Monthly Archives: January 2013

Friday Fun – Problem is…

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It’s that time again, Friday Four Fill-In Fun with Hilary at Feeling Beachie…to add to the fun, I get to be the co-host this week.  I’ve always wanted to be a co-host, like being Kelley Rippa or Hoda.  Problem…don’t know if Hilary wants to be Regis or Kathie Lee.  Another problem, Regis isn’t even around now so technically SHE  would be Kelley Rippa and I would be Michael Strayhan.  Further problem…I’m a LOT shorter than Michael and I spent a great deal of time being big and pregnant with braces so as NOT to have a gap in my teeth.  What do I have to show for it…NOTHING!!!  Weeellll…my teeth don’t look so bad, but fame and fortune have, as of yet, have been elusive.

And the REALLY, REALLY Big Problem…you get what you pay for!!!  See, I went for the budget version of blogging and I cannot get “linked-up”.  It feels like a childhood nightmare come true.  An adult blogging version of I went to school naked or didn’t study for a test, or slept through finals.

Being as I HAVE experienced much greater problems than this, I am trying to keep perspective, but feel a little like the nightmare where I am screaming and NO ONE can hear me.  Which is pretty true, since I am visibly stressed out and The Brothers have the nerve to still expect dinner.  I’m also pretty sure, teacher’s won’t buy “Mommy couldn’t get linked up” for a home-work excuse.

And for more fun…Johnny has McDonald’s on the brain and is repeatedly asking for a cheeseburger and shake.  And when I say REPEATEDLY that is a gross understatement.  Nothing says persistent like some slight (ha-ha) autism and a little OCD.  YAY me!

Anywhoooo…despite my technical difficulties, I am excited to have my first Co-Hosting gig, Thanks, Hilary.

This week’s statements:
1. I was probably the only kid in the world who ____
2. ____ is my favorite juice
3. I never thought I would____until I___
4. I have always wanted to_____ but_____

What I think…
1. I was probably the only kid in the world who hated arts and crafts, probably why I have a bin of half-finished crochet projects.
2.  Pink Grapefruit is my favorite juice
3. I never thought I would scream and swear at people until I became Madeline’s Mom and it became necessary.
4. I have always wanted to go to Paris but have yet to ever leave the country.  I know, what kind of Military Spouse am I?

Well, there you have it!  Thank you for listening to my problems, since I can’t get to Happy Hour to tell my Bartender.  Happy Friday!  Have a Drink on Me!

What you said, Justin…

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Johnny P’s Mom….Bringing Sexy Back!

Perfect Love…Forever

Lori  of Lavender Luz challenges us to look the perfect moment.  If you look hard enough, they are all around you, you just might not be seeing.  The more you see, the more you will find.  Which was my thought as I stood in The Big Brother’s room last night staring at a photo.

But in the beginning…

I was a steadfast on holding onto my motto, “I’m a BOY mom!”  My other battle cry, “NO! I am not going to have anymore, have you met my boys?”

The Big Brother had to have been in ear shot of all of this.  Afterall, I do have a big mouth.  But as is his habit (or anyones, for that matter) he had fine tuned the skill of selective listening.

He was in second grade when the family moved in across the street.  A gorgeous family with three adorable little girls.  His favorite, Baby Mollie.  He couldn’t get enough of her.  Blasting into the house he would brag about how good they said he was with her.  To which he would use as ammo to plea, “see Mommy, if you have another baby, I can help you, cause I’m good at it.”  While I was touched… this was not enough to motivate me for further sleep deprivation.

Another tactic he used in his ongoing argument was his assurance he would not leave me “all alone” in the hospital.  “Remember when Little Brother was born and I came to visit you?  Wasn’t that nice?  If you have another baby I will come and visit you, again.”  All very touching but still, I was remembering the much wanted, neglected hamster I had been caring for and  was not completely buying what he was selling.  Touching as it was.

So, imagine his great joy and delight when much to our surprise, The Big Brother was going to get his wish.  A Baby, just what he always had wanted.  The newness of his two brothers had worn off long ago so he couldn’t wait for his new brother or sister.

