It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No…it’s…a great big pile of crap?


Mornin’ all.

“Well look who it is, gracing us with her presence.”

Whoa now. I know I’ve been busy, but…

“What happened to your promises of keeping in touch and creating new posts with regularity?”

I’ve done pretty well up to this week! It’s not like I didn’t want to be writing. It’s not like I want to have to clean out the hoard and scramble for a place to live. Sheesh. You act like I’m enjoying doing all that crap. Trust me, I’d MUCH rather be babbling at you!

“…you mean that?”

Of course I do! There’s no place I’d rather be in the morning than chatting with you over coffee.

“Fine. I’ll accept your apology. THIS TIME. *sniff* Proceed.”

It’s a chilly start here, the kind of morning that makes any parent perk up and say, “Holy shit…it’s almost time for school to start!” I want them to go back, and yet, I don’t. Turned into a dud summer here, and I wish I could have another month to actually do things with them instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to handle the cards life dealt.

My youngest is going into the third grade this year. He got a letter in the mail yesterday from his new teacher, a teacher I had back in fourth grade. It’s so weird having your former teacher now be your kids’ teacher. When my eldest attended first grade here when we moved back from a town just up the way, he got my first grade teacher for his. The first time I attended a parent/teacher conference with her, I sat there and “yes, ma’am-ed” and “yes, Mrs. Felton-ed.” She said, “You know you can call me Kathy now, right?”

What? What is this!? Call my first grade teacher by her first name?! Every ounce of little kid left inside me recoiled in absolute horror. She had another of my kids later on. I still call her Mrs. Felton, and I always will. Some things are just too ingrained to change.

Anyway, my youngest has my former fourth grade teacher this time. He’s excited because in her note, she mentioned that he has to bring a set of ear buds for her “listening station”. He said, “I get a listening station? Like for music? Do you think she’ll let us watch YouTube?”

He was so excited that I took the parental cop out. “I guess you’ll just have to wait and see!”

Oh come on, don’t give me that look. If he’s excited, let her be the one to dash his hopes. It’s been a crappy summer. Why not let the boy dream?

Got the school supply list, too. It’s not bad this year. Standard stuff. Pencil box, pencils and crayons, notebook, etc. The only weird thing is the ear buds, and those are a buck at the dollar store. Nice and simple, as it should be.

Some teachers seem to get drunk on the power of writing a supply list. When my older boys were in jr. high, I got these lists that were insanely specific. “1 1/2-inch blue binder, 1 2-inch red binder, 100 3×5 lined index cards, 100 4×6 UNlined index cards…” It went on and on.

One year, a teacher specified the brand of pencils she preferred in her classroom. Another wanted me to supply three boxes of tissues OR a case of bottled water, my choice. That one struck me as weird. I mean, if you’ve got a runny nose, wiping it off on a bottle of water seems like an unusual solution. But hey, I’m not a teacher. What do I know?

I get it. I understand why teachers have to ask for extras. I get that public schools are so strapped for supplies that they have to ask parents to kick in more than just the insane taxes. But I just think some take it way too far.

I once had to buy a photo album for one of the kids. It had to be certain dimensions and a certain color. I couldn’t find the exact thing and got as close as I could. Turns out I should have gone to Staples, not the other three stores I went to looking for it, as the teacher informed me in a passive aggressive note the following week. Well damnit, lady! Why didn’t you just say, “You can find these at Staples?” Or, better yet, chill the hell out about it because it’s just a damn photo album and not worth any drama whatsoever!

A teacher once asked that when we chose the folders to insert into our child’s binder that they not be neon colors because she found those distracting. She chose a profession where she had to deal with a classroom full of hyper active children all day. Snotty noses and petty bickering and spitballs and gum on shoes and outbursts during quiet time and all the other million little acts of chaos that happen in an elementary school classroom every single day…and she’s stressing the color of a folder? Good luck with that one, lady.

Look, I’m not knocking teachers here. I had some fantastic ones. And even the crappy ones have a really hard job, and that should be taken into account. However, as a parent, it’s my obligation to complain about the supply lists. It’s just how things work, and I’d be shirking my duties if I didn’t do it.

Two weeks and they go back, jumping in the fray. And I will be here by myself in the mornings.

Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike being by myself? Especially now that the kids are older and far more interesting. They’re cool and fun, and I get so bored when they’re not here.

“But Bethie, think of the writing you’ll be able to do without your little distraction machines.”

…you have a point.

Plus, I can pop on a girlie movie while I clean and do housework and there won’t be a single boy around to scoff and roll their eyes (even though they totally get into them, especially the 80’s ones, while trying to LOOK like they’re ignoring what’s happening on the screen…YES I’M CALLING YOU OUT BOYS).

And I must admit, as great as they are, they’re huge and have an annoying habit of standing in the way when I’m trying to clean. I’ll admit it will be very nice to bag up some junk and walk it to the back of the station wagon to haul away without having to tell the same kid to get out of the way five times.

Yes, the clean out continues. What part of “hoarder” did you not understand? I’ll probably STILL be at it a month from now.

I had to get rid of a ton of books yesterday. There’s a drop box here in town where you can donate books. I hauled two station wagons full of books for that bin and filled it right up. The problem is, I’ve easily got twice that many books left and no room to donate. I can’t throw them out, I just can’t. Books are special and books are magic and I can’t throw away special magic. I also can’t bring myself to haul them to our next place, especially when they’re the ones we absolutely will not read again. Maybe I’ll just stick them out with a “free” sign at the yard sale this weekend.

I’ve got to say I’m really impressed with my stacking abilities. My hoard is all shoved into the corners of rooms and closets. We’ve always got some floor space. It’s not like we’re being buried or consumed. And looking at the piles in their corners of the ring before a bout, I assumed there were a few bags of garbage per. I mean, how much can you really fit in the corner of a room? Got one corner of the dining room done yesterday.

Hang on. Lemme ‘splain. My “dining room” is really my “catchall project room”. We don’t dine in there. We make projects or messes, or messy projects. As such, instead of a hutch with the family china, it’s got some of everything.

I got to one of the bad corners. In that one space, I bagged up eight bags of crap to throw out. Eight! Looking at it all bagged up, and then looking at the corner, it’s impossible to figure out how it all fit.

My theory is that hoarders can control gravity, but only in relation to our collections. It’s our super hero skill. Admittedly, it’s not the best super power a person could have. It doesn’t do much good in real life crime fighting or saving lives or pretty much anything else. But boy, can we pack shit in!

I think I just came up with the next Marvel movie! You laugh, but they just made a blockbuster out of a talking raccoon and a tree. Heroes of Hoarding doesn’t seem like such a stretch now, does it?

Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Friday, August 15, 2014. Grocery shopping then the next section of the dining room. Getting there. Really I am.


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