Monday, June 6, 2011

End of School Year Rant

Some mother of one of Ben’s classmates has got it into her head that what Ben’s kindergarten teacher would like more than anything else, even more than that a gift certificate to Kohls (to Kohls!), is a handmade quilt featuring pictures from all of her little students.

Now, I’m not an elementary school teacher, but if I were, I know I’d prefer the Kohl’s gift certificate, thank you very much. Heck, I’d take a Starbucks certificate over a non-functioning, purely decorative, handmade quilt featuring mediocre artwork from 20 little kids who turn summer vacation into a two-month recovery mission, and I don't even drink coffee. (I’m sorry, but I’ve been in that classroom and, aside from Ben of course, this is not an artistically gifted group of kids.)

Ben was supposed to draw a picture on his piece of cloth and hand it in last Friday. This didn’t happen. I completely forgot about it. If it’s too late and Ben’s picture is the only one not included in said quilt and, as a result, Mrs. Kindergarten Teacher subsequently forgets Ben was ever in her class, I think I’m okay with that.

Seriously, though. It’s June. Does this mother think we don’t have enough to do? I don’t remember being asked if I wanted to participate in this quilt-making process. Maybe I’m opposed to quilts on some moral level. (I’m not.)

It’s the principle of the thing. I’m annoyed. Unreasonably so. Because I’m stressed. And the quilt square could have been the straw that broke my proverbial camel’s back. My poor camel! It wasn’t, but it could’ve been. The lady might’ve received an over-the-top response to her request, like the quilt square sent back to her with an image of a bird on it. Not, like, a robin or a pigeon. The other kind of bird.

My laptop is broken. The dryer was out of commission for several days. We all had strep. My copywriting load is heavier than it should be, as is my butt. The lawn guy left the gate open last week, which led to me cruising the neighborhood in my rusty minivan yelling desperately for Kiah. When I spotted her, she literally said (to a nearby squirrel): “I will now play the fun game where I let my mother chase me through a swamp!” (Later that same day, Kiah accidentally killed a toad. I think it was an accident. That’s what I’m telling myself.)

At least I found her. I was fully expecting to get a phone call informing me she’d ended up in Toledo or somewhere.

I got stung by a bee when I was cutting lilacs from a bush. (God does punish people who wait for their neighbors to leave before they steal lilacs from their yard.)

I have an asymmetrical mole that needs to be removed.

I’ve finally gotten rid of Daniel’s wart, which was on the bottom of his foot. I had to file the sucker down each night before I put salicyclic acid on top of it. Then, I had to wrap it in duct tape, to keep light and moisture out. All of this went over really well with Daniel.

“Where did he get the wart?” I asked the doctor. “How- how- how did he get it?” I have an odd habit of making completely ridiculous statements to or asking preposterous questions of medical staff. I think this is because when I finally admit there might be a reason to haul my kid off to the doctor, I become so completely confounded and annoyed by a diagnosis that my already shaky common sense is further compromised.

“I know he only has a cold, but I don’t see how antibiotics could hurt at this point.”

“You’re sure I shouldn’t be more concerned that he has Scarlet Fever? Because Beth in Little Women died thanks to Scarlet Fever. I don’t know if you knew that.”

“I am handicapped. I simply refuse to believe my statement is unprecedented. A twin pregnancy is a definite handicap, and I would like a sticker for my car.”

I’m feeling busy, but unimportant. Overwhelmed, yet restless.

And if Ben’s teacher is feeling anything like I am in these last harried weeks of the school year, the last thing she wants to open on an 85 degree afternoon in late June is a quilt.

She wants a gift certificate to air-conditioned Kohl’s, where she can purchase a lovely little sundress to lounge in during her long recovery period.


Anonymous said...

im a teacher and i vote for kohls

Amanda Gibson said...

The quilt is a "thoughtful" idea - but sometimes thoughtfulness is a pain in the ass and sometimes its way more fun to use a gift certificate to buy what you actually want than try to figure out what to do with a thoughtful homemade quilt. Plus - if that one lady wants to be all thoughtful she should keep it to herself and not inflict it on others. I am so on board with a gift certificate. I'm sure the teacher would be too. Honestly? If I were a teacher I'd probably just be so happy to be getting a break from all those kids that I wouldn't want a reminder of them at my home - much less in the form of a bulky quilt.

Guess that's why I'm not a teacher, huh? Real teachers probably actually LIKE the kids in their class.

Sorry you're feeling stressed, etc., etc. I feel your pain. My to-do list this week is long and I have this problem with saying no to people so it just keeps getting longer - which makes me mean and bitchy. And stressed. I hope it gets better.

Holly said...

Eh, I'm just being whiny. I'm fine.

I'm pretty confident that if I put up some sort of poll- gift certificate vs. quilt, the gift certificate would come out way ahead.

hokgardner said...

Great googlie mooglies, that other mother has too much time on her hands. I was class parent in one daughter's class, and I organized a hasty party and told all the families they were on their own for teachers gifts. We gave all our teachers Target gift cards. I know it's what I'd want.

And I once wrote a whole post about my saying to the on-call pediatrician, "But Beth DIED of Scarlet Fever. And Mary went BLIND."

Elizabeth said...

Gift Cards = Love.
PS I Love your new pic.

Holly said...

Thanks. You can tell it's summer here by the shine on my nose. Blech!

Ruthanne....Empress of her World said...

Yes. Kohl's sounds great. If I were to receive a quilt from the kids I had this year, I may be tempted to start a relaxing and refreshing bon fire with it. I don't know if that is how a kindergarten teacher might feel, but I know all 7th grade teachers would feel like that.