Monday, March 31, 2008

I Recommend the Hot Stone Pedicure For Sure

Dan, Shef, and I each have our own twin beds on this trip. The twins are lined up in a row. Shef’s is on the floor, while Dan and I have frames; but we all know how unlikely the kid is to stay-put in the evening hours, especially when there are other warm bodies in such close proximity.

Anyway, there’s a small gap between Dan’s twin and my twin, and last night, one of the things that was keeping me from resting well was the thought that Shef would get himself lodged in the gap and that this would have dire consequences. I actually had kind of a fight with him at about 2:30 because I wanted him to get his legs out of the gap and move over by the wall, for god’s sake.

Fortunately for both of us, at about 4:00, I completely stopped caring about him dangling his legs in the gap; and just felt unbelievably lucky for each additional minute of blissful slumber.

Shef viewed access to the gap as a victory, and announced proudly at the breakfast table that he had “slept in the crack hole.”

Sunday, March 30, 2008

True Love Revolution

Me: Shef, you've gotta stop picking your nose.

Shef: But I like to.

Me: Well, it's just not the greatest thing to do.

Shef: I love it.

Me: It's disgusting.

Shef: It's my fave.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Kid Is Four

I can't believe it! I mean, what the hell? FOUR?!

And, since he's all grown up, why doesn't he yet sleep through the night?

Anyway, Dan and I gave him a Razor scooter for this grown-up fourth birthday, complete with the absolutely-necessary elbow and knee pads and new, well-fitting helmet. He seems very pleased, and he's been practicing his technique in our family room.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Woke Up Cursing the Snow

Today has been a lot of hard work. There was a noon-release at the high school, which meant we might as well not have been there at all, since none of us were in the mood.

After 5th period, Rachel told me, she’d overheard my embarrassing intro to class that hour, which was, “Okay, everybody! Sit down and try to act like normal human beings!” which I shouted cavalierly with the door half-open.

I’ve also been stressed over the lesson I’m supposed to do at Shef’s school this afternoon. When I signed up to “visit,” I didn’t know I’d have to actually teach something, but then the teacher was all, “What do you want to do when you come?” What? I said. “Well,” she said, “Abbi’s mom is doing a craft.” A CRAFT? And then, apparently, Abbi's mom gave all the kids suckers.

Of course, I don’t do crafts, so I came up with something that involves showing off Shef’s large collection of knights and castles books. It seems like it’s going to be very hard, to tell you the truth. Four-year-olds are a whole different thing than sophs. I have eaten six girl- scout cookies in preparation for the experience.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Top Chef Tonight. Hallelujah.

Because the belly has been getting so round and so out there, people have started patting it without permission and asking if I’m “so, so excited” and “getting ready.”

Well, sure, I say. But my due date is still ten weeks away, and that’s a really long time from now. A really long time to waddle through the high school hallways, where I spend my days with sixteen-year-olds whose responses to my lessons in the last few days have included, “Why do we always have to do this stupid stuff?” and “But that’s not what I read in Spark Notes.”

This morning a colleague from the Spanish department suggested I try running stairs before my next appointment in an attempt to spike my blood pressure and procure a doctor-mandated month on the couch. As the days tick down to spring break, I think the pubescents alone will be enough to cause danger to my health.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

You Who Are On The Road Must Have a Code That You Can Live By

I remember from last time that pregnancy can cause really strange dreams, and I’ve been having some doozies. The weirdest ones come in the morning, right before I wake up.

This morning, I dreamed that I had attached one of those black office clips to my lip. (That’s not the weird part. I would totally do that, just ask my mother.)

Then, the black clip caused some kind of paralytic nerve injury when I was trying to remove it; and my lip folded over on itself, swelled up, and felt frozen as if under the influence of novocaine. (Maybe that’s actually entirely probable?)

And then, I led a discussion about symbolism and other literary devices with a small group from my sixth hour at a round table, while trying to navigate my lip. It kept getting stuck under my teeth, and most of the students were either snickering at me or laughing outright. None of them had read the text we were discussing, and I was trying valiantly to get them to make some guesses about the importance of the colors mentioned in it. (Now that I think about it, this more-or-less mimics my in-real-life experience of sixth hour at least a couple of times per week, so this dream I guess is remarkably realistic. My lip feels a little tingly just now, reliving it.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Close Your Eyes, Give Me Your Hand

The sun has been shining outside, but not so much at my school. Every day, it seems there’s another blow.

