Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School Expulsion and Bearded Lunchroom Ladies

Last year, Bubby was almost kicked out of school. No, he didn't go timpani diving through the ceiling tiles of the band room. (Not that I know anyone that's done that...*wink wink*.)  He didn't smuggle peanut butter over to the 'allergy table' like a Mexican drug lord. He didn't even crash the morning announcements in an effort to save the North Dakotan Howling Salamanders from certain annihilation.

Would you like to guess what he did?

His immunization records weren't on the right form.

That's right. The state form from the doctor's office, while up to date, was not on the form they wanted. Now, I've done my fair share of secretarial work, and I know that the ladies answering the phones are only doing what they're told, so my beef is not with them. But my child could've divvied out Cocaine Krispie Treats at the homecoming dance and stayed under the radar longer than he did from this contraband medical form.

But, not wanting to cause a raucous, we take him in and get his bicep plugged full of that mystery juice that prevents birthday-induced, spontaneous combustion. And we're good....right?

ERRRRRRNNNNTTTT!!! No. Of course not.

The doctor's office didn't change the date from his last immunization, so the form is still not right. The Earth's rotation is shifting by the moment, and we're three bottles of beer on the wall away from the Apocalypse.

I'm pretty sure it was Joe Biden that called the next time. "This is a big (*@&#^* DEAL!"

Back to the pediatrician's office to slip a few bucks under the table and get his new identity in witness protection...I mean, his piece of paper.

Hop in an armored truck, turn off all of our GPS tracking devices and haul butt to the middle school. Squeal in the parking lot on two wheels, and I'm smuggled in the back door like a Cuban cigar on the SS Cracker Jack.

PHEW! Looks like the kid will make it to his next birthday.

******TIME WARP******

Last night, at curriculum night at the middle school, Bubby says "Oh yeah, Mom, I have to get my shots, or I'm gonna get kicked out of school."

Oh, hells bells, you've got to be kidding me.

But it's about to get see, they sent home a piece of paper with his name filled in the blank and everything this time...IN AN ENVELOPE.

I break out in a cold sweat. My son's life hangs in the valance.

Do I still have the after hours number for Black Market Betty at the ped's office? For $7 and a six pack, she'll make this pesky little problem go away.

I open up the Inspector Gadget envelope to see my child's bleak future in a mundane form letter.

"As of July 1 2014, all students born on or after January 1, 2012 who are entering the 7th grade must have a valid Form 3231 which meets the following requirements:
(Blah blah blah)

"To avoid asphyxiation, mutilation of his meningococcals, and eternal banishment from his happy place, please get him shot and send us indisputable video evidence of the procedure. Place $38 in non-consecutive, unmarked bills in a paper sack and deliver it to the lunch lady with the longest beard between 2nd and 3rd periods. This message will self-destruct in 14 seconds."

Needless to say, I've spent the morning on the phone with the school secretary and the pediatrician's office. I dial up Funtastical Family Farts & Fixer Uppers, MD and tell them I need to make the dreaded appointment.

"Ma'am, he's up to date on his vaccinations."

The hell you say! Would you mind leaning in for the mike and smiling for the camera while you say that?

Ok...fine...I'll call the school back. the office number, call the 7th grade office.

I explain the letter and the situation to the sweet lady on the phone. (Really, she is.)

"Is your son a student here?"

Why, heavens no! He's doing his graduate work at Yale.

"And, you say you got this letter from us? Is he in 7th grade?"

No ma'am. He's retiring from Lockheed in April. I was just testing your underground networking abilities.

I explain the situation AGAIN, and I'm to the point of fasting and praying. If this don't work, there may be a laying on of hands.

"Well, it may be that it's just not on the right form. He probably has the 'ok for 6th grade' form, but we have to have the 'ok for 7th grade' form. If you'll hold on, I'll pull up his records." I'm starting to hear the voices of angels! I feel a warm, tingling sensation covering my body, and I know I'm getting somewhere!

"Ma'am, we have a record for him, but the system we use to pull up the records isn't working, so I can't see it. Can you have the doctor's office fax over an updated form?"

Sweet baby Jesus....

Long story short...Funtastical Family Farts will be faxing over another form today.

And do you want to know the kicker? Bubby won't be eligible for another well child/ immunization visit until October because he was in there last September, and they only get one per year.

Do you know what that means? We'll be Groundhog Dayin' this in about a month...when his current shot record expires.

