Sothis morning as I entered my 2nd period class after holding the door, I stopped by the trash can and made the following announcement:
"Okay, everybody, as you are sitting there please witness what I am about to do. I am holding in my hand a candy wrapper. Notice how it is the beginning of class. Notice how I am standing NEXT to the trash can, and not midway across the room. Notice it is at the beginning of class and not in the middle of class when I am talking or giving directions. Notice how I don't ask for another piece of candy to reward myself for the proper disposal fo the first. Notice how I simply drop the candy wrapper into the trash can, without attempting to even pretend I am a Sacramento Monarch's player, much less a large, middle-aged, aspiring Michael Jordan. Notice how the candy wrapper is now not lying on my floor? I would like all of you to remember this moment, and use it as a model of your own behavior, so that I may, in the future, not have to lie to parents about whose room this is."
*sigh* Sophomores don't get sarcasm. At all.
And other things that don't work:
**Using my knitting (or my crocheting...I may have become a yarn snob but I'm not yet a craft snob) as a gauge as to whether or not it's time to go to bed. When the knitting hits the lap, I can usually tell myself that it's time to hit 'record' on the satellite and go to bed. So I wasn't prepared last night, when I pulled my crocheting off my lap with an effort and said to myself, "LOST isn't even over yet--not time to fall asleep.", and then immediately woke up an hour and a half later. By the by? Mate was still playing WOW when I woke up, just as he had been when I fell asleep. If 'The Nine' hadn't been almost over, I wouldn't have noticed the time lapse at all.
**Knitting scarves for students--it used to be a fun bonding experience. Now I'm starting to feel like it's a pathetic attempt to get them to like me. It's harder to be mean to someone who's provided you with a hand-made object for no reason at all.
**Giving the kids work and expecting to use the time THEY'RE working to do work MYSELF. I've taken to knitting in the front of the class during these times, because the last time I sat at my desk and turned around to take roll (I have to do this, it's on computer and the computer is set, unwisely, to the one side of the room where I can see no students.), when I turned back around the girl who'd gone to the bathroom at that time had had her backpack turned inside out and a candy eyeball smeared on the seat of her desk. Quite frankly, I can't afford to turn my back on the little bastards--it's bad for everyone else's health.
**Asking my own kids to 'spiff' the front room and expecting anything that looks anything at all like a clean living room. They are in school mode now, which means they need the same inch by freaking inch instructions as every other middle schooler in every other learning institution since modern times began.
**Making all of my children one knitted item a year. Kewyn wore a hat from two years ago today--he looked so damn cute, I didn't see the point of making him another one. He's got at least two sweaters ARwyn can wear this year so the one I'm working on that's really big can be worn next year and look just as cute. Bryar's wearing the hat she made and the adorable purple one I made her (the one with the two billion ssk decreases to make the spiral, the one my husband pulled the dpn out of, that one) is getting thrown around the house because I don't trust her to put it in her room without having it disappear--sort of like the sweater I made her last year out of similar colors. Trystan never wears my stuff anyway. Besides, unless this whole 'sitting in front of the class to keep them from eating each other and knitting to keep me from gnawing at my own wrists' think takes off, I just don't have the time anymore--I may as well knit for people whose faces light up, as opposed to people who roll their eyes and go, 'thanks mom...yeah, I'll wear it'.
** Oh yeah--dieting after Halloween isn't working at all. It should be made illegal for stress puppies like me to even attempt a diet between October 31st and January 1st...hell, let the chips (and Snickers bars and Twix and Christmas Hams) fall where they may.
Oh--and things that do work?
**Talking to Mate on the cell phone on his way home from work. For some reason, the kids actually let me get a word in edgwise when we're on the phone, and because they can't hear everything we say (on either side) we can say private things to each other and they can't invade our space to hear.
**Smiling. Even if the kids are going to desperately disappoint me with their behavior, when I smile at the beginning of class, I at least know I made a stab at civillity and understanding.
**Taking a break from the baby hats by doing something off the wall--like crocheting scarves for example, no matter who they are for. I'm looking forward to the baby socks all over again. Never forget the lessons of the Yarn Harlot--for real.
**Letting the housework rot. Who needs to walk through rooms. Clean dishes are overrated. Some day the Smithsonian WILL pay me big money for the bizarre mildew collection sprouting form my sink and shower, I just know it.
**Knitting at stop lights is definitely working for me. I'll never go back to cursing the idiot in front of me for not moving again.