Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's hard to curse around a child that knows what you're spelling.

I can't remember any of this past weekend. I wish I could say it's because I partied and got super-college-frat-party-drunk, but I think it's because we didn't do anything note worthy. Wait, part of it's coming back to me now.... We went to Target and bought a dish drainer.... and another baby gate.... and a new welcome mat.

Better left unsaid, right? I know, the glamor of my life is unbearable to you common folk. I shouldn't have been so insensitive just then.

Yesterday was "Meet the Teachers" day at Riley's elementary school. I left work at 11 to go pick him up (I had to eat in the car! New milestone! I LIVED!!). When we got to the school, it was PACKED WITH KIDS. They were sticky and dirty and I felt like the construction paper lined walls were closing in on me. That place smells like my childhood. Walking in there is like a slap in the face of memories. I had to go into the main office to ask a question about the bus routes, and the ladies of course all remembered Riley. Especially when he proudly read them the drawer labels, all of their names off of their desks, the sign behind one of them, and the people's names from the 'sign in' sheet. After several long, tense minutes in the packed foyer (Maybe most people aren't tense? But SO MANY KIDS!!!!) they let us back. I hadn't received a letter telling me who Riley's teacher was (got it yesterday when we got home, of course...) so I was anticipating lists being posted outside the classrooms. Nope. So I had to wander in to each of them (which were all notably marked 'PEANUT FREE ZONE', which is going to suck for my PB&J loving child) and ask around like a dumb noob.

When we finally found his teacher's room- Her name is Mrs. Weigel, but she is kindly allowing the kids to call her Mrs. W.- Riley immediately went into his version of coronary arrest. Here is his heaven, this classroom papered with letters and numbers. Immediately he attempted to rip them all down and love them, but I stopped him. As I filled out paperwork and he stealthily tried to remove letter magnets from the chalkboard (meanwhile, the other kids are playing with each other), Mrs. W found her way over and made the mistake of striking up a conversation about letters, at which point she wasn't able to leave to talk to any of the other children because Riley would not stop talking for anything. When she finally found the opportunity to introduce herself to the room, Riley anxiously waited until she finished and then proclaimed "YOU ARE THE BEST TEACHER!" which got a chuckle from the parents. The parents were asked to head to the cafeteria so the teacher could get to know the students, and I watched as parents tried to separate themselves from their tearful children.

"Riley," I said, "I have to leave you here now and go somewhere else with the other moms and dads"
"Cool, bye," Riley said dismissively as he spelled 'School' with foam letters. Well. That's my kid for you.

While the parents were introduced to the staff members, the children got the opportunity to learn about bus safety and ride the school bus. At the end of the hour, we were allowed to go get our child off of the bus. Mrs. W, with a big smile that might have been strained and fake, informed me that she'd started reading something (the posted rules, I think?) on the bus and that Riley had "finished them" for her.

I get the feeling that everyone is going to know my son and me by the end of this school year. I am terrified.

Later that afternoon, Riley asked to play outside with his truck. I stared at him for 45 seconds straight in amazed silence, thinking if I breathed or blinked it would disappear, like a mirage. This is the child that would sit on the computer for 6 hours straight if we let him, and whose version of playing with legos is making the alphabet out of them. I may have yelled "YES" accidentally, in my excitement, and shoved him outside.

Every so often, the stars will align perfectly, and I will do something that makes me feel like a cool mom. Such an occasion took place yesterday, when I was preparing to butterfly chicken breasts for the picatta I was making for dinner, and blew it off to play with sidewalk chalk instead. It was beautiful outside, and I was so happy to fully appreciate the last of summer with my kids. Of course, the first thing Riley did was start drawing numbers and letters- but hey, we were outside! That's at least an improvement!

I drew the sun and the clouds, and a heart, and Riley gave them all faces.

Zoey focused on throwing her pacifier repeatedly on the ground as a way, presumably, to taste the asphalt.
Riley wants to make sure you know your colors.
The artist at work.
(Not pictured: Me in sunglasses, an oversized Samuel Adams t-shirt, leggings and bare feet. Sorry for your loss there.)

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