I don’t recall him wishing for a brother or sister but I remember he wanted to name a baby girl, Tootsie.  He thought it would be great fun to be able to call her Toots.  Boy, girl, he didn’t care, he was on board, 100%.

When Madeline arrived he in love had been making great plans for homecoming.  I remember being just so sad for him, when he was told Madeline was rushed back to the hospital and would be there for many weeks.  That, was not what he had been planning.  He had been practicing for this moment for 9 months.

But good to his word, he was a faithful visitor and from the start, an adoring, loving Big Brother.  Any chance he got, he was at her side or picking her up, or squeezing her with all his 10-year-old might.  I could just kick myself for all the times I begged him to “give her space”.   Because I learned too late he just couldn’t get enough of all that cuteness…no one could.

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When finally, Madeline was going strong and spending more of her time at home, Big Brother took full advantage.  A favorite memory, I was taking her to get a picture taken in her Easter dress.  He skipped a laser tag party, grabbed his Sunday best and insisted on private photo session.  And yes…it was that precious.

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When Madeline died, within moments I thought, “I cannot tell him, how will I tell him, his much adored, desired Baby Sister is gone.”  In the end, I wasn’t even there when he was told.  A teacher whose care and compassion carried  The Big Brother through that year, was there.  She said she will never forget that moment.

As time has passed Big Brother, with some strong faith and guidance, seems to be in a different place.  Gone are the days of him asking can we “get” another baby, can we please adopt, Mommy?”  The permanence of this loss was too much on his heart and mind but he has seemed to tuck it somewhere inside himself.  Slowly, I thought, he  had moved on.  He had ceased talking as much about her and requesting to “visit” her in Chicago.  All healthy, I was assured, but still, caused a  sadness in my heart wondering if he thought of her still or had he, perhaps, outgrown his Baby Sister.

But 13 year old’s nature being what it is, I had not thought of a good way to ask without causing any unnecessary trauma.   Also, I knew I needed to be happy for this contentment and maybe I should be taking notes.

The Big Brother uses his new treasure, his  I-Touch as an alarm.  After learning we were going to have a weather delay, I went into his room where he was sleeping to turn off his alarm.  I picked up the I-Touch to crack the code on turning off the alarm, then I pressed the button to turn on the screen.  And much to my heart’s delight and through  a few tears this is the screen saver I saw my Big, Boy’s Boy 13-year-old I-Touch.

Madeline at HSC

Don’t misunderstand, I am very glad that he has found peace.  But I cannot tell you the warmth that filled me up to see the Forever Love he has for his Madeline and the quiet ways he has found to keep her close.

My heart is grateful for that perfect moment in time to witness such sweet and tender-hearted love for Madeline that I mistakenly thought had faded away.  Perhaps, instead, has found a deeper place to grow.

Krispy Kreme Memories

Behind every Crazy Mom wondering how they got that way is a friend, at the ready, to remind you exactly how you got that way. 

Let me back track.  I love to write this blog.  It entertains and comforts me to have my place to say what is on my heart and mind…or not.  Today was an or not kind of day.  I woke up with a familiar anxiety which tells me I need to write.  But alas the cold front hit my brain and I was out of ideas…until I got one.

Sue to the rescue…not the first time.

I asked for readers to throw out writing prompts.  Anything they might like to know or read.  I promised fame in the blogosphere.  Being one for glamour and the spotlight, Sue chimed in.  “What about your crazy pregnancy stories, you know the one… my favorite.”  Which lead to an exchange to determine which story she was referring to because sadly…there are many.  But I had that ol gut feeling that she would let me run but not hide from my infamous morning at Krispy Kreme.  So for you, My Dear Friend, I shall tell the Chronicals of Krispy Kreme…

The year was 2003 and I was pregnant… again.  The Big Brother was 3, Johnny was 18 months old and I was about 7 or 8 months pregnant with The Little Brother.  To add to the excitement, The Captain was deployed to Iraq, the War had just started and we had no date for any homecoming.

