Monthly Archives: May 2009

It’s really not funny…except it is!

Ok, so I absolutely, 100% know this should not amuse me, but I can’t help it, it does.

Last night, in a pseudo-attempt to guilt trip my dad for not visiting since my son’s birthday (and as a reminder that I want him to come up after my surgery), I called my dad. My son was in a great mood, so I handed the phone over to him. He spent a good five minutes, just talking to my dad. He told him all about how he was doing (“I fine”), what he’d name the fish he was going to get (“Nemo”) and reminding my dad about what he does for a living (“drive fire truck”). About half-way through the conversation, he said the golden words guarenteed to melt any grandparents’ heart: I love you (pronounced “I wuv you”).  He then went on to amaze and amuse my dad by responding “because I doan know PawPaw John.”

This is not what has me in stitches. My amusement is far more sinister.

After my husband heard this conversation, he immediately wanted to call his folks. Our son was already distracted and I could tell he wasn’t in the mood. So tonight, my husband was gung-ho that our son would talk to his folks. Without asking if my son wanted to talk, he called his folks up.

Much to his dismay, our son would not talk to his grandparents. He pulled and twisted away from the phone, determined to wrestle with his overstuffed teddy bear. My husband tried for several minutes to get our son to talk, but he barely managed to get two “hellos” out of him. He did manage a quick love you, but it was garbled because the boy was trying hard to get away.

My husband ended up throwing his hands up and walking into the other room to talk to his dad.

I know our son wans’t trying to cause any hurt feelings. There are nights he won’t talk to my parents either, although those are few and far between. Our son just knows my parents better. He’s spent two Christmases with them (none with my in-laws), two birthdays with them (again, none with my in-laws), an extended visit while we were on vacation last year and about a dozen trips to visit my folks (one to see my in-laws).

I should be clear, I do like my in-laws. They are nice people. I just sometimes think they are so used to having grandchildren (they have 6 now) and so our son, who is in the middle, gets pushed to the side. They’ve been to every other grandkid’s first birthday party (except the one who hasn’t hit two yet). My folks only have one grandchild and they adore him. Plus, they only live two hours away. My in-laws live 10 hours away. It does change the calculus of things.

Still, I can’t help but chuckle. Maybe they’ll come to his party next year!

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Filed under married life, motherhood, my crazy family, my son, pet peeves, ramblings, what makes me me

Father knows best?

I love my father. I truly do. Sometimes I just wish he’d listen to me.

Not that I actually think that is ever going to happen. It doesn’t matter that I am in my 30’s, own my own home (and am closer to paying it off than he is), have a stable career, a good marriage or a child of my own. I am still his little girl and therefore, incapable of giving anything more than a suggestion, even when it comes to my life.

In his defense, this time he wants to do something he feels is sweet and supportive. Usually that’s the case. He just doesn’t always believe that I know what I really need.

I’m having my gallbladder removed this Thursday. I am not particulary freaked out about this surgery, although I’m not exactly looking forward to having any part of my anatomy sliced open. Even if they are only little holes this time. But it’s an outpatient procedure, and I should be home in a few hours. I’ll be sore, but should be able to function….more or less.

My dad wants to come for the surgery. I know, I know, it’s sweet of him. He wants to be there to help support me. The only problem is that it’s going to be a lot of him sitting around a waiting room with me woozy and disoriented when I do get to see him. The last time I had a procedure and he came for it, I hardly remember him being there, in part, because once he found out I was ok, he took off. Later he told me that the sight of me all pale and out of it scared him and he had to get out.

At the time it annoyed me since he deals with sick and dying people daily, but now that I have a kid of my own, I kind of get it. The thought of seeing my little guy in pain or peril is thorougly frightening.

The problem here, is that I would rather him come to visit me this weekend, after I’ve had a day or two to recover, and when I might really need him. I won’t be able to pick my son up, and I know he’ll really want me to. But, if he had grandpa to play with, he’d be less likely to want to crawl all over me. Plus, he and my step-mom would be able to help my husband with things around the house. I tried to tell my dad this.

When I talked to him tonight, he asked me about my surgery times. I gave him all the details, including my weekend plans. His reply? “Well, maybe I’ll take a drive down on Thursday.” It’s like I wasn’t even having a conversation with him.

Sigh…no matter what I do, I’m still going to be 10 in his eyes.

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Filed under love, motherhood, my crazy family, my son, pet peeves, ramblings, what makes me me

Breaking people’s hearts

I broke a young girl’s heart tonight. Not on purpose, but it was unavoidable and I knew it. And I’ve known it for quite awhile too.

I absolutely hate giving bad news to people. Especially when they are people I generally like. But every year, I inevitably have to hurt someone and although I know what I’m doing is for the best, it always puts me in a funk.

