And I’m. . . uhhhh. . . uhhhh. . . .

By Mir
August 29, 2005

We’re at T-minus TWO DAYS until Chickadee goes back to school (Monkey doesn’t start til next week) and already I can see that life is going to be very different this year. In ways that I really hadn’t anticipated.

For starters, Chickadee is going to a new school this year. New school, new layout, new rules, new (ooooh! ahhhhh!) swipe cards to use in the cafeteria! She can make her own selections at lunchtime and have whatever she picks automatically deducted from her pre-funded ID-linked account! Why does our school district think this is a good idea? In her school last year, I had to submit a form every month in triplicate, signed in blood, and notarized, authorizing her to have chocolate milk. Now? She can waltz into the lunch room and get chips or cookies with a flick of her card unless I can figure out how to convince her that the All-Seeing Mama Eyeball will know if she’s buying junk food.

Yeah, I wasn’t really counting on my seven-year-old having a credit card.

So that’s one thing I learned about today, while I was sitting in a 90-degree gymnasium filling out important paperwork. One form had to be signed individually on each of a dozen lines, separate signatures for every possible medical intervention the school might want to perform on a child. Tylenol? Sign here. Motrin? Sign here. Benedryl? Sign here. Calamine lotion? Sign here, because perhaps at some point in time someone tried to sue the school because their religion prohibits the application of useless pink topical lotions.

Another form demanded that parents either grant permission for their child to have internet access or specify that the kid should not be allowed to participate in computer time and be stoned to death on the playground.

The yellow–EXCUSE me, goldenrod–form was for ordering school t-shirts, because if there’s anything I want to do on the same day that I have to open a lunch account, pay PTA dues, and finish back-to-school supply shopping, it’s order a really ugly, overpriced t-shirt for my child whose favorite method of “taking care of” her clothes is kicking them under her dresser.

But really, the forms were a piece of cake. Time consuming and annoying, sure, but easy. The hard part was visiting the new classroom this morning.

Remember how excited we were when we found out that Chickadee will have Mr. Wonderful for a teacher this year? And then this morning it was time! Time to go to Open House! Time to see the classroom, say hello, and meet the other kids! Chickadee was jumping out of her skin, and I was busy just trying to keep her feet on the ground and figure out where we were going. I was COMPLETELY unprepared when we walked into her classroom.

*Cue the music… HOT FOR TEACHER*

Um, Mr. Wonderful? Is pretty easy on the eyes. (… is it warm in here?)

And this gigantic, gorgeous man got right down to Chickadee’s eye level and introduced himself in a jolly and gentle voice, shaking her hand, and asking her name. I do believe my daughter’s eyelids FLUTTERED as she turned aside a bit, suddenly shy and whispering “I’m… Chickadee.” I had barely swallowed a burgeoning giggling when Mr. Wonderful drew himself back up to his full height and offered me his hand and asked for my name.

I forgot what it was for a minute. Either he didn’t notice or he’s just accustomed to the effect he has on unsuspecting mothers. Time stood still while we shook hands, and eventually I snapped out of my trance, wiped the drool from my chin, and introduced myself. Ahem.

This is just a hunch, but I’m guessing that Mr. Wonderful never has any trouble getting moms to fill the volunteer slots in his room. I know that I’m seeing my role in my child’s education in a whole new light. I think I need to participate more. MUCH more.

Apparently Mr. Wonderful has an equally wonderful wife and four wonderful children. Which is–of course–wonderful. But I’m pretty sure it’s still okay to… ummm… appreciate him. Yes.

Don’t even get me started on what’s going to be different with Monkey starting kindergarten. I’m still working on my master plan to freeze him in permanent stasis at age four. I was supposed to be done a year and a half ago, so now I also have to work on a plan to reverse age him, as well. Sheesh! It’s becoming very complicated. But I remain optimistic about it. Maybe Chickadee can make some progress on it in science class this year. Oh! Maybe Mr. Wonderful can help. Hmmmmmm.

I’ll definitely work on gaining a firm grasp of my own name before I ask, though.


  1. buffi

    SugarPlum’s school has the same school lunch thing. But I was able to specify “meals only.”

    Mr. Wonderful sounds delightful. Should make those parent/teacher conferences much more palatable, I am sure!

  2. Nic

    Just write your name on the palm of your left hand whenever you have the chance to see him, the dribble of drool from your chin will help erase it after you do a quick check. It sounds like Chickadee (and you) are going to have a great school year. ; )

  3. Marvo

    I like the color goldenrod. I used it for a lot of projects at my old job. The only problem with goldenrod is saying “goldenrod” and then following that with “Heh, heh, heh. I said ‘goldenrod.'”

  4. Darla

    Okay now you have to think of a clever way to get a picture of Mr. Wonderful and post it. Curiousity is peeking here! Good luck with the new school year!