Oh and I was trying to potty train The Big Brother.  I reeeaaalllly needed him to go to pre-school and he needed to be potty trained.  Let’s just say The Big Brother was NOT on-board.

Because all of that wasn’t enough fun I had developed some crazy reverse morning sickness.  So I spent April and May yaking around the clock and sipping purple gatorade.  I think The Little Brother still has a purple tinge to him.

You could say I was beginning to come unglued or I had just driven my train into crazy town.  I’m sure my friends will clarify.

Military life being what it is, my friends rallied around me and I carried on, purple gatorade and all.

During that time our only hope was Playgroup.  This got us out of the house.  It gave the Boys other faces to look at and me the opportunity to use sentences with more than two words.  It also gave Sue an opportunity to invite me over to her house.  I lived for those invitations.  Okay…I’ll admit I mostly invited myself.

Anywhoooo…this particular morning our Playgroup was going on a field trip…to Krispy Kreme.  The kiddos were going to get a tour and see how they make the donuts.  All very exciting stuff.

I was supposed to be there at 10 a.m.  I lived minutes away.  If only I could get in my car.    In trying to get there I had just a few problems… I couldn’t stop throwing up, The Big Brother would only pee-on the floor-after he got off the potty and Johnny didn’t walk yet and was screaming in the pack and play.  I believe I might have been shedding a few tears as well.

All I could think….I’m going to be late, I’m going to be late, we’re going to MISS EVERYTHING!  Finally, I am able to unwrap my arms from the toilet, put some dry pants on The Big Brother, calm down Johnny and we are off.

Like a Mommy on a Mission minutes later I arrive at Krispy Kreme.  Only problem, I am about 20 minutes too late.  Nerves completely frayed and sanity long gone, I enter and am greeted by Sue who asks, “Hey Ame, where ya been, ya missed everything?”  Let’s just say, I can take a lot–two toddlers, pregnant, throwing up, husband at war — but that was the perverbial straw that broke me.  My Boys MISSED the donut tour.  What kind of a Mommy takes that kind of information without emotion?  Certainly not me.

So, I did the next natural thing…I stood in the middle of Krispy Kreme, 8 months pregnant screaming and sobbing uncontrollably, “I COULDN’T GET OUT OF THE F###IN HOUSE!!!!!!!”  AND NOW MY BOYS MISSED THE TOUR, THE DONUTS, AND EVERYTHING.”  Except I was in such a state it took an interpreter (and two good friends) to understand.   Weeeelll, I think the “F” word came out pretty clear.

I then proceeded to have a good ol cry and complete melt down in the middle of Krispy Kreme.  That, Dear Reader, is how Krispy Kreme became an adjective.  A perfect, concise term that describes all those moments when I can’t take it any more and all my hinges pop at once.  They are my Krispy Kreme moments, days and weeks.  Thank to  Sue, I now have this mug for all of those times…

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Nothing, and I mean nothing, says crazy quite like a Big Crying, Cursing Pregnant Lady in a Krispy Kreme.  Or as Sue said, as she laughed, “trust me, someday you are going to laugh about  how crazy you look.”

Well, Sue, I guess the day has come finally come…

Friday Fun with Farmer Brown

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Yay!!!  It’s Friday!  And contrary to what might be popular belief, we Stay at Home Moms, look forward to Friday like everyone else who is terribly underpaid for their service to others.  Except, unlike other workers, I am lucky…I receive sticky, smelly hugs, gluey art and a kiss (if I bribe them) from the Little Men who I work for.  In other work environments, I realize that is a lawsuit waiting to happen.  Guess that’s the benefit of my work.  The boys I work for would never sue, they know that they have traumatized  and inflicted more emotional pain and suffering, than the other way around.  Unless you, of course, consider the meatloaf I made for dinner last night.

For example, just in the last week, I have been informed by The Big Brother that he thinks the FBI is going to come and “get us”…why?  Weeellll, that’s what “the virus” on the computer told him when the warning came up about “downloading” let’s just say…inappropriate material.  Which lead to a very uncomfortable conversation about the “P” word, ends in… ography.  Having to have this discussion with Johnny is worth a couple of million in damages alone.

