Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Some People Need Their Space

We might get snow tomorrow, so the grocery stores were understandably crowded this afternoon. What if someone ran out of milk? An inch of snow on the ground could prevent a person from having their cereal that morning, which is unthinkable.

I, however, only needed two baking potatoes to make Shepherds Pie tonight, so I dragged the kids with me to the store. My urgency had nothing to do with milk. I swear.

An hour later we arrived at the check-out line with a cart full of groceries (milk included), approximately $100 worth, which forced me into a regular line. The woman ahead of me had ten items. Ten. That number might make you think that she was taking up less than a quarter of the conveyor belt. But you'd be wrong.

Somehow, she had spaced her items in a perfect line so that they took up the entire conveyor belt.

I approached, sweaty from shopping with two children, threatening to take away their donuts if they didn't behave, and I wanted to get my items paid for as quickly as possible. The kids, eager to help, kept trying to put our groceries on the conveyor belt. But the lady in front of us, with ten items, was still waiting for the woman in front of her to finish and had no intention of making room.

Surely, I thought, as I kept removing the items my children were placing in her "space", she would relent and make room.

No. She did not move them. Not even an inch.

I have yet to come up with an explanation for this oddity.

I'm happy to report that the kids were able to keep their donuts despite this roadblock. Joey only hurt himself five times during the check-out adventure, falling far below his record of fifteen times. Astonishingly, Jillian didn't ask for additional candy. Then again, we were in the "parent" aisle that only offered vegetable based products. And the lady in front of me only paid for her products.

Beth - 1 (I'm sane despite my children's best efforts to the contrary)

Lady in front of me - 0 (I question her sanity)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Interpreting Poetry

"Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening"
by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

One of my students, in a recent poetry interpretation, decided this poem was about Santa Claus. I'll let you figure it out.

Frost - 1

Student - ?


Growing up, I idolized celebrities. They are beautiful and clever, and people adore them simply because they are famous. I wish my feelings hadn't changed, for life was so much simpler before I knew one.

To clarify, I used to know this celebrity, because we went to high school together. I guess you could say we were friends, but were never really close. We had mutual acquaintance, therefore hung out together on occasion.

She was beautiful. She was popular. She was class president, homecoming queen, prom queen, and voted "perfect person loved by all" in the senior superlatives. Alright, so I exaggerated on the superlative portion but I think you get the point. Of all those things, however, she was a nice person, which should have been the most important. But it isn't how most people remember her.

If you asked people what they remembered about me, they would probably say I was a theater nerd who wore her hair in a ponytail. The ponytail part hasn't changed. Actually, neither has the nerd portion and since I teach and virtually put on a "show" each day . . . nothing has changed.

High School was almost fourteen years ago. I like to think I've grown as a person, and have put the childish notions of high school popularity behind me, except that this beautiful, popular girl from my past has resurfaced. She went from a beloved high school student to a beloved local-going-national celebrity.

Now the men in my life (husband, friends, father) talk about her frequently. They ask me to invite her to parties.

No. I haven't talked to her in about 13 years.

They ask me to contact her to see if she will be in their short online films.

No. I haven't talked to her in about 13 years.

I realize how petty I sound, but shouldn't the little nerds who never spoke in class (not me, by the way) be the ones to blossom after high school and become famous? Don't they deserve it more than the person who was revered their entire life? Must the rest of us still be plagued by the high school greatness we never achieved?

It appears that way. It also appears that celebrities are only wonderful if you didn't know them as a kid.

Beth - 0

Popular high school student turned celebrity - 1

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Job With No Vacation

I haven't been to work in seven days due to the two mammoth snow storms that blew through Northern Virginia. My teaching work, that is.

What I have been doing is my other job. The one with no vacation, no breaks and no down time. I call it my Mommy work.

I'm not used to doing my Mommy work full time. I'm the type of person who loves my children desperately, but needs to teach in order to keep my sanity. Therefore, the last seven days have been . . . an experience. When two young children are cooped up in the house for seven days, it is only natural to have stories.

Jillian and Joseph have devised some rather unique games to keep themselves busy. Jillian came downstairs after being unnaturally quiet upstairs and said, "Guess what we've been doing Mommy? We've been climbing something. It starts with M and ends with ountain." I figured out her little riddle, and asked what the mountain was made of. I instantly regretted that question she proudly showed me her creation. It was a mountain made out of clothes! She'd removed all the clothing from her dresser to make a mountain of clothing on her bed. Creative.

Today I walked into the kitchen and discovered another of their creative outlets. In this game, Joseph threw popcorn onto the floor and Jillian cleaned it up with a dust bin and broom. Creative? Yes. Messy? You betcha.

Joseph thought it would be fun to play "chase the monster" while riding his hobby horse. The dog was the monster.

They ask me for food every five minutes. They ask me for cookies every two minutes. That is my fault, however, because in my desperation to keep them busy we baked a huge batch of cookies. Twice. I've also made my grandmother's eggplant, a roast chicken, stew, and pretty much every other roast imaginable. I created my own cheese sauce for gourmet nachos.

I really need to go back to the job with vacations.

Beth - 0
Children during a snow storm - 1