Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Toast Thief

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were away celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.  On our first morning, we decided to partake in the hotel's breakfast buffet.  It appeared to be a decent spread and, most importantly, there was a good-sized staff working hard to keep everything replenished and fresh.  

My husband put a piece of bread in the toaster, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat down to wait while his toast, well, toasted.  He heard the tell tale, "Pop" and went to check it. Not being exactly how he likes it, he put in back in to toast for a bit longer.  Sensing that it was done, he grabbed a plate and went to retrieve it.  In front of him stood a boy who appeared to be about 6 years old.  My husband, anticipating the toast popping out of the toaster, began to reach out his hand…but he wasn't quite fast enough!  For just as his hand was about to connect with the toast, the little boy in front of him snatched it!  

My husband returns to our table and jokes, "That little punk over there stole my toast."  He relayed the "toast thief" story to me and we shared a good chuckle.  And then we decided to watch the boy.  Because that's what happens when you've been married so long.  Your idea of entertainment involves the buffet habits of a 6-year old!

So we're watching the kid…and on his plate, along with my husband's toast, are a couple of pieces of fruit.  A nice breakfast choice that his parents would certainly be proud of.  Except, of course, his parents were nowhere to be seen. My guess is they were probably hiding from him so that he wouldn't steal their food, too!

Anyway…on top of my husband's toast, and the fruit, the boy proceeds to pile on a muffin AND a croissant.  We both look at each other and instantly know that we are thinking the exact same thing, "Ain't no way that kid's eating all that food."  The kid then goes to sit down next to his sister…but instead of sitting down to eat his enormous pile of food, he sets his plate down, STANDS UP, and heads over to the cereal counter, where he pours himself a Mt. Whitney-sized mountain of Froot Loops!  Meanwhile, my husband's once perfect, now soggy and buried, piece of toast sits just a few feet away from us, taunting my husband.  

The boy FINALLY sits down to eat.  He's eating so slowly that I swear he's eating that bowl of cereal one loop at a time.  Before he finished the cereal, which, at the rate he was going would have certainly taken him until lunch, and way before he began to tackle the croissant, the muffin, my husband's piece of toast, AND the fruit, my husband and I, having finished our meal (and feeling that holding in the magnitude of laughter we were currently stifling could, in fact, be hazardous to our health) took one final look at the boy's plate, exited the dining area, and laughed all the way back to our room! 

Here's the deal, I actually felt kind of sorry for that kid. My husband is an amazing cook who can make even a simple thing like toast taste out of this world.  And, really, I should have thanked him…because, after all, he did give us a great laugh AND a good story to tell, and, well, what's better than that?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

You. Naked.

My family and I recently enjoyed an incredible adventure in Costa Rica.  We were on one of those tours and our hotel rooms were all based on double occupancy.  We couldn't imagine that our 17-year old son and 15-year old daughter would want to share a room, so the boys roomed together and we girls did the same.  It was all going swimmingly…and then, near the end of the trip, this little exchange occurred:

As I'm getting dressed one day, my daughter says, with pure exasperation, "I don't know how dad stands it."

Now, I will admit I'm not the easiest person to share a bathroom with, so I thought she was referring to something along those lines.  Turns out I was wrong…very, very wrong.

When I inquired, "You don't know how dad stands what?" she replied, "You. Naked." 

I didn't have to guts to tell her that not only did her father "stand me naked" he actually liked it…very, very much.  And I really didn't have the guts to say the very first thing that came to my mind, which was, "Take a good, long look sister…this is your future!" 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ha, Ha, Ha, Son, Real Funny

So I started taking my running a little more seriously this year, and by this year I mean 2012 (hey, I'm a teacher, so "this year" could also mean "since last August" right, and, you know, I like to be real clear-like when it comes to important stuff like this).  

So I'm trying to become a better runner…I even joined a running group, and I'm trying very hard to get in four runs per week.  So far I've been successful.  I'm feeling pretty good about myself…making the commitment and all, and also getting a wee bit faster.  Yay, me!

I have a 10K coming up and so I emailed the amazing leader of our running group and asked him what he recommended I do, running-wise, the week before the race.  His suggestion for the Sunday run was, "5 miles easy, with five 30-second strides after the run, resting for one minute between each stride."  

