Monday, October 11, 2010

Elementary School Carnival

Ruanita says she is out of shape. She claims that she she cannot run. She alleges that she is weak and slow and sluggish. Rubbish, I say! I saw her move faster than an Olympic sprinter this weekend. Rather, she moved so fast that I didn't see her.

Lucas' school carnival was on Saturday. Altogether, we had a fairly successful trip to the carnival this year. That is not to say it was pleasant. It was merely less hellish than previous years. We managed to only spend $40 this year, as opposed to the $60 we spent last year. We played silly games. The kids got to jump around in the big blow-up bouncer. Sophie got her nails painted orange and sparkly at the Hale School beauty salon. We had the world-famous Hale PTA chili dished up in compostable bowls with compostable spoons and napkins. Lucas ate purple cotton candy that neither Sophie nor Nicholas would even consider trying. We failed to win a cake at the cake walk on several occasions. We managed to shoulder our way through the crowded hallways, only losing a child once or twice. There were minimal melt-downs. Nicholas ran head-first into a door, but managed to survive. All in all, the carnival was entirely tolerable this year.

Right before we left the carnival, the kids cashed in their tickets for fabulous prizes (also known as useless plastic junk that was broken within an hour of arriving home). We were almost in the clear. We could almost claim a successful carnival trip. We were mere inches from the door when I heard Lucas say, "Hi. Mrs. Alman." I turned to see Lucas' teacher and her student teacher approaching us from the other end of the hallway. Dammit. I had never emailed her back.

The teachers walked up and pleasantly said hello to everyone. Mrs. Alman asked Lucas if he was enjoying the carnival. He beamed at her and said that he was having a great time. We chatted for a few moments about second grade. She then turned to me and asked, "Did you get my email?" Yes, I had received her email, but was still formulating a response. She asked if I had any ideas or recommendations to share with her. I mumbled something vaguely incoherent and then glanced over at Ruanita to see if she had any thoughts to contribute to the conversation. To my utter surprise, Ruanita was no longer there. As a matter of fact, the kids were no longer there either. With lightning speed...and apparently a healthy dose of stealth...Ruanita had shuffled the kids out the door and was standing 50 feet away in the parking lot. My eyes briefly met hers through the glass door as she smiled and waved. Bitch! She had left me alone with the two teachers. She had abandoned me in my time of need.

I managed to form a few coherent thoughts and said that I would continue to talk with Lucas about the importance of focusing and staying on task in school. I told Mrs. Alman that I would let her know if I came up with any strategies that might help her. We talked for several more minutes before I made a rather weak excuse about Ruanita needing help with the kids outside.

When I was finally free, I walked toward Ruanita and the kids. Ruanita was beaming. She was quite proud of herself. I gave her one of my classic "what the hell?!?" looks. She merely responded by saying, "You handle everything related to school. That's what you do."

Hmm...I don't recall a discussion when we decided that I handled all things related to school. I certainly don't remember volunteering for that job. I am pretty sure that I should have, at minimum, been informed of that decision when it was made.

I'm always the last person in the know....


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