Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Litte Sucking Up Goes a Long Way

Anna, a benevolent lazy sort who’s barely pulling a D in my class, looked up from her literature circle discussion on Friday and said, “Hey, Ms. W.? Have you ever seen Gilmore Girls.”

“Um, ye-ah,” I said, smiling. “I’ve never missed an episode. I love that show.”

“Me too!” she squealed. “So, did you know you look exactly like Rory? Ever since I’ve had you, I can’t watch her without thinking about it.”

“Ok, Anna?” I said, stunned with happiness. “Wait right here while I grab my grade book and assign you the A+ you so clearly deserve.”

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Growing Problem

On Leaving the Children’s Museum:

Shef: Fuck you
Me: Shef, we don’t say that. If you say that again, you’ll have a time out.
Shef: I have a chime out.
Me: Right. You’ll have a time out.
Shef: Vacuum.
Me: Sure. You can say that.
Shef: Fa. Fa. Fa. Fa. [looks at me sheepishly]
Me: You can say ‘fa.’
Shef: I say ‘fa;’ I don’t say ‘fuck you.’

Several hours and another 'fuck you' later:

Me: Now, why did you have a time out?
Shef: [smirking silence]
Me: Shef? Why did you have a time out?
Shef: [refusing eye contact]
Me: Did you say a bad word?
Shef: [whispering] I said ‘fuck you.’


Monday, May 22, 2006

An Embarrassing Story

Ever since Shef was born, I guess I knew deep in my heart that this day was coming: the day I arrived at daycare to retrieve my cherub, only to be waylaid by the teacher in this fashion:

“Um,” whispered Teacher Dawn apologetically, as I scooped him up, “I just think you should knnnooowww…”

I held my breath a little.

“Shef said ‘fuck you’ today.”

Oh God.

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Immediately, I felt my cheeks catch fire. “Uhhhh,” I stammered.

“Yep!” Dawn continued, smiling now. “He yelled it out across the playground. Twice!”

Oh, sweet Jesus.

“So, um, I had him come and sit down right here,” she gestured at a chair set up adjacent to the playground for express time outs.

“Oh no,” I mumbled, thoroughly embarrassed. “Um, we, um … we don’t…”

And blessedly, before I could confess that of course we’d exposed our little angel to such vocabulary and I was so, so sorry, Dawn interrupted my mumbling: “Now we know it’s coming from another child, who’s also been saying ‘Shut up,’ and we’re trying to nip it right in the bud.”

Oh, thank you, thank you, God.

“But, I just thought you should know.”

“Um, okay! Thanks, Dawn!” I said, earnestly. “We’ll work on it at home, too.”

Yep. I really think we should get on this immediately.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Construction Report: Mini Edition

In case you’re wondering, Slow Joe is still in our lives. “Just GET OUT, Joe,” I long to say, but alas, I actually do want the linen closet, tin ceiling, and working pendant lights he’s promised.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Nineteen Days Left of School

This has been an unreasonably harried year, in my opinion. I’m working a great part-time job, which I love, but which is decidedly not part-time. I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the grad-school tunnel, but at the end of the tunnel is a big fat thesis paper that I’ll have to, you know, write. And of course, my brilliant and wonderful child is two years old, so he’s on his fourth time-out of the day as I write this.

Because of all of that, I feel I deserve a little slack, frankly. Slack for dressing a little less nice, for taking a little longer to grade papers, for not cooking dinner multiple times per week. And slack for things like this:

As we were driving to Dan’s parents’ for a little mother’s day lunch, we heard a bumpy rolling sound in the vicinity of trunk of the station wagon.

“What did you leave back there?” I asked Dan in an accusatory tone. He didn’t know, but we assumed it was something left over from his trip to the grocery store that morning. Whatever it was, it bumped and flipped every now and then, as we traveled at sixty or seventy miles per hour down the highway. I peered into the hatch, but I couldn’t see anything. “God,” I said, exasperated, “What is that?” I’m sure I rolled my eyes a couple of times. I mean, really, couldn’t he be more careful about unloading?

Finally, as we exited the highway, I saw something fly off the top of the car and land on the windshield wiper.

“Oh my gosh!” I shrieked. “Pull over! It’s my phone! Pull over!” I lept from the passenger seat to recover my cell phone, which I’d apparently left on top of the car, as I put Shef into his carseat.

It wasn’t the first time something like this happened – I’ve also left my wallet, sippy cups, and other little things up there on occasion. And for this spacey behavior, I certainly deserve some slack.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Wrote This on Tuesday, but Blogger has Been In My Shit

Today was the day I handed in a big paper for my graduate school class, which means one-third of my plate has been cleared. I’m relieved, yes, but it hasn’t quite sunk in that I’ve actually handed over the paper. It might take until next week when I don’t actually have to go to class that I realize I’m one step closer to getting my damn degree.

Meanwhile, the sophs are giving impromptu speeches and then a formal demonstration speech. Today, one of the cherubs delivered this line during his impromptu: “The worst thing about our school is the shitty building.”

“Um, language?” I suggested helpfully, rolling my eyes.

“YOU SAID to speak as if we were speaking to friends,” he snarked.

“Well,” I clarified calmly, “I meant speaking to friends without swearing.”

He laughed, as did most of the audience. “Well that would never happen.” Pause. “Duh.”

I considered this moment a reminder that the other two thirds of my plate are still decidedly full.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Yeah, Baby

My friends Jessie and Lee are both adorable, and I think you’ll agree that neither of them looks particularly like Elizabeth Hurley or Mike Meyers.

Shef, however, has my two pals linked with the Austin Powers video box, which I’ve been letting him play with since last July, when it was really hot and I couldn’t be held responsible for letting him run around in a diaper and a muscle shirt. Or for not entertaining him beyond throwing him a big pile of VHS tapes.

“This is Jessie and Lee,” he told me yesterday, pointing at the box.

“Really?” I said, surprised. “Which one is Jessie?”

“This one is Jessie,” he explained patiently, pointing at Liz Hurley; “and this one is Lee.”

It must be the glasses and the short hair, because otherwise, I don’t see the resemblance.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

The Stars Came Out in St. Paul, and I was Inexplicably Invited

“Ok,” said Charlie seriously. He’s an earnest young man in my American Literature class, who was especially excited about my trip to the Prairie Home Companion movie premiere last night. This opportunity, which required a haircut, eye make-up, and shopping trips in other people's closets, was courtesy of great pal, Erin,a power player who was in charge of this soiree.

“When you see Lindsay,” Charlie continued, as he pointed authoritatively at me, “what I want you to do is this:
“First, you get her picture; then, you get an autograph; and finally – now this is most important -- you give her my phone number.”

In fact, I was kind of too shy to talk to the big shots, really. I mean, what was I to say? “Hi, Lindsay. Um, some of my students like you, and I thought Mean Girls was good”? Instead I played it cool and sipped cosmos while surreptitiously ogling them, especially these two: