Monday, April 1, 2013

Ladies Only - Paper Clothes

OK...so this blogging thing is harder than it looks.  I have lots of things to say, but getting them on this blog is a whole different story.  However, today was the dreaded yearly doctor's visit.

Men - turn back NOW.

So I go for my yearly visit and, of course, have to go through the preliminary crapola before I even get to the paper clothes.  Stand on the scales (I try not to look directly at the number....I hear it will burn your retinas if you do).  How tall are you?  Well, clearly, I'm 8'8"....otherwise, the number I'm avoiding would indicate I'm a fatty.  Here, give me some blood (I am a complete and total wimp about blood).  Now, go pee in the cup.  Ummm...excuse me, this is a FEMALE yearly visit.  I need more like a basin, please.  And then....the clothes.....

So they take me in the mint sherbet colored room and hand me the dreaded paper clothes.  And leave me. 

Back in the day I was actually skinny enough to wrap the paper "skirt" completely around myself and tried a side opening, the look on the doctor's face when I assumed the position and that bad boy flew open was classic.  It was actually a semi-enjoyable visit that year.  For those of you skinny enough, I encourage this behavior at your next visit. 
After the somewhat gentle reminder from my doc that year, I try to wear the paper clothes appropriately.  So I'm sitting with my paper vest  and my paper skirt....really more of an apron for a girl my size...waiting. 

Of course, as soon as I get this lovely outfit on...I have to pee, again.  I weigh the benefits of putting my clothes back on....nah.  I wonder if I could make a break for the restroom in my vest and apron...surely someone has done it, but nah.  So I just hold it.  As I age, this could be a big surprise for the doctor.  But for now, I'm ok.  For now.

The doctor is never prompt.  Never.

Even though it's the approximate temperature of the North Pole, I start sweating.  Nervous about the pee, I guess.  I also get nervous about the very real possibility of the fire sprinkler system activating while I have the paper clothes on.  (It's a real possibility in MY mind.)  Then I think geez...these paper clothes won't hide a sweat ring so well...so then I sweat more.

Then I start to fidget.  Pulling the apron....trying to cover more.  Needless to say - the apron isn't growing and my ass isn't shrinking so this is an exercise in futility.  I fidget with the vest, too.  I'm not sure why.  The apron/skirt is made for a size 00 while the vest is clearly planning for Dolly Parton sized inhabitants.  I hear the paper ripping and yet I still fidget.  Can't. Stop. Fidgeting.  

So by the time my doctor finally arrives (usually about the time I've nearly created an origami animal from the "clothes" and am 99% uncovered) I look like I've been attacked by a wild animal.  My paper apron hangs in shreds and my vest is going for the one shoulder look.

This is all before the actual exam.

Next up for the female demographic - the boob smash....pretty sure I walk out of that place with a cracked sternum every year.



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Grandmother


The story goes that when I was little they tried to have me call my grandmother "Grandma".  But I would take my fat little baby hand and rub this very old couple's heads on a figurine & in my best southern drawl say "Maaaaaaaaa" & "Paaaaaaaaaa".  And so it was.  She was Ma and my grandfather was Pa.

I had a realization the other night.  My kids will never have MY Ma. 

Pretty much everything I had that survived my childhood, my kids have (or could have if they wanted).  They even get a better version of my mom than I had.  They get the cool version of her...the one that encourages ear piercing and hair cutting and incredibly excessive amounts of sugar. 

But they will never have my Ma.

When it hit me, it made me really sad.  Even as I type this, I'm fighting tears.  For those that know me, that's a big deal.  The effects of age & time & life are taking their toll on my Ma.  That's the Ma my babies have...the aging, out-of-touch Ma.  The one that loves them dearly, but forgets their names.  The one that watches them play, but doesn't engage.  The Ma they make nervous because they're wild & loud & well...kids.  Please understand, I'm so very thankful she is still here & a part of our lives.  But, even though it is the same woman, they have their Ma & I have mine.  I wish they could have spent a little time with my Ma, because she was the best Ma....EVER.

