REFLECTIONS – SCHOOL DAZE

REFLECTIONS – SCHOOL DAZE

(November, 1976 issue of the Beachy Banner)

There are, I’ve heard, people who lead neat and orderly lives, everything according to schedule. I can’t prove it, but I suspect that the people who DO lead neat and orderly lives are not the parents of school age children.

School days erupt, in our household, with the force of a suddenly active volcano.

The alarm goes off. I stumble out of bed to turn it off, then feel my way down the hall to awaken the older boys.

“Up,” I say groggily, “Everybody up!”

Needless to say, they do not get up, everybody up, — not very quickly, at least.

Three cats entwine themselves in my legs, meowing insistently. They have to be fed first, no matter what. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, you know. I put on coffee.

“I can’t find my shirt,” someone hollers.

“Look in your closet” I holler back. Orange juice? Pancakes?

“I can’t find my pants,” someone else moans. “I left them right HERE on the floor!”

“Those pants were FILTHY,” I call back with a false note of cheer. “Put on CLEAN ones!” Scrambled eggs? Toast? I start packing lunches.

“FIL-THY!” the would-be-dirty-pants-wearer protests. “I only wore those pants four or five days! I was just getting them broken in!”

“FIL-THY!” I repeat, with less effort at sounding cheery. Poached eggs? Cream of Wheat?

The cats are meowing again. The dog has eaten their Nine Lives.

“Where is my wallet?” my husband demands. “Where are my shoes? Who took my jacket?”

One of the children comes into the kitchen. “I can’t find my homework. Did you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I don’t like peanut butter.”

He begins removing various items from his GO TO SCHOOL WITH SNOOPY lunchbox. “I don’t want any Fritoes. Do we have any Pringles? Can I have two Twinkies?”

Someone else comes in. The kitchen is getting crowded. I think I am getting claustrophobia.
“Is breakfast ready yet? I HAVE to have three dollars today for new gym shorts. Did you sign my report card? I have to turn it in TODAY!”

“Your wallet is next to the bed on the nightstand,” I tell my husband. (It’s been there every morning for the past eighteen years but some things are better left unsaid at seven thirty in the morning.) “Your SHOES,” I continue, “Are on the floor NEXT to the bed and your JACKET is hanging up in the closet.” Then to the first child: “I gave you just-a-jelly sandwich. There aren’t any more Pringles and you MAY have only ONE Twinkie”. By now I have dumped bowls and spoons on the table and oatmeal is cooking on the stove. My husband sits down at the table. “Did someone bring in my newspaper? How do you expect me to find anything when you put everything away” he grumbles.

“Eat your breakfast”. I say.

Another child stumbles into the kitchen. His shirt is buttoned wrong, shoe laces are untied, his hair uncombed and his fly unzipped. “I’m ready for school,” he announces. “I dressed myself…what? OATMEAL again?”

“Yesterday you said you liked oatmeal,” I reply evenly. “Yesterday you had scrambled eggs and said you were tired of scrambled eggs and wanted oatmeal. THIS,” I say, “is oatmeal”.

“I think I will have cocoa puffs” the child tells me.
“We are out of cocoa puffs,” I reply, putting oatmeal in front of him.

“OUT OF COCOA PUFFS?” He wails. Real tears run down his cheeks.

“See what you’ve done?” my husband admonished, peering over his newspaper. “You’ve ruined his whole day. I don’t see why you have to get everybody in such a bad mood this early in the morning.”

“I’ll pretend that you didn’t say that,” I tell my husband sweetly, “Otherwise you might find yourself wearing this bowl of oatmeal—“

We are temporarily distracted by a strange apparition. A boy comes to the table, his hair combed, his clothing neat, shoes tied, face clean. He sits down uncomplaining and begins to eat his breakfast. I am completely unnerved until I realize he is not one of ours. He is my older son’s best friend who spent the night with us.

I go start the car. “Hurry up!” I holler. “You are going to be late—“

They straggle out. The dog gets out and jumps into the car. We struggle to pull her out. Someone suddenly has to go to the bathroom. Someone else forgot his homework. Finally – but FINALLY – we are on our way to school. A child leans forward as I stop at a traffic light. “I forgot to tell you,” he says, “I need two orange juice cans, and an egg carton and a coat hanger for a project we are going to do at school today.”

“I’ll bring it, I’ll bring it,” I promise. At last! We arrive! They pile out of the car just as the bell rings.

Some people get upset when they hear bells. I smile happily. A school bell is one of the nicest sounds society has ever invented.