  5. Chewie

    oh goody…I love a scrumptious teacher type…YUM.

    As for that card thingy…uh..NO…my kid would not be let loose in a cafeteria with a card to buy whatever he wanted unless the selection was pretty limited…is there really a bunch of junk food crap available at the swipe of a card? WHAT are they tHINKING?

    who has to go have a very handsome teacher fantasy now…thank you very much

  6. Kathy

    I’m absolutely dumb-founded by that lunch-credit card thing. You know, we try so hard to NOT let our kids grow up too fast and then something like this… kind of pisses me off, you know? My son had that same kind of teacher last year. Sadly Mr. “Mann” was born in an entirely different (earlier)decade than me. To hear my son talk about him, you’d thing he lived under a bridge…but when I met him, I’m sure my jaw hit the ground.

  7. Melanie Lynne Hauser

    Man, my kids never had hot teachers! I’m so bummed. (And if you think these forms are bad, just wait. I nearly had a heart attack when confronted by the “permission to give universities and THE US MILITARY contact information” about my sons, in high school. Gulp. That was a real tough one to fill out (or not). And why couldn’t there be separate forms, one for each??

  8. KimberlyDi

    In defense of the lunch card thingie, I think they were trying to get away from kid’s stealing other kid’s lunch money. (Couldn’t they just steal the card?) I hated it personally because it seemed like I was always having to write a another check for it. Now I wonder what happened to the remaining balance on my son’s lunch card 8 years ago when school ended? …going off to check the Unclaimed Money web site…

  9. KimberlyDi

    Oh, and I had a small crush on my son’s highschool band director until he pulled my son out of the competition marching band because he kept tripping over his Size 13 feet. How could winning be more important than my son’s self esteem? Ggggrrrrrr

  10. LB

    Look out Mr. Wonderful!

  11. Theresa

    Ask the cashier in the cafeteria about this – at our middle & junior high schools, parents can block their kids from using their cards to pay for snacks. The kid has to come with cash in hand to buy that stuff.

  12. JuJuBee

    A hot plumber and now a hot teacher. You must have someone looking out for you.

    As for the card? Maybe you could tell her that the card keeps track of what you buy when it swipes through and then you get a statement every month itemizing what she has eaten. That turned into quite the elaborate lie, didn’t it?

  13. joaaanna

    My stepson had the card at his junior high. Everyday he would blow it on cupcakes, fries, gatorade, chips… all junk. That school provided a detailed list of what he bought. So we were able to specify that he only get “Lunch A”. He hated it – but he couldn’t be reliable with the card. He goes to a special school now for kids with behavior and learning problems and doesn’t have a choice of lunches.

    I couldn’t be believe that all of those junk foods are even options. Some schools even have Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and other chain restaurants as choices. What kid is going to choose a grilled chicken salad when you can have Taco Bell everyday?! Or veggies? Or fruit? Gee – why are so many children obese in this day?

    sorry for that rant…

    I’m glad that Chickadee has a good and handsome teacher.

    Do they let strangers off the street come and assist in classrooms? Oh – yeah – I guess that wouldn’t be such a good idea. Ick.

  14. Cori

    CK1 has a very easy-on-the-eyes teacher. While I stampeded for the volunteer sign up sheet like many of the other mommies, I had two issues that are making it difficult to fully fantasize about him. One, he was my brother’s best friend in elementary school and Two, he may “swing for the other team”, not that there is anything wrong with that. I just can’t really sink into a daydream that ends with us going shoe shopping together. Oh well, if you gotta volunteer, better to have him to gaze upon than the battle axe CK2 has.

    And he’s so nice! Did I mention CK1 may have her very first crush???

  15. Amy

    Mmmmm, hot teachers. My favorite was one of my professors in college. Imagine my delight when I discovered that he lived upstairs from me in my apartment complex! Suddenly I had all sorts of trouble understanding basic English! Trouble requiring tutoring! Sigh. He married one of my classmates, leaving me – alas! Unfulfilled. Still, it made school a lot more interesting!

    So far my kids’ teachers have all been women. God’s way of keeping me in line, I’m sure. Bah.

  16. Penny Pressed

    The all-seeing mama eyeball isn’t that far fetched of a reality. My daughter, who is nine, recently got caught doing something naughty, and asked, “How do you always KNOW??” I replied: “I am your mother. I always know … and I ALWAYS WILL.” Follow that up with a very convincing Evil Eye of Suspicion, and you’ve bought yourself at least two to three more years of fear. I may be overly optimistic, but I’m hoping this’ll at least buy me some time until Jr. High.

  17. Snow

    B’s kindergarten teacher was of similar dreamy qualities, and his name was Mr. Right! I’d finally met Mr. Right! And he was charming, funny, loved kids…and hopelessly, happily married.

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