Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do. Or Not.

While completing the nightly routine of shower, brush teeth, read and tickling his back, Monkey Man informed me of something. As he was lying in bed, getting in one last snuggle with the first woman in his life, he announced:

“I just broke up with my girlfriend.”

I looked at him, quizzically, and asked, “Today, in school?” I could barely even stutter those words as my head was spinning at the revelation that he had a girlfriend. But let’s take this in small bites, shall we?

“No, right now, in my head,” he answered, matter-of-factly. Like this was totally normal. But I guess to a 6 year-old, there was absolutely no oddity to this statement. After all, let us take a look at the courting:

Scene: Playground

As retold by Monkey Man: “Anna, Emily and Kate chased me around the playground and asked me to pick which one of them was my girlfriend. I picked Emily.” There you have it, a courtship rivaling that of centuries-old arranged marriages.

Regarding the breakup, I gave Monkey Man some motherly, womanly, HUMANE advice. “You might want to let her know tomorrow.”

“I will. I’ll tell her we are through,” he said, and added the visual of his hand, palm down, going across his neck. Geez, poor girl doesn’t stand a chance.

“That’s a little harsh,” I replied to his Sopranos-like break-up. “How about you tell her that you don’t think it’s going to work out? Maybe that you realized you don’t have much in common, like you see the cookies she eats during snack and you don’t like that kind. Or her taste in music is a little more Disney Channel than your taste in Def Leppard.”

“Yeah, I’m tired, good night,” he said, clearly fraught with worry about the looming real-life breakup he would be initiating tomorrow.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Memo From Mom

TO: School Administration

RE: First Grade = First Laundry Load

I propose you bring Home Economics back to school. And please start in First Grade. With just the boys. My reason? In the last week, I have washed 3 pairs of mud and grass-stained jeans, 1 brand new fuzzy fleece-lined hoodie decorated with splashes of lunchtime dirt, 1 pair of Converse that were once gray but are now green with hints of gray peeking through, and 1 pair of blue suede Vans with pieces of Earth wedged into the suede. This is all thanks to that all-important healthy part of the school day – recess. I don’t know what connection you have to the Tide Crime Family or The Stain Lifter That’s All Waste Management Company, but something’s up and I’m suspicious that this school of yours is a front. I think you have a landfill out near Newark Airport filled with filthy, ripped jeans.

I take great care in making sure Monkey Man looks nice for school. I iron his clothes. I blame it on my mother. She would not let my sister or me out of the house un-ironed. When I rebelled in college and went out all wrinkled and slovenly, she’d comment, “What’d ya have a fight with the iron?” I know. I was wild, out of control. Listen, woman, you can’t hold me back from experiencing life in all its crease-free craziness!

I not only iron Monkey Man’s clothes, but I make sure the clothes match. Then I look around at kids in school and most of them look like they slept in the hamper. I wonder why I put myself through the stress of shopping, and just plain trying. My little boy who I send to school in button-down “long-sleeve short-sleeve” shirts (as he calls them, those fake long sleeves under the short sleeves) and nice jeans, clean white socks and clean, well-maintained sneakers, is an absolute mess when he gets home. When I found out that he is getting this dirty at recess, my first thought was, “So you are sitting in school for almost 3 more hours after lunch time looking like THIS?” Why even bother combing his hair in the morning? Why bother getting dressed at all – just roll out of bed and keep those pj’s on. Hell, let’s not even waste time brushing teeth.

He comes home looking like the antithesis of my child because he loves to play football during recess. Translation: He and a bunch of boys throw a ball and tackle each other in the dirt while the adult supervision is off on the side of the field gossiping about what happened on Glee last night. I am a kind, smart mom and I do know that recess is important for his social development as well as his physical fitness. But, for the love of all mothers just trying to get ahead each night with the housework, teach these kids how to do the laundry.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Observations

1. I have a mild obsession with men's novelty boxer shorts. Each time I pass the boxer short aisle in Target, I feel compelled to buy Hubby a pair of boxers to match the season. A look into his underwear drawer will reveal Snoopy heart boxers for Valentine's Day, decks of cards for Poker nights, shamrocks for St. Patty's Day, popsicles for the summer, dogs because we have a dog and I had no other reason than they were cute, and snowflakes for the God-awful season they call winter. I have my eye on a pair with bats for Halloween and I am sure that during one of my 12 trips to Target in the next 7 days, Hubby will be the proud owner.

2. Today, a gift from a friend fell and broke. I thought for a second how appropriate this event was in that it was symbolic of our friendship. Without going into details, I am sad that our friendship shattered. I consider myself to be a loyal friend, someone whom once I am your friend, I mean a real, true friend not just an acquaintance, I will always be your friend. I have several friends whom I have known for years, some going back to Kindergarten. Weeks and months go by when we don't talk, but we can pick right up where we left off without missing a beat. When I make new friends, I tread lightly, needing to develop genuine trust. But this friendship was different and when this gift broke, I simply felt like it was true to the friendship. It was nice, it was fragile - but then it fell apart.

3. I was so happy to rip September off of my desk calendar at work that I nearly peed myself. As a teacher, September is a loooong month. It is filled with getting kids back on track, reviewing rules, introducing procedures, and it's just a sucky reminder that summer is over. But when October 1st hit, I yelled, "WOO HOO!" Because, 1) It's 1 day closer to summer 2) Thoughts of my beach vacation are so far behind me that I'm no longer thinking, "Just a month ago I was playing mini golf with Monkey Man or laying by the pool or sleeping until 8:30 a.m. or having fun and enjoying the life that works sucks out of me." So, screw you September. October rocks!

4. In just 25 days, Hubby and I will get to enjoy all of the peanut-laden candy that Monkey Man cannot ingest. In just 25 days, I will be in a Reese's peanut butter cup and Snickers coma. Oh, peanut allergy, you are just not fair. To Monkey Man, anyway.

Happy October, everyone!