When I used to direct plays,  the day the cast lists went up were always the WORST days of the year. Since the kids knew I posted the castlist the day after auditions, no matter how early I made it to school, there was always at least one kid who beat me there, eagerly waiting by my office door. And often it was a kid who I knew was not going to like the choices I’d made. Sometimes they were even really good actors, but they just weren’t right for the part.

And that’s what happened this time too. I announced editorships for next year’s newspaper. I had two girls vying for editor-in-chief. Both were strong candidates. I knew they both wanted it. I also knew that one had been almost making herself sick in anticipation. She told me about nightmares where she didn’t get a position at all. For the last month, I’ve heard almost daily how nervous she was about my impending announcements.

I couldn’t give the position to her though. She just doesn’t quite fit. In fact, she fits perfectly for the #2 spot. I don’t think she even realizes just how great she’d be as #2. I just hope that she can get past her hurt and disappointment and make next year amazing. I think we could have the most amazing paper ever with her as #2.

And while the prospect of the best paper with the least amount of work on my part next year thrills me, right now the fact that she’s upset, kind of breaks my heart too.

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gems of human speech

Ok, so this is the best line I’ve read so far in a research paper:

subject: why tanning is a problem in society today

actual student sentences: 

“It is worse than drinking alcohol. This can kill a person for life.”

I just really, really, really want to know what doesn’t kill a person for life, because that’s what I want to die from. Something that only leaves me temporarily dead. Maybe like that potion from Romeo and Juliet. Or whatever the people on the island in Lost are getting. Those would work fine.

It reminds me of one of my favorite lines from the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Cordelia (said to Giles after he’d been knocked out once again): “One of these days you’re going to wake up in a coma.”

Giles (amazing) response: “Wake up in a coma?”

It also reminds me of a radio commercial I heard for an “investigative report” into a gruesome murder that happened many years ago in the city. I didn’t actually watch the investigation as the radio ad alone made me want to hit someone. The woman quoted was somehow related to the victim. The radio ad was playing up the idea that the victim had a premonition of her death. To add credence to this theory was her family member who claimed the victim had told her, “one of these days I’m going to wake up dead in this house.”

I can only assume the woman knew she was going to be a ghost.

Man, I love people some days!

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Filed under entertainment, Joss Whedon, life as a teacher, problems with society, ramblings, TV, what makes me me

True Friends

I think I might just have the best friends in the world. Now, I don’t mean this to be some sort of contest about who actually has the best friends in the world. Nor am I going to decide on which of my friends is the best. This is more of a general, “man, I love you guys” kind of email.

See, I’ve been sick for awhile now. It started before Christmas and has been about 5 months of unpredictable bouts with digestive nightmares. Not at all pleasant. In the last two months I’ve been through several nasty spells and more than a few tests. Turns out the last test was the one that actually had results: I have a low functioning gallbladder. This means it has to come out. I am not particularly happy about this fact, but the thought of not knowing if I’m suddenly going to be doubled over with stomach cramps during the middle of a lesson, or lose control of my bowels at a movie, makes it worth it.

The reason I bring up my friends is because they have been so sweet through all of my ups and LOTS of downs. With only a moment’s notice, they have taken over my classes while I got sick. They have given up their prep time so that I could get in for testing. Today one of them swooped in and took over the detention I was supposed to supervise so that I could go home and rest. This was particularly kind because between my chest cold and my gallbladder, I had spaced detention duty entirely. I had no one to pick up my son and I felt horrible. Without the slightest hint of annoyance, she stepped in and took right over.

One of my friends even rearranged her vacation so she could help me out after my surgery. True, that was in part due to the fact her plans changed a bit, but before she moved things, she felt really guilty and offered to do anything for me she could before she left. *

I know these behavoirs aren’t exactly suprising, after all, they are my friends. Friends are supposed to be there to help each other. It’s not that I’m surprised they are so kind to me. Afterall, why would I want to be friends with people who aren’t kind, or would leave me in the lurch? But as I know the majority of people who read this blog are also counted in my nearest and dearest, this is part of my way of saying thanks. I really believe I have the most amazing friends ever.

Thanks for putting up with my whining. And my burping (it’s not me, it’s my stupid diseased gallbladder) and for helping me get through a really rotten time. I love you guys!

*of course, I do suspect that this same friend actually leaked her vile gallbladder cooties all over me and caused my gallbladder to stop functioning correctly because she wanted us to both to be miserable (and have matching scars)

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He’s too young for fart jokes

Tonight I was reminded once again that I have a son.

When I first found out I was having a little boy, I’ll admit, I was sad. I wanted a little girl to dress in cute dresses. I wanted to introduce her to all the toys I loved as a child. I wanted another shopping partner (even if I had to wait for a few years).