That fun event was only to be followed up by the Little Brother bringing smut into our Catholic home.  Yep…you guessed it…say it isn’t so…The Little Brother was busted reading, The Old Farmer’s Almanac.  Which, I (and “The Teacher” learned the hard way, IS NOT your Granpa’s Almanac.  Or maybe it is, and Ol’ Granpa had a Wild Side.  Because along with the weather report, The  Little Brother was able to learn about “improving life in the bedroom”  and certain “enhancing” pharmaceuticals.  Oh yeah, he could also order an Asian Bride.  And I will swear on a Bible that I did NOT make one word of this up.  I would bring out my witnesses but I promised to protect their identity.  She’s at Confession right now, anyway.

So…I think I can safely say…Bring on the Weekend!  Before I go though, it is time for Fun Friday Fill In with Hilary at Feeling Beachie.

This week’s statements:
1. I am a ____
2. Sometimes I don’t know when to ____
1. My two favorite words lately are ___________ and ____________
2. I would like ____________ if ____________ didn’t happen

Where do I begin?

1.  I am a very loyal person and friend.  I get very attached to those who have held me up during these last two years.

2.  Sometimes I don’t know when to say when.  This would be possibly why I have Three Boys and walk around like the house is on fire.

3.  My two favorite words lately are irritated and Almanac (come on, you saw that coming.)

4.  I would like to know what life would be like if my days didn’t happen to be a series of “Unfortunate Events” involving Farmers and the FBI.

That’s about it.  Have a drink on me and raise a toast to my “sanity.”  In the meantime I headed to  a local book burning of that Darned Almanac.

Darn the Luck

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Semi-Wordless Wednesday — My “Lucky” Bamboo Plant — Explains a lot.

 

Pooh…Is that you?

Everyone wants to be considered unique.  One of a kind.  Afterall, isn’t that the wonderful thing about Tiger, “that he’s the only one!”   Stand out!  Be noticed!  That’s how to make your mark.  In school, career, and, I guess, life in general.  The great desire to be one of a kind.  Gives us an edge.  You know, we all want the peverbial mold of us to be broken.

The irony being as a child generally we just want to fit in.  We don’t want to be noticed for anything unique.  And heaven forbid, don’t call us different, that could lead to a complex that could lead to permanent scarring.  Cliques, crowds, teams, clubs, all packed with members, all being watched by those on the outside just yearning to be one of them.  Perhaps many of us still feel this way, like the child looking to belong.

I was previewing a book, for my niece, by Kelly Cutrone entitled, “If you have to Cry, Go Outside.”  Kelly Cutrone is a mogel in the PR fashion world.  As a success she is always being asked, “how she made it?” “what is the secret to her success?”  This book was to answer some of those questions.  To help my niece get her start in life.  I liked her basic message, which seemed to be, work hard and don’t be a big ol’ crybaby!  No secret, just work.  Perfect for twenty somethings starting out or anyone…really.

Another point she made to the up and comers was to find “your tribe.”  Your tribe that is like minded, that you can travel with for nurturing, guidance, socializing and basically cultivating a “little family” that will be your soft spot to land when you fall on your butt one too many times.  Thus, lacking the ability to use your own untapped, super human strength  to pick yourself up by boot or bra straps.  Makes perfect sense to me.

Sounds like the basic theory that revolutionalized the support group.  A place to share with like minded people, with similar life experience, generally trying to accomplish a common goal or endure a common circumstance.  People who will “get” you, understand how your mind may be working and what exactly brought you to that mindset.  A tribe, if you will.

With a tribe, you can preserve all straps and elastic.  They don’t get as much wear and tear, afterall,  if you only need to pull with one hand while leaning on a shoulder (or shoulders) with the other.  The ultimate in strength…balance.

Even in the world of loss and grief, there are groups.  Widows, widowers, parents who have buried a child and children who have buried a parent.  Break that further into causes of death and ages and many different groups develop.  Thus, giving most of us a place to land…a tribe.