I drive home hoping that the car doesn’t break down. I’d hate to walk home in my robe and slippers.
**

REFLECTIONS – SCHOOL DAYS
(November, 1976 issue of the Beachy Banner)
There are, I’ve heard, people who lead neat and orderly lives, everything according to schedule. I can’t prove it, but I suspect that the people who DO lead neat and orderly lives are not the parents of school age children.
School days erupt, in our household, with the force of a suddenly active volcano.
The alarm goes off. I stumble out of bed to turn it off, then feel my way down the hall to awaken the older boys.
“Up,” I say groggily, “Everybody up!”
Needless to say, they do not get up, everybody up, — not very quickly, at least.
Three cats entwine themselves in my legs, meowing insistently. They have to be fed first, no matter what. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, you know. I put on coffee.
“I can’t find my shirt,” someone hollers.
“Look in your closet” I holler back. Orange juice? Pancakes?
“I can’t find my pants,” someone else moans. “I left them right HERE on the floor!”
“Those pants were FILTHY,” I call back with a false note of cheer. “Put on CLEAN ones!” Scrambled eggs? Toast? I start packing lunches.
“FIL-THY!” the would-be-dirty-pants-wearer protests. “I only wore those pants four or five days! I was just getting them broken in!”
“FIL-THY!” I repeat, with less effort at sounding cheery. Poached eggs? Cream of Wheat?
The cats are meowing again. The dog has eaten their Nine Lives.
“Where is my wallet?” my husband demands. “Where are my shoes? Who took my jacket?”
One of the children comes into the kitchen. “I can’t find my homework. Did you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I don’t like peanut butter.”
He begins removing various items from his GO TO SCHOOL WITH SNOOPY lunchbox. “I don’t want any Fritoes. Do we have any Pringles? Can I have two Twinkies?”
Someone else comes in. The kitchen is getting crowded. I think I am getting claustrophobia.
“Is breakfast ready yet? I HAVE to have three dollars today for new gym shorts. Did you sign my report card? I have to turn it in TODAY!”
“Your wallet is next to the bed on the nightstand,” I tell my husband. (It’s been there every morning for the past eighteen years but some things are better left unsaid at seven thirty in the morning.) “Your SHOES,” I continue, “Are on the floor NEXT to the bed and your JACKET is hanging up in the closet.” Then to the first child: “I gave you just-a-jelly sandwich. There aren’t any more Pringles and you MAY have only ONE Twinkie”. By now I have dumped bowls and spoons on the table and oatmeal is cooking on the stove. My husband sits down at the table. “Did someone bring in my newspaper? How do you expect me to find anything when you put everything away” he grumbles.
“Eat your breakfast”. I say.
Another child stumbles into the kitchen. His shirt is buttoned wrong, shoe laces are untied, his hair uncombed and his fly unzipped. “I’m ready for school,” he announces. “I dressed myself…what? OATMEAL again?”
“Yesterday you said you liked oatmeal,” I reply evenly. “Yesterday you had scrambled eggs and said you were tired of scrambled eggs and wanted oatmeal. THIS,” I say, “is oatmeal”.
“I think I will have cocoa puffs” the child tells me.
“We are out of cocoa puffs,” I reply, putting oatmeal in front of him.
“OUT OF COCOA PUFFS?” He wails. Real tears run down his cheeks.
“See what you’ve done?” my husband admonished, peering over his newspaper. “You’ve ruined his whole day. I don’t see why you have to get everybody in such a bad mood this early in the morning.”
“I’ll pretend that you didn’t say that,” I tell my husband sweetly, “Otherwise you might find yourself wearing this bowl of oatmeal—“

We are temporarily distracted by a strange apparition. A boy comes to the table, his hair combed, his clothing neat, shoes tied, face clean. He sits down uncomplaining and begins to eat his breakfast. I am completely unnerved until I realize he is not one of ours. He is my older son’s best friend who spent the night with us.
I go start the car. “Hurry up!” I holler. “You are going to be late—“
They straggle out. The dog gets out and jumps into the car. We struggle to pull her out. Someone suddenly has to go to the bathroom. Someone else forgot his homework. Finally – but FINALLY – we are on our way to school. A child leans forward as I stop at a traffic light. “I forgot to tell you,” he says, “I need two orange juice cans, and an egg carton and a coat hanger for a project we are going to do at school today.”

“I’ll bring it, I’ll bring it,” I promise. At last! We arrive! They pile out of the car just as the bell rings.
Some people get upset when they hear bells. I smile happily. A school bell is one of the nicest sounds society has ever invented.
I drive home hoping that the car doesn’t break down. I’d hate to walk home in my robe and slippers. **

Advertisements

One response to “REFLECTIONS – SCHOOL DAZE

  1. Pingback: Basketball News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s