I don't know why the cave troll is currently beating the couch senseless--it has something to do with a moral objection to bathing the guinea pig... the workings of a toddler's mind are sometimes a total mystery.
*The older kids are going away with grandma and grandpa again. I love grandma and grandpa. They are welcome to do anything they want with my children--hell, I survived, didn't I?
*I had a giant crying jag about going back to work. Would I feel better about this if I didn't hate my administration with the burning passion of a thousand nova suns?
*I made up four knock-knock jokes to help my older son (13, and communicatively handicapped) figure out the whole 'name as pun' thing that, so far, has completely eluded him. I offer these jokes here for your consideration:
*Kewyn A is over-- let me in the darned door.
*Bryar something nice and she'll forgive you.
*Arwyn in soccer made us tournament champions.
*Trystan. (This one's hard...the answer doesn't really rhyme.)
*You Try-stanning on one foot for a while and see if you like it?
They're all lame as Tiny Tim, I know it, but hopefully it will help Trystan stop telling jokes like "Why is the street called Sunset? Because you can see the sun set on it." (Yes. I know. It's not a joke. We've been having the 'it's not a joke' conversation for several years now, and my only consolation is that Adam Sandler's family used to tell him he wasn't funny either, until he finally watched a bunch of movies and improved his timing. And, oh yeah, got funny.)
* I remembered two funny moments from teaching in the past that won't get me fired.
A. I do vocabulary every week, and as we review the words I give as many real life examples as possible (so the kids don't think these words are just for fancy dress, right?) and the word of the day was 'Officious'.
"Officious is like people butting in where they don't belong." I said, and then Mario, a student I had for two years in a row was off and running.
"You mean like our neighbors--I mean, my brother was doing target practice at ten o'clock at night and the nosy officious neighbors stuck their big nose in our business and called the cops and even the cops said 'If you hear gunshots and there's no screaming to go with it, it's probably not even anything' and I wish those people would just keep their big officious noses out of our face from now on!"
When he was done there was a complete silence, as the entire class just stared at poor Mario in horrified fascination. When he was done, I spoke up--in chorus with about ten other students.
"Dude...where in the hell do you live?"
B. Oddly enough, a class that also had Mario in it, but he wasn't the focus this time. This time, it was two girls who were usually impeccably behaved, but on this day, I was certain they were the cause of all of the giggling laughter aimed my way. I was sure it was aimed my way. Teaching is a vulnerable business--you have thirty-five adolescents looking at you at the same time--if you've got a zit or your bra strap's showing or you're having a worse than usual fat-woman's day, they'll know, they'll laugh, and maybe they'll tell you about it, so I was sure this laughter was all at my expense and, having thought I'd established some trust with this (difficult) class, I was unreasonably hurt. I went off--I told them all what I just told you and I made them feel incredibly bad for laughing and I got very seriously angry on all of their 11th grade asses, so you can imagine my horror when one of the girls came up to me, shamefaced, with a little note at the end of class. It said "Look at the tiny blue footprints on the ceiling." The idea, of course, was to get everybody to look up and giggle--the most harmless joke in the world. Boy, did I feel dumber than hammered whale shit--and I really had to apologize to that class. Thinking creatively, I had a TA cut out little tiny footprints out of blue construction paper and tape them to the ceiling above the girls' desks. When they came in the next day, suitably chastened, I had them look up.
That was three years ago and the footprints are there to this day--they remind me that it's not all about me.
Okay...I feel better. I spent all morning crying because Arwyn was being unfairly adorable, and Kewyn really needed me and I remember this feeling from when the older kids were this small--the feeling that if I was better with money, better at cleaning house, a better housewife (don't ever underestimate that breed of animal--it is fine and noble and stronger and smarter than it looks) then I wouldn't have to abandon my children to the fates. This feeling sucks, but this time (age has to come with SOME bennies!) I have more than a need for money to drive me to return, I have have a memory of why I love my job. More funny school stories to come, I hope--they seem to be doing the trick.