In my case it is the group that have buried a child.  But in that group I still cannot find my tribe, my sub-group to Pow-wow with.  I have come into contact (and developed relationships) with others who have buried a child.  Still we are not alike.  I don’t quite fit in the Infant Loss community.  Madeline was 16 months when she died.  Considered more a toddler to many, I suppose.  She grew in my womb, drew breath, and though too short, she had life, which can be contrary to the many heartbreaking stories in the infant loss community.

The other community that nurtures it’s members through loss and heartbreak or those who have lost a child due to a battle with an incurable disease, such as pediatric  cancer.  These parents know what it is like to receive this horrific diagnosis, watch their child fight the disease with herculean strength, yet it was out of their hands and their life now has an irreprebable hole where their child used to live.  Sadly, there are many, many people in this group.

Again, like me, despite super-human levels of fight and determination, they still lost their child… their baby.

Yes, I to, have buried my Baby.  As I said, Madeline was 16 months old.   Her diagnosis, Down Syndrome.  While I was pregnant, I had a fetal echo-cardiogram, in which they determined that she also had a congenital heart defect known as a “complete AV Canal” and a fused valve.  All very common in Children with Down Syndrome and all “highly treatable”.  Although I understand there are no promises, we were told there was over a 98% success rate with babies who had this procedure.

Soon after birth a blockage was found in her stomach.  A month later, a feeding tube.  A month after that, open heart surgery.  Then just when we thought we were in the clear, an emergency trach.  Only to be followed up a month later with another stomach surgery.   All things that knocked us pretty hard to the ground but just like those inflattable punching bags, we bounced right back up.  If nothing else, we were determined.  These were all just setbacks, hurdles to jump to get Our Sweet Girl to continue to grow strong and healthy.

After all, who ever heard of anyone dying as the result of Down Syndrome?  Not me.  So, I guess, I did not allow the thought to cross my mind.  When I had lost all patience and understanding for her surgeries and hospital stays I clung to faith and hope.  Just praying to get through this one more hurdle and the hope that it was the last one.

But pray, love and hope as we might, it just was not enough and Madeline was gone.  I recall in my state of shock having the thought, “this did not happen”, this COULD NOT have happened.  A Baby doesn’t die from Down Syndrome.  WHO ever heard of this?  So, WHY?  Why?  Why, did it happen to me? Why anybody, why Sweet Madeline?

And…am I the ONLY ONE?

I feel like Tiger and I don’t want to be Tiger.  This is my  problem…I HAVE NO TRIBE!  I have found NO ONE one who is exactly like me, having the exact life experience.  I really don’t want to be the only one.    Being Tiger is actually making me feel more like Eeyore…sad…alone.

I am the only one, that I know of, who has lost their Beautiful Baby as the result of medical complications due to Down Syndrome.  Not that I want anyone else to be in my tribe.  It is painful and sad to be without your Baby.  However, I keep thinking it would be somewhat comforting to be a shoulder for someone else who has buried their own “Madeline.”  To have said yes to life and taken in all the love, wonder and beauty…and are now left with — good-bye.  But you weren’t ready to say good-bye because you were caught up in all the joy that this gift..this child…brought you and your family.  And you waited with anticipation for all that was to come.

Two years later this tapes still plays in my head.  Where are my people…my tribe.  The people that have had an almost exact life experience that can listen and truly know just how I feel.  How it feels to learn that your baby has or will have Down Syndrome.  That experience alone.  Then to hold this child in your arms for the first time and fall completely head over heels.  To want nothing more than to take them home and let them be a sibling to their adoring brothers.  Instead your family exists on a hospital/ICU schedule.    To live this experience and to ultimately watch your child die before your eyes as you stand helplessly by.  WHERE IS MY TRIBE?

The people that know that all life has purpose and know that down syndrome did not lessen the value of your child’s life nor the pain of their death.  The same people that possibly stare at any child they see with Down Syndrome and either want to cry their eyes out or continue to stare,  eyes green with envy.

