I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I think that school busses are dens of iniquity. There’s one driver and one hundred and ninety two kids. It’s not really a workable ratio.
The other day, I had the misfortune of pulling out behind a middle school bus. Three boys looked at me and started making goofy gestures. I grinned at them. Then they started making obscene gestures. It got awkward. I didn’t know where to look. Straight ahead, with a disapproving look on my face? Turned away, as if I were disinterested? Or should I pretend to be frantically searching for something on the floor? I went with the third scenario. There’s a fun-sized 3 Musketeers lolling about there somewhere. These days, all that remains of the kids’ Halloween candy are flavored tootsie rolls and Necco wafers. A rogue fun-sized 3 Musketeers bar is a hot commodity, and I’m determined to find it before Ben- who is also aware it’s down there somewhere- does.
I fretted about putting Ella on the bus. I contemplated driving the kids to school and back each day. But with gas prices the way they are and the whole “it gets really freaking cold here in Ra-cha-cha” thing, on the first day of school I put my babies onto the giant yellow tube and went back to eating my cheerios.
The bus is where Caleb learned the f-word. It’s where Ben got punched by an extremely moody eight-year old. It’s where Daniel fought off a fellow kindergartner who bragged of depantsing “everybody in the world.” (Because that’s how kindergartners talk, in gross exaggerations.)
I worried about what Ella, who is a parrot, would bring home from the bus.
I never would have guessed show tunes.
Last week, she came home singing “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” from Annie. Complete with motions.
“Who caaares what their wearing from Main Street to Saville Row…”
“Ella! Where did you learn that?” I asked. Not that I wasn’t thrilled. Annie was my favorite record when I was her age. When “Tomorrow” came on? My sister and I totally lost our crap. We ran around the kitchen table singing at the top of our lungs. It’s only a DAAAAY! AAAAAWAAAAY!”
I knew Ella hadn’t learned the “Hey hobo man, hey Dapper Dan” lyrics from her prim and proper teacher; therefore, I deduced she was being taught by someone on the bus.
Ben confirmed my suspicion.
“It’s this third grader who hates me and Caleb and all boys, really. But she looooves Ella.”
Today, Ella came home singing, “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am by this development. She really nails the whoo whoo whoo part.
In other news, I have a single Twinkie in my pantry that I was hoping would make me rich.
That’s right. I put Twinkies in my kids’ lunch boxes. Not all the time, but every once in a while, because I love when they get off the den of iniquities, run into my arms, and say, “Will you put a Twinkie in my lunch box tomorrow, too?” And I say, “No. That was special for today.” And they say, “Why do you hate us?” And I say, “I don’t hate you. I love you.” And they say, “Then, can we have Twinkies for snack right now?” And I say, “No, my loves. I ate them all.”
And I don’t even like Twinkies. I don’t know if my taste buds completely changed or if I’ve evolved beyond processed sponge cake with chemical filling. It’s possible I’ve evolved. I mean, I like foie gras- heck, I know how to SPELL foie gras- so it’s beyond me why I eat Twinkies. Because I like to irritate my children, I suppose.
Hostess chocolate cupcakes are a completely different story.
Anyway- there is one Twinkie left in the box. My plan was to sell the sucker on eBay and buy myself a pretty frock to wear this holiday season. Now it looks like the unions and the powers that be are going to negotiate a deal that will save Hostess, 18,000 jobs, and the Twinkie.
Now I don’t know what to do with my Twinkie.
It will probably sit in my pantry for the next 20 years. I’ll feed it to my granddaughter and my daughter-in-law will get pissed because doesn’t EVER feed her kids processed sponge cake with chemical filling. That’s the kind of daughter-in-law I’m going to get; I just know it. Nevertheless, I’ll send future granddaughter home with a belly full of sugar and a repertoire of show tunes. Hopefully she’ll run around the kitchen table a hundred times singing “Tomorrow” at the top of her lungs, driving her mother absolutely crazy.
One can hope.