That box has to be around here SOMEWHERE.....

I’m spending all of these fall days with my head spinning. 

I’m using most of my brainpower (and time) to gather paperwork in order to save my retirement from the greedy hands of Someone Who Shall Not be Named.  It’s not enough that he’ll have the house, his camp and a share of his mother’s home, but now he wants to ensure that I work at Wal-Mart after I retire. (Which will probably be NEVER if things don’t go my way.  I’ll be the teacher in the corner DEAD in the rocking chair. )

“Ms. Smythe looks kind of funny; she hasn’t spoken to us for a few weeks and is starting to smell…” 

I’m using the rest of my brainpower (and there isn’t much left after THAT, believe me) to organize my temporary home and my permanent classroom.  It’s INCREDIBLE how much stuff a teacher keeps just in case she needs it.  And truthfully, we usually do need the one thing we threw away the week before and so we’re conditioned to keep, keep, keep.  (I mean recycle.)  So I’m spending many hours deciding what precious items from the previous teachers I NEED and what items I don’t. I have to create space inside many filled cabinets for my OWN crap that someone ELSE will try to throw away after they find me dead in the rocking chair.  (Which at this rate will be sooner than I think.)

I fill the few remaining moments with trips to Golden Boy’s high school football games.  Watching him revel in the magical moments of friday night high school football fills my heart with incredible joy.  For those few hours each weekend I am not a woman fighting a battle. I’m the mom of the 6’1” nose guard trying to get a piece of the quarterback.  

Through all of this turmoil, I’ve come to realize that my juggling skills are declining.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with age, bad knees or exhaustion.  It’s probably because I’ve lost my balls.

Now, if someone can tell me which box I packed them in, I can get this show BACK on the road.


Things I'm pretty sure normal people don't say...

I spent a few minutes after school today slumped in the rocking chair beside the whiteboard that I fully intended to clean.  I was exhausted, as are most kindergarten teachers at the end of the FULL MOON day.  (You can’t tell me that children don’t morph on days when there is a full moon.  Teachers KNOW.  Shouldn’t some scientist out there be interviewing us?) 

I started thinking about what “real” people do during the day, and the things that they say while on the job; the people who aren’t lucky enough to be shaping young minds and hearts.

They probably say things like,  “Nurse, scalpel!”

And, “Trade the stock!  Trade it now!”

Or even, “Your honor, I object!”

Somehow I can’t picture an investment banker looking at a client and saying in a firm voice,  “How many times have I asked you not to pick your nose?”

And try as I might, I can’t imagine any lawyer friends of mine saying to a client, “No, I don’t have crabs” while shuffling through stencils.

And if you were a loan officer and you were looking at numbers and number words, are you likely to say, “No, it’s the other F word” when trying to decide between four and five?

And call me crazy, but I can’t picture Judge Smith saying to the jury, “If I see anyone sniffing their markers, you’re all using crayons.”

 I find myself laughing and shaking my head after I’ve said funny things to the children in my class.  

You know what I said today?   You want to know ALL THE THINGS I said at work recently?  Here’s what my tired, old brain remembers: 

“I said no getting married, no kissing and no hugging in school. NO HUGGING!”
“No, Joe, do not make Batman masks out of the Play-Doh. I admire your creativity, but I can see where this is going.“
“Michael, please get the dinosaur out of your pants.”
“Our fingers do not go in our noses, or in our pants or on your neighbors.”
“Susie, worms are NOT pets.  Please take them out of your pockets and return them outside.”
“Joe, please get the Play-Doh off your head, please. “
“James, we do NOT talk about C-4, dynamite, or any other kind of “flosives” in reading groups-or any other time during our day in kindergarten. Got it?”

“Helen!  HELEN!!! Do NOT eat the chicken leg in the play kitchen. They are plastic, ten-years old and very used!”

“Rachel, were you sniffing the scented markers again?   Yes, I think maybe you were.  Then, why is your nose purple, red, brown and green?”

“Joe, no more Play-Doh for you!  For at least a week!”  (Mrs. Jones, did he really put that in his pants?)

“George, I said tentacle.   TENTACLE.”  

“David – do NOT crawl under the table and eat those brownie crumbs!  Stop it! There is no ten-second rule when the floor is FILTHY.”
“People, I am begging you, please, please, PLEASE do NOT put your fingers in your noses.  We have five billion boxes of tissues in this room that NO ONE USES.  Well, no one, perhaps, except me.”

And the other little thing I say every day? The other phrase that I say so often I hear it in my sleep?

“Okay everyone, time to go home.  Remember that tomorrow is a new day, and I love you all very, very much.”  

And while everything I say during the day is important, these are the probably the most important words of all.


Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom - THAT'S the way to clear a room.

We started our year in kindergarten with a fun book called “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”.  If you know the story, it revolves around letters of the alphabet falling in and out of the coconut tree. 

We spent a week doing everything and anything related to coconuts, trees and letters!  We cracked open a coconut, tried coconut, decorated trees, had a letter hunt, glitterized letters and ate various snacks that looked like coconut trees. 

At the end of the day Thursday I said to the kids, “Boys and girls, don’t forget to tell your moms and dads that you ATE a coconut tree today!”  We made a big deal about it and sent them out the door with smiles.

Friday morning at morning circle I asked the kids if they shared our “tree eating” activity with their parents.  As they sat criss-cross in the circle I went around the circle.   

George said that his parents thought it was awesome!  Jack said that his mom wanted the recipe! I looked at Savannah and asked her what her mom thought!

“Well, My mom said what the fu----
“OKAY!!!! BOYS GIRLS!” I shouted loud enough to scare the bejesus out of them, “That’s ENOUGH sharing for this morning!!!  Let’s STAND UP! Everybody Up!!”

Oh Sweet Cheezus I’m pretty sure she wasn’t going to say fudge.