And just maybe they understand what it is to want to run up to someone they see with the tell tale features, are completely taken in by their beauty and want to tell them all about their “Madeline.”  But you can’t, because you just can’t ask all about their child and then say, “My child has Down Syndrome to, but now she is dead.”

I do have wonderful, caring friends, who have lessened the wear on my boot straps and scooped me off the ground.  But lately, I feel that I don’t  have my place.  It is lonely.    I want to belong, be like someone else, so we can catch each other as we fall.  We can get each other and lessen the wear on our boot straps.

Perhaps it would be a little less lonely to be Winnie-the-Pooh.  Afterall, he has Christopher Robin.  Troubles seem to feel lighter when you have a Christopher Robin.  I need Christopher Robin.

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Perhaps I am not Tiger after all.  Perhaps I am Pooh..and I’m not the only one.  Or, perhaps I am Christopher Robin and Pooh is out there waiting for me.  Perhaps I need to look further into the Forest.

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
―    A.A. Milne,    Winnie-the-Pooh

Naked truth – Friday Fun

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It’s Friday!!  And you know what that means?  Well, for some of you free and easy types it might mean HAPPY HOUR!  For me, weeellll, it’s kind of just an extension of M,T,W and Thurs, except I don’t have to do the homework drill and I rarely cook.  Also, there is usually several back to back episodes of Lock-Up, so I got that going for me.

I did officially work today I subbed in second grade (more on that another time, stay tuned.).  So, I guess that entitles me to a little bit of the vino.  Or after teaching the phrase, “Clothe the Naked.”   A lot of vino.  Like I said last week, I don’t have a wimpy bone in my body.  That lesson proved it.

My point, really, is that today is Four Friday Fill In Fun  with Hilary at Feeling Beachie.  I had an epiphany while I was subbing today (and playing Hangman) and my mind was wondering (it does that) that this is a little like HangMan for Bloggers.  I’m in!

This week’s statements:

1. When I __ I ___
2. It is pretty funny that ____
3. It may be strange but ___
4. How ______ made me ______.

Where do I begin?

1.  When I substitute teach, I always learn what NOT to do.  For example, and trust me on this, NEVER, ever, ever, ask a class a question that contains the word NAKED.  Trust me, just don’t.

2.  It is pretty funny that I when I was in 20’s, I couldn’t do a push up or run more than a mile.  Now I’m, let’s just say about double that and I can do push-ups and run 13 miles.

3.  It may be strange but I put my ice cream in the microwave before I eat it.  And I prefer to eat ice-cream alone.

4.  How I passive aggressive The Big Brother’s second grade teacher was to him made me a better teacher.  I always try to remember, “you may be making me crazy, but you are SOMEBODIES baby.”  I try to always respect that.

Number three makes me sound crazy but if you saw, you would prefer I eat ice cream alone to.

Happy Friday.  Have a drink on me!

Cape, please…

super sub teacherCareer woman…that’s me!  I have an illustrious career as a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER.  In the Catholic School, no less, so you KNOW I am making some pretty big bank.  Making bank–makes me sound pretty cool, huh?  Except the fact that I just used the word cool, pretty much clues you into the fact that I–am NOT!  I am okay with that…really.  I gave up that ghostlong time ago.  That…and any clothing item with the word skinny included.

Why, Substitute teaching?  Weelll, I kind of like it.  You’re like a Super Hero.  Coming in and saving the day, and the school, from potential chaos and collapse when Mrs. Regular Teacher has a sudden emergency.  You get to slap on your temporary I.D., sensible shoes, practical outfit, hop into your Super Hero Mini-Van and you are off to save the day.  Oh yeah, and shape and model young minds.  That took it a little far, huh?

Actually, I have learned A LOT substitute teaching.  Like,  I can think on my feet like nobodies business.  For example, the day the music teacher left lesson plans that called for an I-Pad.  Uh, problem, not an I-Pad to be found.  Solution…talent show.  Those kids are NOT shy.  Just have to remember next time to set better ground rules.  No hand springs or jokes that begin with…”So, these 2 guys went into a bar.”  But impressive talent.  Note to self, get The Brothers piano lessons.