We do strides as part of our weekly track workout, so I know what they look like in that environment, but I wasn't quite sure what they would look like doing them on my own (and after a long run - we have always done them at the beginning of our track workouts, never at the end).  Since I'd never done strides after a run, and since I'm more than a little, um, OCD, I wanted to be sure I did them right.  

My son runs for his school's cross country team and so I asked him for clarification.

Me:  "Um, son, I need to do these strides, but I'm kind of confused because I usually do them before a run, not after.  So do I, you know, cool down first, after my run, and then do the strides, or do I, just, like, do them right away, with no cool down?"

Him:  "Um, mom, you know, the pace you run is pretty much a cool down, so, you know, you don't really need to worry about doing an actual cool down after your run, since your entire run will, um, be a cool down.  You know, you'll already be running a cool down, so, you know, you, like, don't have to do another cool down."

(Seriously?!  I swear to gawd if he had said "cool down" one more time with that smug, self righteous look on his face, I would have smacked him!  Well, you know, not really, since he's bigger than me and all, and, since, well, you know, I don't want to go to jail and all, but, you know, you moms all know what I'm talking about, right?)

"Your run is a cool down."  Ha!  Real funny, son, real funny…punk!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Funny Thing 1 and Funny Thing 2

Dr. Seuss's birthday was the other day.  (I'm sure you already knew that.  And, for the record, can I just say how much I love that man!)  He would have been 108 this year, but age, for someone like the beloved Dr. Seuss, is truly irrelevant.  His stories, and his legacy, will live forever. 

I love him just as much today as I did when I was a little girl.  (Psst, here's a little secret:  The real reason I became a teacher of the little ones is so I could read Dr. Seuss books year after year after year.)  I can't even express to you how much I look forward to reading his books to my students, not just on March 2, but all throughout the year. (When I am old and gray and in a nursing home, it is my sincere hope that someone will visit me every March 2 and read my two all-time favorites, Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz…I promise I won't fall asleep in my soup…or, well, I'll try not to!)

This really wasn't supposed to be a mushy, gushy ode to Dr. Seuss, but I just can't help myself!  I really did have a point when I sat down to type this little story, um, 30 minutes ago! And that point, my friends, was to share with you two funny things that happened this March 2.  In honor of Dr. Seuss, I'm calling them Funny Thing 1 and Funny Thing 2. 

Funny Thing 1:  On Dr. Seuss's birthday last Friday, there was a sprinkling of First Graders who dressed up as various Dr. Seuss characters.  On the playground I spied Thing 1 and Thing 2, Sam I Am, and one of my cutie pies was wearing a beautiful, full-on, Cat in the Hat costume.  One little boy had on your basic, run-of-the-mill black jogging suit.  Upon seeing the other kids dressed up,  he looked at them, he looked at me, he looked down at his black jogging suit, he looked back up at me, and he said, "I dressed up as a black man today."  This kid is as white as white can be, but, hey, he's got a black jacket on, he's got black pants on, and, like most First Graders, he doesn't want to be left out of any fun goings on, so, well, he's a black man!  And, really, why not? 

Funny Thing 2:  Later that morning, as I held up the first Dr. Seuss book that I was going to read, The Cat in the Hat, a student very excitedly shouted out, "I like it teacher style."  Teacher style? Oh, my, do I dare ask?  You know me though, curiosity always trumps common sense, and so I said, "Teacher style?  What do you mean?"  

"You know," she said, "when the teacher reads the book."  

Oh, whew!  You can imagine how very relieved I was to learn that she was talking about reading!  And, of course, I think she's absolutely right:  Dr. Seuss is way better "teacher style."

So that's my story, and now it's done, and I really, really hope you had fun!  

And if you'll just indulge me for one more minute, I'll leave you with two of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes. 

Favorite Quote 1:  "Don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened."

Favorite Quote 2:  "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Taxes, I Didn't Hear Nothin' 'Bout No Taxes

About nine-hunerd-leven times a day (that's First Grade speak for, like, a lot) some kid busts out with something random.  (One of my little sweetie pies has now started prefacing her random tangents with, "I know this doesn't have anything to do with anything we are talking about right now, but…." Love her!)  Anyway…

The other day we're in the middle of something - don't ask me what - we're always in the middle of something, now aren't we?  So we're in the middle of something and a kid raises his hand and says, "I'm going to my papa's house tonight at 6:00."  (If there's one thing I've learned from teaching it's that, to get to the funny, you have to ask the oh, so important, "Why?"  And so I did:

"How come you're going to your papa's house today at 6:00?" 

