Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Repeat After Me: Boys Not Saints

Please tell me I have never claimed my boys are saints. If I have, that karma came back and bit me in the ass tonight. I swear I have a saying, “I am raising boys not saints.”

Tonight was the Parent/Teacher Open House. We go into the Parish Hall and the Principal introduces everyone on the board, including their new damn Treasurer, so anyone who didn’t know me before (98% of the school as I prefer to lay low) does now. We hear about all the big things in store this year, yada yada yada, then off we go to our kid’s classrooms to understand the new grade and meet the teacher. I have my Better Half do the younger kid’s classes while I do Son#1. Been there, done that with the other two, since I’m in charge of their education, assisting in studies etc., I need to make sure I know all the ropes for the new grade.

I know I posted earlier that Son#1 has who I will now call “Man Teacher”. I actually love Man Teacher. He’s a very good man and believes that the kids need to be exposed to other things in schooling besides just academic book work. So during the religious studies, instead of opening the Bible and making them learn chapter and verse, he takes them to Nursing Homes to interact with the elderly. We will do that 4 times this year. We’re also doing a type of exchange program with an immigrant school where our kids go there for an entire day, learning, playing, and breaking bread with them. Later on in the year, the kids come to our school and do the same thing. I need to make it clear that while I am sure our school is much nicer than the school they are visiting, my children do not go to some exclusive plush hoity toity Catholic School. It is very plain and old. But it is homey and we love it.

I’m excited about all this stuff Man Teacher is doing. He has older kids and he’s the basketball coach for is son’s High School B-Ball team. He’s really into kids. All the kids in the school love Man Teacher so I feel fortunate we have him.

Today, he brought a video camera to school and he videotaped all the kids doing their routine, walking into the classroom, sitting quietly at their desks, and doing the morning prayer. Then he took the camera and went to each child individually. As luck would have it, he started with Son#1. Keep in mind, everyone knows me now, although I probably only knew 10% of the parents before. I am sitting under the TV when Son#1 comes on the screen.

“Good morning, Son#1”, says Man Teacher.
“Good morning, Man Teacher”, replies Son#1
“What did you do this summer,” asks Man Teacher?
And Son#1 says, I kid you not, “Thank you Mom and Dad for taking me to Pensacola this summer and letting me set 3 foot fires. I love you!”
My eyes are big as saucers. I’m not breathing. I’m staring at the TV and every parent in that class is completely cracking up. Dad’s are patting me on the back. Moms are laughing and yelling, “Man Teacher! I don’t want my son sitting next to Son#1!”

And could it get worse? Oh yes it could. Because 5 minutes later, Man Teacher is taping Sweet Little Girl Classmate doing her schpiel to her parents telling them she loves them and how wonderful her summer was and in the background is Son#1’s desk. In the beginning, you see his face… a little, mainly his chest and body. Slooooowwwly his face gets closer and closer to his desk so it is in full view of the camera. Sweet Little Girl Classmate is now sharing her screen time with Son#1 in the background, grinning and wiggling his eyebrows, like something you would see at a professional sports event when the camera breaks into the stands. Oh and to make it just a little more pleasant, EVERY parent in the classroom notices and is breaking up through the whole thing. I am aghast and I’m laughing that nervous laugh, breathing in only, not exhaling, tears streaming down my face in a combination of laughter and horror as he continues to steal Sweet Little Girls Classmate's screen time.

Oh the shame of it all.

And for your information, the real story of the Pensacola trip goes like this. My boys have a magnifying glass and they go outside my home here in West Palm and fry ants. My folks have a big ass magnifying glass, I mean big, they don’t make them like this anymore. So whenever we get to my folk’s house, they wake up bright and early and yell, “Mom! We’re going outside to burn!” and off they go. I allow this because there are rules. First, other than ants, you burn nothing alive. You can only burn in the driveway or a sidewalk. And you must always have a cup of water with you. I did this stuff when I was a kid. This is what kids do.

Well they ran outside to burn and we’re checking on them, someone is always popping by a window to look. My Mom walks by a window and she sees flames! She runs outside and they have burned pine straw and leaves to nearly a 3 foot flame! And they’re fanning it!!! Keep in mind, they are no where near a lawn. They’re actually at the edge of the driveway on the cusp of the street of my folk’s cul de sac. My Mom goes running out there and they’re so excited and she looks down for their cup of water and there sits a teeny tiny little Dixie Cup. Thus ended their burning for the rest of the vacation. We are adding more parameters and precautions. They recall this as one of their fondest memories. They still talk about it. All.the.time.


Blogger Sally said...

LOL! Kids and their half - truths...I used to jokingly tell parents this: If you don't believe everything they say about us, then we won't believe everything they say about you!"

4:24 AM  
Blogger Tammi said...

And just think - you've got two more to go!! :-) They say the younger ones learn by the example of the older brother!! Hee Hee I see many more interesting stories comin!

BTW - I used to do the burn thing too, every time I came to Sarasota. Fun Times!

6:55 AM  
Blogger Quality Weenie said...

In Middle School my friends and I lifted a small magnifying glass from science class and would go out during lunch time to the very back of the field and burn things.

We were careful and dig a hole in the dirt but then we would try to burn stuff.

Amused us for quite a few months.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Harvey said...

Ah, sweet fire... I can't imagine what boys did for fun before it was invented :-)

8:54 AM  
Blogger pamibe said...

That's priceless! :)

9:07 AM  
Blogger Graumagus said...

"If fire doesn't work: you need more fire" is imprinted on the male genome :)

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I swear, your kids are the best. I feel very lucky to know them personally!!!


9:13 PM  
Blogger littlejoe said...

As kids, Grumagus and I used to burn things with an old reading glass. We also used to catch frogs that got trapped in the storm drains of our houses, and throw onto blacktop during 90-100 degree summer days.

When these things got boring, we would attach G.I. Joes to bottle rockets, because sometimes the bad guys had to follow through on their diabolical schemes.

6:50 AM  

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