I had the Ma that had giant cliffs behind her house and let me play for hours, unsupervised on those cliffs.  I made the mistake of going to those cliffs as an adult.  Turns out they weren't cliffs at all, but as a child...they were the steepest, highest, scariest rocks ever and I was the bravest kid for climbing them & jumping off.  Not once did she listen to my adventure stories and give me any hint they weren't cliffs.  Not once. 

I had the Ma that, after a tornado touched down and flipped her carport upside down, let me play for days in the rubble.  There was no talk of getting dirty or hurt.  I wanted to play & she let me.  If I had gotten hurt, she would have bandaged me and sent me back out.  The same carport that, when rebuilt, was shade for the only unfortunate witness to my endless loop of Thriller (recorded from the radio, of course) and the dance that went with it.     

I had the Ma that let me destroy her living room so I could build a fort.  The same living room that was my home while I suffered through the chicken pox.  The same living room where I received my one & only spanking from her.  The same living room where I watched Challenger explode & saw MTV for the first time.

I had the Ma that would let me sit, staring out the window, sobbing uncontrollably because my daddy was supposed to pick me up for the weekend.  She never told me to stop, she never tried to "fix" it, she let me be sad & mad & show emotion.  She never made me move from that window until I was ready.  Then she'd hug me and say "it's ok, you've got your Ma."  And I did...I always had my Ma.

I had the Ma that taught me the definition of a curse word.  "If it's in the Bible, it ain't a cuss word and your Ma can say it."  (Too bad that lesson didn't stick.)

I had the Ma that taught me about marriage & relationships.

I had the Ma that took me shopping on Saturday & church on Sunday.  Every Saturday.  Every Sunday.

I had the Ma that rubbed my fingers as I fell asleep.  Every night.  The one that braided hair so tight, you tried to remember the previous lesson on Biblical cursing.  The one that took a nip of whiskey for a sore throat or nerves or just about anything else that ails ya.

I had the Ma that taught me about life.  I had the Ma that encouraged imagination & singing & dancing. The one that taught me it's ok to be so angry you can't stop crying, but, when you're ready, to let it go & forgive.  The one that also taught me to be stubborn & head-strong & not to let anyone have power over me.

I've heard that if a man wants to see how his wife will be in the future, he should look at his mother-in-law.  My husband should look at my Ma.  She shaped so much of the person I am today.  The ways I see her in me are endless. 

I'm not sure what that means for anyone else in my life, but for my future grandchildren...
If I can be anything like her, they're going to be some pretty lucky kids.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rip their heads off, boys!


A very young, probably 3ish, little girl once stuck her face through the fence at a high school football game and screamed at the top of her lungs....

"RIP THEIR HEADS OFF, BOYS!!"

Ah, my baby girl, a girl after my own heart. 

I love football.  I can't wait for C to play "real" football.  But mostly, I love the boys that "rip their heads off."  I love them so much, I married one.

What I don't love are quarterbacks, kickers and punters.

I think quarterbacks are the pansies of  the team.  Yeah, yeah...I know...it takes skill and they're usually the "leader" of the team.  I guess that means I think quarterbacks are the skilled, leader pansies.  Football wouldn't be football without them, so I'll let them stay, but they will never have my heart.

Punters & kickers, however, can just stay home for all I care.  The game will be just fine without them.

In one of my finer parenting moments, I sat C down after he announced he wanted to be a quarterback or a kicker and explained why he didn't want to do that. 

There's really no fighting a little boy loving a quarterback, but I tried...oh, I tried.  Still, I wasn't shocked when I made little to no progress on discouraging the love of the quarterback. 

But I really thought I'd made progress on the anti-kicker front, I had my argument all laid out.  "I thought you wanted to PLAY football.  They don't really play, they kick a ball and run off.  They don't wear full pads.  They don't fully participate in practice.  They don't tackle." 

Real progress had been made. 

Until...

C was watching our local high school team in the state championship game.  Despite my anti-kicker stance, I must admit we have a great one.  He made a tackle after kicking the ball.  A tackle!  By the kicker!  C was THRILLED!  He jumped up, arms in the air, screaming "that kicker just tackled somebody!!!"  Thanks, BO (the kicker's initials...not a reference to his hygiene).

So, for now, kicker has secured its spot on my son's career list.  Right beside quarterback and professional wrestler.  (I'm pushing for professional wrestler at this point.)

