So I finally decided I would volunteer for the room mother position. Politically correct is room parent, but lets be real, only moms do this job, no slight to Dads, its just the way it is.
Yesterday there was a room parent meeting. In Minnesota, I think the room parent planned a couple parties and went to the ice-cream social. I could be wrong, I was not a room parent there but that's the feeling I got. It is VERY different here. They have a room parent coordinator who went over all the responsibilities. They got to teacher appreciation week, support staff appreciation week, and then bus driver appreciation week. At which point I burst out laughing. Now I like our bus driver as much as everyone. The kids have always come home. She always says E-man is good whether or not he is. (one of my favorite types of people, ignorance IS bliss) And at the end of the year I might even buy her a tulip to show my appreciation. But seriously..a whole week for bus driver appreciation???
By the time they got to May in the schedule they were talking about a variety show. One of the moms asked what that involved and I piped up, 'you have to sing.' The heads turned and the looks came, who's the new girl? I thought this was the appropriate time to ask if I got health benefits with this job. I don't remember submitting a resume and if I had I'm sure I would have been deemed unqualified for the job no matter what my EEOC report said.
It all comes down to the fact that the kids and I have decided everyone looks a bit more constipated here. Ten seconds late for school you're written up. There's no "oh, thanks for stopping by." Annie's ballet must have the right color leotard and tights and ballet shoes. DO NOT CALL THEM Slippers. It's kind of karma for me complaining about the other ballet drill sergeant in Minnesota. She looks like Florence Nightingale compared to this group. Everything is harder. Math seems harder, reading more advanced, and the ancient cultures more involved with projects that of course involve the room parent.
I just want to get a bullhorn and yell, "CHILL OUT!" I mean don't you people have days when you aren't sure you are going to make it? I have days I'm not sure I want to make it. I said to Abegail, "I can't really see the principal getting a pie in the face here." (remembering when the principal at her school got one) She responded with a look of horror at the thought and said, "oh no, she's way too neat."
Abegail has also remarked that the staff at school seem "kind of old." Since some of them have been there since before the computer was invented I would agree with that assessment. The parents seem older too. Not so much older than me but older than Washburn parents in Minnesota. Not that there's anything wrong with that, you just have to get used to the smell of Ben Gay at the open house. That all said, everyone is very nice and so far they haven't kicked E-man out of school so I should be glowing about them.
Today as I walked the kids to school (they walk to school, kindergartners take the bus home) I saw the Asst. Principal who we met with for our plan on how to educate E-man. He asked how E-man was doing and I told him it's been a little rough. He said, "anything we can do?" I said yes, "FIX HIM!" "He's been in school a whole month and you haven't fixed him yet." He then got the "who's the new mom" look in his eyes that I saw the day before.
It Takes a Village
When Scott left for DC last spring and I was with the kids in Minnesota I realized how awesome people were helping me with E-man. Scott works a lot here and I am usually the one with the kids at activities. I have found people just as receptive and helpful here with E-man. Especially the soccer teams. Last Saturday, Abegail was starting the second half of her game and E-man was mad at me so he thought he would get me back by planting himself on the field and not moving. The coaches, ref, everyone was yelling GET OFF THE FIELD. I stood frozen on the side lines. The thought of grabbing him had scenes of getting beaten up in front of an audience in my head. That's when one of the other Dads walked on the field picked him up and took him off. Thank you Tim. It helps to have a lot of members of the military around! My neighbor Kathy, who has a first grader, has helped me with the ins and outs of school and I can complain to her about E-man...She's from NYC, between the two of us the sarcasm is overflowing.
Quotes from E-man:
Yesterday I asked E-man about 10 times to get in the car and go to soccer. He heard me but ignored me. Finally I honked the horn and he looked over at me....
E-man: what?? (hands in the air)
Mommy: yea, I'm getting ready to go to the spa and I was wondering if you'd come with me. What do you think???? I've TOLD YOU TEN TIMES WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE FOR SOCCER. Oh Hi Andy, how was your day?
(don't you hate when the neighbors pull up at the exact time you have lost it with your kids)