This morning on the way to school, I ended up behind a school bus.
Since I wasn’t running late today (amazing) I didn’t mind waiting for two stops across the street from my school. I even saw a few old students who were boarding the bus.
It made me think about when I was in high school and my sister and I would take the bus to school.
Now, these days, I am late for everything but honestly, back then I wasn’t. I was ready for the bus every day and would wait for my sister downstairs with my backpack in my hands.
I would watch her rush into the kitchen, do a hit and run of the fridge, tornado toward the laundry room, throw laundry everywhere before she found the sweater she wanted (probably mine), fight with me about the sweater, and then watch the bus go by out the kitchen window.
Oops. Better wake mom.
We were really lucky that mom was home and able to drive us to school.
Until she decided enough was enough and refused to drive us.
She can’t be serious.
But it’s raining.
This is child abuse.
I learned that day never to wait for my sister.
There are so many reasons that I am so tired of being so busy.
More than ever before, I feel like I have earned this spring break that is just around the corner.
The thing I’m most upset about today though, is that the season finale of X-Files was on yesterday, and I won’t have time to watch it again tonight!
For those of you wondering, yes, X-Files is still on TV, and no, they aren’t just re-runs.
This is one show I actually watch new episodes of.
Today my students filled out a questionnaire that was supposed to help determine their strengths. A “strengths assessment”... which made them all panic that it was something graded.
Our district is asking us to do this with the students so that they can see that even if they don’t always feel like they are the best at something, they should know they are good at something else. We want to build them up for the strengths that they have and the first step of that is for us all to know their strengths.
Feeling like they have strengths also helps them feel like they belong. They belong and they are good at something. This is supposed to help their emotional health. This is supposed to help stop desperation to fit it. This is supposed to help stop school shootings.
All of this heaviness, and the questions were something like, “Would you consider yourself one of the fastest students in your class?”
Students sat at their desks, headphones on, answering all of these questions. I’m not sure that they even really understood why they were doing this, but they seemed to think it was pretty fun.
Imagine that, 10 year olds like to think about themselves!
Another question asked students to pat their head, rub their belly, swing their leg, and tap their toe. It actually wanted them to do it, then describe how difficult it was for them.
One at at a time students went through this task. Some were skeptical and looked around the room at their peers while nonchalantly patting their heads. Others exclaimed “I suck at this!”
But everyone laughed. Everyone belonged. Regardless of their strengths on this assessment (which I won’t dismiss as lacking value) every classroom should be a place where students feel they belong.
My heart breaks for students who silently suffer. The ones who never feel they belong.
On the news, after a shooting, people always seem to feel like they “knew” that student was capable of this.
If they knew, what did they do? What could they have done? What can we do? How about we start with a strengths assessment.
It’s funny to me how life is so cyclical.
I finally got around to packing away all of my maternity clothes, and taking my old clothes out of boxes.
It was a job I had been putting off for a while because it was daunting to think of trying on all of my old clothes and seeing what fit and what didn’t.
But, finally, I got to it and as I re-folded my pre pregnancy clothes and stacked them in piles on the bed, I thought about all of the different parts of me attached to these garments.
The running tights that haven’t been worn in... too long. The T-shirt I bought at a concert shortly before getting pregnant. Another pair of jeans that will go in the “not yet” pile. The tank I wore to my last yoga class before my doctor restricted my activity. All of these pieces of me.
Then as I folded the maternity clothes and boxed them up, I really started reflecting. I thought about how hard pregnancy was. How some days just moving my whale of a body from bed to the couch was about all I had energy for. I folded up the dress I wore on a date night, when I put in the effort to curl my hair and wear shoes that barely fit my swollen feet, and I put it in a pile. I folded the dress I wore to my baby shower. The pants I bought at the beginning of my pregnancy that are too big now. Yes! The black velour sweatpants that were handed down to me from a friend, who was handed them down from a friend. (These were a piece of all of us.) The dress pants I wore every single day to work at the end because... well, they fit. At that point that was my criteria for wearing something.
I reminisced and laughed and cried a little, all just cycling through clothes. My next job will be packing away all of the clothes that the baby has outgrown.
Today while cooking dinner, every time my husband or I referred to the pasta (fusilli) we called it Fusilli Jerry. (I hope someone will catch the reference.)
Every time, without laughing, just matter-of-fact-like.
It’s funny how little things like this develop in a family. What are the odds of one simple phrase catching on like that? Million-to-one shot, doc. Million-to-one.