Lord love a duck, can we get some common sense up in here?!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Kindergarten Cleopatra in a Kaleidoscope World

I think it's pretty common knowledge that boys and girls are different. Not just innies vs. outies, but we're wired differently. If you ask a little boy what he wants to be when he grows up, he'll probably say one of three things:  a professional athlete, a fireman, or....just like daddy. If you ask my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up, she'll say one of these:

  • A mermaid gymnast
  • A teacher
  • An upside down dancer
  • A baker so she can "do the fondant and make delicious treats" all day
  • A ballerina
  • The lost princess
I'm good with most of those options. As long as she works hard, is happy, and is doing something to make the world a better place, I'm fine with it.

Despite her tiny packaging, she has a strong foundation in leadership and is developing her authoritarian voice exponentially with each passing day. (Did I pull that off?)

We're one week into school, and she has already made her mark on her school. The other morning, I dropped her and Rae-Rae off in the morning, and the famous Mr. T. (the coolest teacher in the universe according to my kids) helps her out of the car. Now I don't know what kind of happy juice this guy has in the mornings, but somehow, he makes the kids feel like they're stepping out of a limo at the Academy Awards instead of out of Bessie behind the school. He helps Emma out and walks her to the sidewalk, where she latches onto his finger and won't let go. So what does he do? This tall-as-a-Redwood P.E. coach lets himself be drug down the sidewalk behind a 3-foot nothing ball of assertiveness donning a twinkly Frozen backpack and seizure-inducing strobe shoes.

On the first day of school, apparently not all the children in her class were as confident and prepared to learn as she.  I expected as much as during the Assemblage of Supplies Pertaining to the Health, Artistry and Literacy of Tomorrow (ASPHALT) (a.k.a. school orientation), one child was doing the baby monkey grasp of terror, one was doing a headstand in his cubby, and a small cooperative of young girls may or may not have been reenacting 'Frozen'  in the book nook.

(Let me preface this by saying that we are still working on our 'r' pronunciation. I'm not making fun of my daughter by any means, but to grasp how difficult it is to keep a straight face sometimes, I will be writing the following recollections in Emma-nese).

My daughter comes home the first day, and says, "Mom, we have a wunnah in our class. Every time my teachah walked away from the dah, this little boy would twy to wun away and find his mommy. Do you know what my teachah said? She said 'No sah! No sah! You cannot wun away!' And she had to put the twash can in fwont of the dah so that he couldn't wun away. And do you know what I said? I told hah that he's childish."

Since then, I've learned quite a bit about her classmates.
  • Some little girl's poor father has staples in his belly. The reasoning behind the staples is still under investigation... as is whether or not the poor man lived... as is the name of this newfound best friend.
  • 99% of children in the class are juvenile delinquents and will surely be on "Beyond Scared Straight" by Labor Day. 
  • Another interesting fact....apparently, if there are two children in the lower 48 with the same name, they will be placed in the same class. Yes, Sasquatchetta Smith of Kansas City and Sasquatchetta Goldbloom of the Bronx will have to be bussed in to make things as confusing as possible for their teachers. a class of about 20 kids, there are 3 sets of name twins! C'mon, random class generating app, give the teachers a break!
It's been a great start to a colorful year, and though I'd rather wash down some kimchi with Tabasco than second guess authority, I do have a minor complaint. I pack my children's lunches each day, and have found these nifty little divided containers with fitted lids. As the lids are fitted, they are a little tough to remove. My daughter asked the lunch monitor at their table to help get the lid off, and was told that she needed to bring something she could open herself...that it's not the monitor's job to open her lunch.

Wait a minute, back that Twinkie up! YOU WORK FOR A SCHOOL. YOUR JOB IS TO HELP CHILDREN. But that's not the part that bothers me the most.

What kind of people do you think these children will grow up to be, when during the first week of school, they're told to stop asking for help and do it themselves? I understand that Ms. Lunch Lady Monitor Gone Rogue doesn't want to open 20+ lunch containers, but are you kidding me? Would it kill you to be nice? Not for the whole year, as that would probably cause cancer, but at least for a week or two? How about you help show her that she can do it if she tries, instead of condemning her choice of lunch containers and making her cry?

Well, guess what, Corn Dog Commandant? I hope you have a blessed day anyway, though I may or may not have wished for your keys to get locked in your car. Just call the police or a locksmith, right? Oh, wait, I also wished that they would tell you "It's your problem. Fix it yourself."

I hope your applesauce gets ALL UP IN your cracker compartment.