
Hubs: Ugh. Gross! Look! Right there. Two people in front of me.
Me: What? I don't see anything.
Hubs: Look! Oh. Nevermind. This lady sitting right there, had her BARE FOOT sitting in the chair in front of her.
Me: Ew.
Hubs: Yeah. And there's someone sitting RIGHT NEXT to her bare foot. Uck. But she put it, OH NO, oh NO!
Me: What?
Hubs: She just took her bare foot, scooted the chair BACK so it was closer to her and propped her naked, bare foot back up again next to that guy.
Me: Oh I see it! Oh gross! Glad we're not in the front row.

The nurse gets up to speak and I notice the couple next to me feverishly taking notes. Really? Is this rocket science? If your kid is sick, don't come to school. If you pump your kid full of tylenol in the morning, it wears off and he spikes a fever, the nurse WILL call you to pick him up.

Ok. Focus. Here we go. Teacher intro.

As each one stands and waves, Hubs takes mental notes. We don't know Strip's teacher yet, so we're looking at all of them wondering. The 4th one to stand's name is Mrs. S.

Hubs: Heck yeah! A hottie!

And Mrs. S will actually be out for the first part of the year because she just had a baby...

Hubs: And she puts out!
Me: Seriously?! Shut UP!

We gather our composure and the principal gets back up to speak. She's talking about this acronym they use to make sure everyone is using their good behavior. She's going through each letter and talking it up. She gets to "A" and describes what it stands for, but follows it with, "That one's new this year. We had a different A last year." Hubs and I exchange glances and start giggling uncontrollably thinking about what A they had to drop? Attendance? Attitude? What A word could be so difficult they had to kick it out?

If our own thoughts weren't distracting enough, apparently 85% of kindergarten parents can't read, so there were kids and siblings everywhere. I know, I know, not everyone can afford a sitter, some parents have to work, blah blah blah. But, I'd rather not come to the orientation and risk not getting some face time with the teacher than bring my kid and younger siblings and and be a distraction to everyone. Better to not be known than to be remembered for being that annoying kid whose little sister was ripping things off the wall. Also, when a baby is letting out one of those long, monotone, "Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sounds, do NOT start patting your hand on her mouth. They like that noise and will continue to do it.

Before we knew it, we were off to find Strip's classroom. Guess what? 100% of parents who can't read are in our class. Yay! We settle into our tiny chairs and look around the room. Very nice! Then a mom, dad, kindergartner, grandma and two other adults come in and sit with us. Really?! I know we're all excited, but couldn't ONE of you keep the kid at home? Not trying to judge. Just trying to understand.

The teachers do there chats, and at the end, Mrs. S reminds everyone to check their child's name tags.

Mrs S: We'd hate to be calling your son James when he really goes by Jim or Jimmy and then he's crying because we don't call him by the right name! Just make sure whatever name your child wants to be called is on his or her name tag!

Kid:I want to be called "James." (I glance at his name tag and not only is his name NOT James, his real name contains none of those letters).
Dad: What?
Kid: I want to be called James.
Dad: That's not your name!
Kid: She said to write what we want to be called. I want to be called James.

Hubs and I exchange wide eyed glances and try not to laugh in this kid/parent's face. Ok Strip, you're at least a little smarter than ONE kid in your class. You're going to be ok.

She then opened up the floor to questions.

Random Dad: Yeah, when they go to lunch, do they just go or are they in a group.
Hubs: (Hubs whispering, aka half-screaming) Oh good Lord, did he NOT go to elementary school!? Does he really thing they just open the doors and let the kids just take off?! NO! You walk in a line, 2 by 2, everywhere you go.

Random Mom: Can they eat with other grades?
Me: What?! They eat at like 10 am. Did you see the size of the lunch room? They eat by grades. Does she think that the entire school eats at 10 am?!

There we a few other, "Really?!" questions and then they were wrapping things up.

Mrs S: Ok. I think that's about it. Any other questions? Comments? Anybody want to throw something at me?
Hubs: Oh, I'll throw something at you.

Thanks, Hubs, for reaffirming that you can make anything sound dirty if you say it the right way.

We head to dinner at a new restaurant (for us) and are completely underwhelmed. Our server wasn't that great either. His wine suggestions were bad, his sides suggestions were bad and his voice was kind of grating.

We shrug figuring at least we tried it and have pretty much decided we're not going to be back. Hubs ordered a wedge salad which they serve in a soup bowl. You need room for a wedge! I thought he was going to have to dump half of it out on the table and eat it in shifts. Before he can rest his fork in his bowl, our entrees arrive.

Me: Well, they got those microwaved in a hurry!
Hubs: Hush, it's fine.
Waiter: Can I get you anything else?
Hubs: Yeah, can I get a lemon?
Waiter: A lemon?
Hubs: (motioning to his scallops) yeah, a lemon.
Me: I am going to laugh if he brings out like a whole freaking lemon!

I guess the waiter had the last laugh, because this is what he brought:

It's hard to tell with the art deco plates, glistening table top and phone camera quality, but that is a tiny, dehydrated slice and the butt of a lemon. You couldn't squeeze them into your water, much less squirt them on your scallops.

We dig in anyway, and after trying one of Hubs' scallops, I decide to try his potato thing. As soon as I swallow, I realize there was probably flour in it to thicken up the cheese sauce. I can feel my throat swelling up as I try to swallow a bite of my steak. It gets stuck.


I give Hubs the look, and rush off to find the bathroom. It's on the OTHER SIDE of the restaurant and it takes me a little while to dislodge my filet, so I'm thinking both about how I'm going to finish my meal and how to let Hubs know I'm ok, no need for epi and I'm not dead on the bathroom floor.

I figure if he gets too worried, someone will come looking for me. I maintain my breathing and swallowing and walk back to our table. I see him on his phone, thumbs flying.

Me: Are you tweeting?
Hubs: Maybe.
Me: Awe.

I pick up my phone to check it expecting it to say:
Hubs is sitting alone at the table hoping I didn't just try to kill my wife again.

What his tweet really said:
Hubs just found out Strip git the hottest K teacher. I was never so lucky.

Thanks sweetheart.

And as we're paying the check and thinking dinner can't be any better than this, we hear screams coming from the ballroom adjacent to us. The waiter walks back over and notices that we noticed.

Waiter: Yeah, sorry about that. We are hosting some revival thing. They were filming an infomercial in the lobby earlier.
Me: Ahh! Did they bring snakes?
Waiter: No, but we do have to staff extra people for clean up.

Apparently, expelling demons is quite messy, and extra catering staff is required to clean up the vomit. Awesome. So glad we'd already finished dinner when you mentioned that.

So, what was the point of this post? Oh yeah! my baby's starting school. Focus, mom, focus!

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