In case all of this wasn't enough to break my football-loving heart, he had recently added long-snapper to his career list.  LONG-SNAPPER!!!  Ugh.  Anyone know the names of any good professional wrestler camps?  :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

OPP

Yeah, you know me. 

If you're my age, you definitely know this song.  When Naughty by Nature sang about Other People's Property, they weren't singing about teachers...but I am.

The current mindset seems to be that teachers are "owned" by parents....thus, making us OPP.

I am a teacher.  I enjoy being a teacher.  I enjoy the middle school kids I spend 180 or so days a year with.  I am NOT a teacher because I can't do anything else.  I could make far more money and have far less stress if I pursued a career in my undergraduate field, but I didn't...because I AM a teacher.  And, yes, summers & snow days are fantastic, but so is taking a day off without having 120 people to answer to and preparing twice the work for a sub that rarely gets done.

I do not come work drunk or high or hung-over.  For that matter, I don't get high even on my own time and rarely drink.  I can't even remember the last time I was hung-over.

I sit at flag football & soccer games melting like a ball of wax under a flame thrower because it's 9000 degrees and my kids play in the town I teach in and I try to keep my tattoos covered.   

I'm usually on time (I'm human and not a morning person...cut me some slack) and I'm always ready for when the kids arrive.  I often feel unprepared, but, in reality, I am as prepared as anyone could be to face 120 middle school kids everyday.  I do not stay late (because I have my own small people to supervise and love at my house), but I frequently spend my time after they go to bed doing what I could have done if I had stayed late at work.

I do make mistakes.  I am not superwoman.  I do get behind on grading and get sidetracked in class and change plans midstream.

I make a reasonable effort to be a good role model for my students.

But....

I have a life outside work. 

If I want to drink or party or get tattoos on every square inch of my body...that's my business.  

I'm happily married to a man, but if I wanted to "live in sin" or if I were interested in ladies rather than men...that's my business.

Until the school pays my cell phone bill, parents are not welcome to call me on it.  They're just not.

If I'm comfortable having an adult beverage in front of my kids, I'm certainly not going to hide it just because a student walks in a restaurant.

I'm so sick of the argument "our taxes pay their salary" and thereby giving some sense of ownership over teachers to said tax payers.  Well...guess what...unless you're independently wealthy, someone is paying your salary as well. 

I will continue to be a teacher, because it's what I do.  And despite all the complaining...I do love my job and the kids and many of the parents.  But just so you know....I'm not down with being OPP & it really is that simple.


Giving it a go....


I'm going to give this whole blogging thing a try.  Why?  Because apparently I'm a follower and all the cool kids do it, so why shouldn't I?  :)

I guess my first post should be about me & my family since that will most likely be the topic of 99.9% of my posts. 

I'm a mom, wife & teacher.  I'm a maid, taxi service & homework helper.  I'm a soccer mom, football mom, basketball mom & coach's widow (don't worry...he's alive...just always gone due to coaching).  I'm a friend & confidant. 

Notice "mom" was my first descriptor?  That's because my kids are my life.  Not in the weird helicopter mom or "my kid is perfect" way, but they're young and 99% of my activities revolve around them.
So about them.... 

T is a great student, has lots of friends, & is active in sports....I often feel like I won the lottery on T.  Too bad she will have ulcers by the time she graduates because she stresses about EVERYTHING.  And I do mean everything. 

K is my quirky, cool, interesting kid.  K will NEVER have an ulcer, because she is a disciple of the honey badger and just doesn't give a sh*t....ever.  My most accurate description of K is that she will make an awesome 25 year old, but getting her there just might kill me.

C is "all boy" (and I used to despise that phrase, but there is no other way to describe C).  He eats, breathes, & sleeps sports.  Literally.  He was playing a basketball game in his sleep last night, complete will arms out, calling out for passes.  He is athletic and intelligent.  Unfortunately he knows both of these things and does not lack in the self-esteem department.

The husband is a pretty good guy.  On any given day, I'd like to punch him or kiss him or both.
We share our home with one sweet, cuddly kitty and one bipolar kitty.  Our backyard is home to a giant teddy bear of a dog.  (OK...he's a teddy bear to us, but more like a rabid grizzly to everyone else.)
So that's us.