I don’t know. I’m just so tired. So very, very tired. There are so many things for which the Sprogs deserve to be punished every day, I can’t keep up. I need a fulltime personal assistant just to monitor their various infractions so that each one may be properly addressed. It’s like, they’ll go for a week without sneaking cups of sugar out of the pantry at 4:30 a.m., and I’ll think we’re making progress, but then William will draw a picture of an elephant butt taking a dump in the upper right-hand corner of his spelling test where, actually, his name and the date should be. I suspect that his teacher has adopted a strategy of ignoring this kind of jackassery, based on the fact that this came home without a note of concern from the school counselor. And what a refreshing contrast this bears to the half-dozen phone calls I got from a certain unnamed person with a BA in psychology when William, in first grade, spent a month signing all his schoolwork with the nom de guerre “Sausage.”
On the other hand, parent-teacher conferences are next week, and I have a vision of walking into the classroom only to be assailed by a very thick, three-ring binder detailing my son’s many offenses. Compiled by his teacher’s fulltime personal assistant.
I do adore Bella’s teacher and I don’t care if she knows it. Will I ever forget the necklace she was wearing the first day of school, a smallish tarantula suspended in a prism of acrylic? Unlikely. Or the fact that I rarely see her without Peaches (the parakeet) attached to her shoulder, and not with safety pins, because Peaches is ALIVE? Not too many weeks ago I wandered into class to fetch Bella and noticed that Peaches had embellished her owner’s cardigan with an enormous dribble of bird poop. “Looks like she got you, there,” I said, in that it seemed rude not to acknowledge the fact that my child’s teacher had been, you know, shat upon. “Oh, Peaches does that all the time!” she said. And she was about a thousand times merrier than I would be under similar circumstances, because after one single incident of the sort, I’d have recycled the bird and We Shall Never Speak of This Again. So my horror was compounded by infinity when I dropped Bella off this morning and learned that Peaches had eaten half a green crayon and was suffering intestinal distress. “I tell you, it’s been like a green waterfall over there”–motioning toward the children’s bookshelves where Peaches was doubled over in (I guess) agony–”but I keep wiping the walls down.” Probably if I weren’t so detached from Nature this wouldn’t have horrified me but as it is I was unable to stop myself from googling “death by impetigo” when I got home, and now I really wish I hadn’t.