Today marked the official end of my maternity leave. I have to say this whole work thing is harder than I remember. Why do people do this? Oh yeah, that’s right, it’s the only way to continue living the fabulously luxurious lifestyle I have grown so accustomed to. Of course, for me that means eating three meals a day and dressing in discount clothes from Kohl’s, but hey, it’s my life and I pretty much like it.
I’ve only set my alarm clock a half a dozen times since March 1st. That sounds more magnificent than it really was as I now have a human alarm that doesn’t play top 40 hits, but screams or coos, depending on his mood. Unlike the electronic model, there is no shutting the human one off, so even during my summer break, a time for cuddling up in bed until at least 9 am in days gone by, I was up by 8 at the latest. Since my son has been sleeping through the night pretty reliably for about the last 3 months or so, I’ve taken to staying up until 11 or when I feel really wacky, midnight. Last night I wasn’t able to break the habit, even though I tried, and even when I took off my glasses and tried to force myself to sleep at 11:15, it was a bit longer before actual sleep came.
Although my ear is fine tuned for my fleshy little alarm, the plastic one also still works fine and when it blared some throaty slightly metallic sounding song at me at 5:45, I blinked a few times before realizing my real life had started once again. I’d forgotten how dark this hour is. I fumbled around trying to get ready in the dark. Our house, for all it’s many many fine qualities does not have a door between the master bedroom and the sink/vanity area, so putting my contacts in and brushing my teeth always wakes my husband up. I tried to do it by nightlight, but had to resort to cracking the closet so I had just a bit more light. Showering was easy since once I’m in the actual bathroom I could turn the light on. It’s still incredibly loud in the bedroom, but easier to sleep through with no lights glaring at you. Dressing was slightly harder as even the closet light doesn’t illuminate my drawers enough for me to distinguish the color of the shirt I’ve chosen. Today wasn’t the actual start of school but a series of meetings that require no dressing up, so I stuck my hand in the drawer and pulled out the first shirt I found. It’s a remnant from my much fatter days. It fits fine, but in a desperate attempt to find something fairly appropriate for my pleasantly plump frame a few years back, I bought the same shirt in five or six different colors. Hence why grabbing in the dark can be dangerous. They all match jeans though, so I was fine.
I managed to get the baby out of bed and into his car seat without waking him. Despite opening all the doors before I attempted to take him out of his comfy crib, as soon as I popped his seat into the base in the car, he woke right up. He stayed up the entire drive to the sitter’s and didn’t actually go back to sleep for about three more hours. Saying goodbye was really hard. I didn’t cry, but I also had trouble making myself actually walk out the door. It was as if my feet were stuck to the floor. I just kept looking at his angelic little face and cursing the fact that we are so darn poor and I can’t stay at home with him. I never really thought I’d feel that way, but I’ve gotten so used to our little routines that the thought of not spending my entire day with him was painful.
Once I was at work it was better. I had things to occupy my time. My room is still in total disarray from my maternity leave. My sub decided to throw all my stuff in the closet, which I understand to a certain degree, but still annoyed me. She also took down a really nice bulletin board of student work just to move around my fire drill and tornado maps. The most bizarre thing she did was move all the markers, crayons and colored pencils from one drawer in my desk to the drawer on the opposite side of the desk. I have no idea why that was done, and while it’s not really a problem, I still had to waste a bunch of time trying to figure out where she put everything. Despite getting to school early and staying after we were allowed to go home, my room is still in more of a shambles than it’s ever been in before, and this is my 10th year teaching. I’m not a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination, but the lack of order is bothering me. No sir, I don’t like it.
The meetings themselves would have been a great time to catch up on sleep if I wasn’t stuck in the first row (which was really the third row because even teachers prefer to sit in the back of the auditorium) and the chairs weren’t so close together that crossing or uncrossing my legs took some major precision not to bump the people on either side of me. As usual, my principal spent the most time talking, which considering every principal in the corporation got up to speak multiple times was quite a feat. At least he was funny though. After the umpteenth handout and introduction to our new staff members (we have 17 at the high school), it all began to run together and my eyes started to blur. The only highlight was when we left to go pick up lunch—pizza*, which we had to eat in our department meeting because no one actually scheduled lunch at it was already 1.
On an interesting note, I found out our former yearbook teacher who was actually escorted off the premises last year and told not to return under threat of being arrested not only managed to lose or “misplace” 3 of the 4 yearbook cameras, but also left the yearbook in debt 12,000. How in the world she managed to do that is currently up for a lot of speculation in our department. My guess is that she pocketed all the cash kids gave her to pay for their yearbooks and headed down to the Caribbean in hopes of actually finding a pirate ship willing to take her aboard and let her sail the seven seas.** Not that any of it matters since I sponsor the newspaper, but it really sucks for her replacement. At least she’s gone though.
This is probably the last of my long posts, which may make many of you quite happy. Since I no longer have minutes of leisure while my son sleeps during the day and I’m sure our heavy duty filters will block wordpress at school, my posting will be limited, especially once homework starts trickling in. Much like every kid tonight, I am praying for just one more day of summer.
*It’s the only thing in town worth eating at. While this might not appear to say much in a town of like five restaurants, it is actually an amazingly good pizza joint, even if it only has eight booths.
**Her one dream in life was to be a pirate. She actually came to school dressed in full pirate gear on two separate occasions. She told the kids on a pretty regular basis how much she wanted to be a pirate.