And those notes the teachers leave to tell me who is line leader, etc.  Totally, not necessary.   I sub a lot in first grade and kindergarten.  Those kiddos are power-hungry and control freaks.  They give me that info before we walk through the door.

Lesson number TWO… I wish I would have paid better attention in math class.  Although I can think on my feet, it stinks when I have to use it to cover up that potentially 80% of the room knows way more than I do.

Oh yeah, and if anybody wants my opinion, technology is over-rated.  The smart board, weelll, turns out that stands for you have to be really smart to use it in the first place.  I had a student try to comfort me with the fact that, “It’s okay, my Mom had to go to a 2-day class to learn to use it.”  Thanks, kid.  I say, BRING BACK THE CHALK BOARD!  Those kids LOVE jobs.  If they think line leader is where it is at, they haven’t lived until they have cleaned erasers.

Also, the chalk board never requires a new bulb or a password that I can never remember.  Plus I have to admit, I love writing on a chalkboard.

Catholic school or not, those kids are a rough crowd.  You screw up once, and they are ALL OVER YOU!!  THAT’S NOT HOW MRS. REGULAR TEACHER DOES IT!!  “Yeah, well, do you see her here?”  Actually, that is just my inside voice.

They are pretty cool to.  Like the day an entire 3rd grade class took pity as we banded together to help Mrs. Substitute Teacher figure out the smart board.  Or in kindergarten someone usually throws you a bone and declares their feelings of utter joy that you are their teacher that day with a big gluey hug.   Weelll, just as long as I don’t screw up their schedule.

Today I took my life in my own hands and ventured into a complete new substitute teacher category…Pre-School.  They may look cute enough.  But they are the toughest of the tough.  I stood with a big, pre-school teacher smile, complete with sweet, peppy voice when one-by-one, I was greeted with, “Who are YOU?”  And their voice was not so sweet.  I was banished from “center” after “center” as I tried to find my place.  I was not wanted in the “kitchen”.  For the tea party I was admonished when I tried to “enjoy” my plastic cookie.  “It’s not time to eat yet, I’ll call you when it is.”

On I go to the lego table where I am flat-out told that “no, he did NOT like what I built.  And ripped it from my hands to show me the right way to do it.  I didn’t tell him, nobody likes a know it all!

Then I move to the sensory table.  Those kiddos were mesmerized by the corn meal flowing through their fingers…they didn’t even pay me the time of day!  I had had enough rejection, I moved on.

You want to know what you DON’T KNOW, go to pre-school.  For instance, I was so excited when the felt board was pulled out.  I remember thinking those were the BEST.  I did not hesitate to jump right in with Little “Joe” for some bonding and felt snowman making.  This was my place, I’ll be welcomed here!  I thought…WRONG.  Turns out, according to “Joe”  I actually stink at making felt snowman, and mine were immediately discarded.  Just because he made a felt snowman gerbil, he thought he was all that.

I felt badly though.  Turns out this snowman gerbil was made to pay homage to his Dear Departed gerbil who had moved on to a better place.  “I’m sorry”, I said, when he shared this sad tale with me.  “That’s okay, it wasn’t YOUR fault.”  Thanks, kid.

Snack time…NOW we’re talking.  I could pass that subject any time, any day, any grade.  WRONG…so excited that I received a personal invite to sit with the girls.  I happily pull out my orange.  “That’s your snack?”, they said, noses curled.  WOW!  I want my Mommy!

The best part of Substitute Teaching in a school with a crucifix in every room.  Instant behavior modification.  Just look at the kid, point at the cross and stick out your lower lip and declare, “would HE want you to behave this way.”  So, I guess, the biggest lesson I have learned…if you can’t beat em, join em….EXTRA RECESS?…anyone?anyone?

In the meantime, I will just press my cape.

To The Left

To the Left

Semi Wordless Wednesday…A LITTLE TO THE LEFT JOHNNY, A LITTLE TO THE LEFT…