"Well," he said, "That's because my mom and dad have to go pay their taxes."  

Ah, I thought to myself, an appointment with their accountant, lucky them.  

"How fun for you," I said, "to get to spend some time with your grandpa."  

"Yeah," he said, "I'm gonna be there for 10 hours!"

"Wow!" I replied.  "Ten hours.  That's a long time.  How come you're going to be there for 10 hours."

"Well," he said, "that's because my mom and dad have to pay a LOT of taxes."

I try hard not to LOL, and he continues, "Yeah, my mom hasn't been paying her taxes, so now they have, like, two taxes to pay."

At this point I've heard all I want to hear as I picture myself in a courtroom being grilled by a judge, "Mrs. So-and-So, on the afternoon of February 23, 2012, did little Johnny here tell you his mom hadn't been paying her taxes?"

"Er, um," I would reply, "Paying her taxes? Um, no, I think he said, 'Snack-ses,' not 'taxes.' You see, First Graders often have trouble with word endings, so I'm sure he said his mom hadn't been 'packing his snack-ses' and NOT 'not paying her taxes.' No, I'm certain I didn't hear nothin' 'bout no taxes not being paid, no sirree, I'm positive he said 'snack-ses', I'm sure of it in fact."

The judge would look down at me from behind his spectacles and give me a look that would let me know he clearly knows I'm full of it. I would then raise my hand and say, "Tomorrow's my cousin's birthday!"  He would roll his eyes, pound his gavel, and declare, "Case dismissed!" 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Now That Was Unexpected

So here's something you don't ever expect to come out of the mouth of a 6-year old boy…

We were walking back from the post office today, on what was a bright, sunny day, and one of my little darling boys looks at me and says, "Teacher, I'm hot.  I'm wearing black underwear and I'm really, really hot."

Er, um, well…am I on Candid Camera…again?!

(And while we're on the subject of clothes and, well, heat...the other day we were walking to the computer lab and another one of my darling little boys tugs at his very fancy sweater vest and says, "I'm hot. My mom doesn't care about me being hot...she just cares about me looking nice.")

One of the best things about working with kids, folks?  They truly have no idea just how funny they are.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Criss Cross

So I've got this kid in my class and he's pretty much "That Kid."  Luckily for him, I actually have two "That Kids" in my class this year.  (I secretly call them Frick and Frack because together they are hilarious.)  Frustrating?  You betcha'.  Inappropriate?  For sure.  But very, very funny nonetheless.

You know, they're the kids (and I'll just come right out and say they're boys), but they're the kids who, when walking up to the lunch line, decide that that's a good time to compare each other boobies!  Seriously, they had the necks of their shirts stretched down practically to their waists and they were discussing their bobbies…in the lunch line…for all the world to see…and hear.  Oye vay!

The first kid I mentioned, let's call him Frick, is probably the more "That kid" of the two.  If there's any mischief going on, you better believe he's the one that started it.  He'll probably grow up to be his generation's Jim Carrey, but for now he's quite the handful.  Cute kid, and totally lovable, but my, oh my, is that kid ever a challenge!

Lucky for me, though, every now and then the "teacher gods" shine down upon us and we extract our little teacher revenge without even lifting a finger.  Like the other day…we were outside with our jump ropes having a grand old time.  We always start in a circle, do a few jumps/exercises together, and then I let the kids have some free time to jump while I work with some kids who, bless their hearts, can't seem to turn the rope even one time without getting themselves all tangled up in it.  

So the kids are doing their "free jumping" time and a lot of the girls are doing "criss cross."  If you haven't been on a school yard in a while, maybe since you were actually in school yourself, "criss cross" is when you cross the rope in front of you and jump over it.  It's a fun trick to master and I have quite a few kids who are already quite adept at criss cross. 

My little friend calls me over and says, "Look, I can do criss cross."  He then proceeds to cross his FEET.  He then takes a huge jump and lands, you guessed it, flat on his bum!  (As painful as it might sound, he was not, in fact, one bit hurt.  I would not be writing about it if he were hurt.  Seeing a kid in pain, even the kid who makes you the most looney, is not one bit funny.  But I swear that kid is made of rubber….you should see the stunts he walks away from with nothing more than dust on his hands.)  But the shocked look on his face…priceless!  

I looked up toward the heavens, smiled at my teacher god, helped my friend up, and proceeded to show him how to do a real criss cross.