Yesterday I was so annoyed at my sixth hour that I sent Dylan to the Dean’s Office for a stern-talking-to from a male authority figure. I doubt it will make much of a difference, to tell you the truth.

Two days ago, I had this little dialogue with Joe:

Me: We’re going to watch parts of a made-for-tv Odyssey. Another teacher, Ms. R., edited the film and added explanations, book numbers, and names of characters, so it should really help you fill in the gaps in your comprehension.

Joe [shouting out disruptively]: How did she do THAT?

Me [soldiering on, maintaining positive demeanor]: Ms. R. is a genius. You might get to have her as a teacher some day.

Joe [scoffing]: If she’s a genius, then why did she become a teacher?

In fact, I was just wondering where my own brain cells have gone off to lately.

Monday, March 10, 2008

There's Nothing That a Hundred Men or More Could Ever Do

I’ve been talking a big game about my sister Mary’s departure for Peace Corps service in Senegal for two months now. Like, I’ve been completely nonchalant and all, “This will be so exciting for you.”

Then last night, she came over to say goodbye and collect her Project Runway prize. First there were just a few decent, appropriate, and composed little tears leaking out. Then, a few more. Then some slightly unattractive blubbering and frantic wiping of the face. And finally, some noisy undignified sobbing after she went out to her car.

This will be a long two years, for sure; but lucky for all of us, she now has a blog. It's a small consolation.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I'm Gonna Let It Shine

Out of a deep sense of duty, Dan and I volunteered to teach Shef's Sunday School class on the second and fourth Sundays of the month until the end of the year. Today was our first day, and upon perusing the lesson plan, it was apparent that my teaching license and eight years of experience working with kids ages twelve to eighteen was going to be absolutely no help.

When the first kid, Landon, arrived, I cheerfully introduced myself to his mother as a new teacher.

“My kids thrive on routine,” she said.

I smiled sympathetically. “Hey, Landon, do you want to play with your tray?” I asked, steering him toward some paper and markers.

After kissing his mother’s thigh maybe seven or eight times and crying sharply for a minute or two when she left, Landon was busy drawing something with yellow crayon with his security blanket at his side.

“That looks great,” I said. “What are you drawing?”

Landon scrunched up his eyes and nose and glowered at me. “It’s a GUN,” he snarled.

I burst out laughing, of course. What else could I do? This was my first interaction as a Sunday School teacher.

“DON’T LAUGH AT ME,” Landon scowled.

“Oh, I’m not laughing at you,” I said hastily. “I’m so sorry.” Dan raised his eyebrows in reproach, and I tried to recover. “So! Landon, what’s your favorite part of Sunday School?”

He squished his face up again. “Going home,” he hissed.

“Um hmm,” I said, standing up from the table to hide my guffaws.

“Pull yourself together,” Dan whispered, frowning at me as he wrote the agenda on the board.

A few minutes later, I got busy welcoming our other two students (low turnout today, thank the Lord), and Dan tried bonding with Landon.

“These are all the pieces of the machine gun,” Landon explained to him. “And this is a hundred bazookas. A THOUSAND bazookas.”

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ew. Don't Get Bitchy.

This is it, PR friends! The finale is tomorrow. Here's the deal: everyone has to rank the remaining contestants 1-2-3. Each correct placement is worth three points.

This means that the standings could really change dramatically, which I think is appropriate, given the gravity of a finale.

Aren't you so excited? I am, I'll tell you what. I am going with Christian for the win, followed by Jillian and then Rami. I really struggle with the placing of Jillian and Rami, though. I could be wrong about that.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Can Make Every Tackle at the Sound of the Whistle And I Can Make All the Stadiums Rock

I am back from a super fun weekend in Chicago for my annual visit with Lee. We did a lot of fun things like buying shoes, eating, and walking the streets of The Windy City. I am super happy the trip worked out because Lee is great and because I’m pretty sure it’ll be the last time I can get away by myself for, oh, I think about eighteen months.

A mini-vacay was also important because Shef has been kind of a pill lately. Here’s a sample conversation, so you can see what I mean:

Me: Are you excited for music class tomorrow?

Shef: Yes. Staccato and levanto.

Me: I’m pretty sure it’s staccato and leGAto.

Shef: NoIt’sLevanto.I’mRight.

Me: Remember how the teacher said you can run your hands down your legs and say, “Leg-a-toe”?

Shef: No.I’mRight.

I have no idea where he might have picked up this desire to know everything and be right all the time. Also the inability to admit fallibility. Really, I don’t know anyone in our family that has any of these traits.