When my son was born, I realized his gender didn’t matter at all. I could not possibly love a human being more. He is my pride and joy (as all my friends can no doubt attest with my constant bragging).  He can make me smile no matter how bad of a day I’m having. And when I am having one of those really bad days, he’s the first person I want to see. He makes my world a better place.

However, today when I was changing his diaper, I had a brief glimpse into the next 30 or 40 years of my life and I shuddered a bit.

My son pooped. It stank. Obviously this is not a surprise. When I furrowed my nose and told him he was smelly, he giggled. I called told him he had pee-you stinky pants and he dissoved into giggles. When I called him stinky winky, I thought the laughter might not end. Yes, that’s right, my kid likes potty humor.

This is not the first time I’ve realized this. Lately, he’s taken to giggling whenever he farts. I have a feeling this is a precursor for things to come.

I just hope I don’t have the kid who asks people to pull his finger or who farts in class, wafts it and rates the smell along with some of his best buddies (my first year of teaching, a group of boys in my first period class did this daily. It got so bad in my room that I had to open windows–against the rules–and then both call one of the boy’s moms AND give him a permanent bathroom pass to use at a moment’s notice).

I know it’s very girly of me, but I can’t stand any sort of potty humor. I HATE the scene in Dumb and Dumber with the broken toilet. It not only made me cringe, but also leave the room until it was done.

Just my luck, I got a kid, who at two years old, loves farts. With my luck, he’ll end up being an athlete too.

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High school all over again

So I went to prom this weekend. Not as someone’s date, seeing as how that would have been not only wierd, but probably illegal, but as a chaperone. This is not the first prom I’ve chaperoned. I’ve actually gone to two others. Once, I was the head teacher for the prom committee and had to go not only because I had to make sure no one showed up blitzed or made any babies on site, but because I had to help not only set everything up, but also tear it all down. The second time was more of a social outing and I’m pretty sure I left before it was even over. I mostly went for the fancy dinner out with my friends.

This year I went in part to save one of my dear friends who’d agreed to chaperone months ago. She was going to be there with a group of people who are really mean to her and rather than have her spend yet another miserable duty-filled night with them, I went along.

Well, not for all of it. I did let her suffer through dinner with them. There was no way I was sitting through that. Especially since I probably would not be able to hold my tongue and might have actually told one of them off–but that’s another story entirely. Instead, I went to dinner with one of my other good friends (also along to save our dear friend). It was so nice to sit down and just talk. We see each other every day at work, but we don’t get a real chance to share our lives. It was pretty awesome.

The dance itself was pretty good. A bit more booty shaking then I’d like (what can I say, I grew up with John Hughes’s version of prom, not Lil Wayne’s). Some of my kids who seem so mannerly and proper at school were thrusting their asses right into the crotch of their dates in a most unladylike manner. Others were practically falling out of their dresses (and some had what I’m not sure can be described as a dress so much as some strategically placed fabric).

There was also a table full of nothing but desserts. It looked amazing and I am really proud of myself for abstaining. When I went to prom, I think we got some ice cream, but that was only after our sub-par dinner of rubbery chicken or watery pasta.

A few things have not changed since I was in school though. There was still plenty of drama. Within the first half hour of the dance, I had to console one of my favorite students. She and her boyfriend had recently broken up, but were still at prom together and she wasn’t handling it well. And that was just the first of three of those situations I had to talk people through.

Oddly, I spent most of my night talking with my two friends and one student, who was trying to avoid his date (yet another break-up). It was actually a lot of fun, because he’s a neat kid (and we all thought he could do way better than the beast he was with). We started sharing some of our prom stories to help him feel a little better. It turns out we’d all had less than romantic proms. One had gone to prom with her ex. One with her gay best friend. I went with a guy I had had a crush on…at least when I asked him. By the time prom came around, I was over him. And apparently he was over me. I spent most of  the night dancing with one of my best guy friends (who later on came out), while my date found the girl he was currently crushing on and hung out with her. I think the ony thing we did together all night was go to dinner, take pictures and bowl (at after prom). Oh wait, I guess we did ride to and from prom together (I drove because he didn’t have a license).

In hindsight, even though I didn’t have the John Hughes prom moment, I did have a lot of fun. We kept encouraging our student to go dance. He kept assuring us that he was having far more fun talking to us. He didn’t like the music, or dancing, or his date, but he did like us. In fact, when he was pulled on the dance floor by a friend, he yelled to us that he’d be right back. I laughed, but then I remembered that at my prom, I’d not only spent about half an hour talking to my favorite English teacher, but I also joined with the other kids in my honors English class to do a special dance for her inspired by her class.

That hepled remind me of why I became a teacher, partly her inspiration. And then I couldn’t help smile as my student walked back, because I know I am a similar inspiration to him. Especially when he mentioned a few minutes later that he was going to become a teacher. Not an English teacher, but hey, not everyone’s perfect.

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