I would have to say that one of the worst parts of spring is muddy dog feet.
I´d say especially so when you have a dog with long hair and who hates his feet being touched,
So today when we were getting ready to go up to bed for the night, husband was letting the dogs out.
Husband: It´s pretty muddy outside.
Me: Then maybe you should walk the dogs out on leashes.
Husband: Opens door. Dogs run out.
Five minutes later when the short haired dog barked to come in, he hapily wiped her feet off with a towel that we keep by the door.
Two minutes after that, the long haired dog came in the door and all I heard were explitives and sighs.
We have tried all different techniques for getting mud off of this dog´s feet; rag towel, wet towel, dunking his feet in a bowl of water (usually he knocks the muddy-water bowl over- makes matters worse)...
Husband then called me to come ¨help¨ him with the clean up.
This time I suggested we just carry him upstairs, over the rugs and carpeted rooms, and put him in the bathtub.
And it turns into me carrying the dog (the 70 pound dog) up the stairs, around the corner, into our bathroom, and running the bath, then soaping up his paws with my shampoo, rinsing the stuck on grass off, getting the bottom of my pants soaked, getting kicked, getting a dog muzzle to the forehead multiple times, and realizing all of this could have been avoided if they were just walked out on leashes,
With doggy feet pretty well cleaned, and as I was wrapping up the fiasco, husband did his part by bringing me some towels.
At this point I considered leaving the mud at the bottom of the shower for him to find tomorrow morning.
Having a new baby means that life is full of A LOT of firsts.
For example, today was his first St. Patrick´s Day!
So we dressed him in green and took a bunch of pictures.
But there are also a lot of other unexpected firsts, for example:
The first time accomplishment means sucking tons of snot out of the sick baby´s nose.
The first time you realize you wear what your sister calls ¨high waisted jeans,¨ but you just call them jeans.
The first time you leave the house and swear you smell baby poop, but you aren´t with the baby...
The first time you have to ask a coworker to borrow her extra shirt because you ¨spilled¨ in the car.
The first time you get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a week, and it feels good.
I do not, however, take pictures of those firsts.
I was watching mindless TV, and saw a comercial for a show called The Secret Life of Kids.
The premise of the show is a group of 5 year olds are put together in a fun place with hidden cameras, and ¨child experts¨ watch and analyze their behavior.
On the commercial they showed a little boy with glasses, crying in the corner and saying, ¨I just want to play with them, but they won´t let me.¨
Seeing this, I couldn´t even help it, I just started crying.
I explained the scene to my husband and sobbed, ¨I...don´t..want... that... to be our baby!¨
Husband reassured me that it wouldn´t be because we are raising him to be kind, and caring, and helpful, and repectful, and accepting, and other kids will love to be his friend.
I think I just hit the peak of my mom anxiety.
People who are not teachers have no clue what it is like to have a day of parent teacher conferences.
Today was a 12 hour day, the first half with students, the second half with conferences.
I am so exhausted and I miss my little babe so much. This was the longest I have ever been away from him and the anxiety of this day set in as soon as I saw the date scheduled on the calendar.
How can he be without me all day and all night?
How can he possibly have his bed time story without me?
How can he go to sleep before I am even home?
I was so worried about him.
Here we are, almost 14 hours since I held him, and he is perfectly fine.
I am sitting on the couch and watching him on the monitor, actually half-way hoping he will wake up so I can hold him and stare at his little face.
I realize that he really should never have been my worry, it was me who struggled today,
How would I get through without him all day and all night?
How can I miss his bedtime story?
How can I go to sleep without giving him a goodnight kiss?
I missed so much.
I am glad to report that I survived. I cried on my way home, but I survived.
For some reason 5th graders LOVE Bill Nye. I mean, so do I, but I grew up watching Bill Nye when it was actually on TV.
It cracks me up how much they love the Science Guy videos. It also surprises me how much humor of his I understand now that I definitely didn´t as a kid.
In our science class we have watched a few bits and pieces of his videos, and the kids always get so excited. They laugh at his ¨dad jokes¨ and I laugh at the underlying humor and puns that fly over their heads.
Today our class went to preview the book fair that is being held at our school the rest of this week, and as everyone was browsing and socializing quietly, a student excitedly held up a Lego Scientist book and shouted, ¨It´s Bill Nye the Science Guy!¨
I´m just glad they´re making connections across disciplines... kind of.