Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today Should Be A Do-Over

I hate it when kids say that. Do-Over. Back in the day when I taught
P.E., I especially hated it. There we'd be, right in the middle of a
spirited game of volleyball, or badminton, or hop-soc, and some
urchin would holler out: "DO-OVER!" No. No no no no no! There
is no do-over. Just because you are so uncoordinated as to hit the
ball into the very high ceiling tiles or hanging lights of the gym, do
not think the world owes you a second chance! I, on the other hand,
DO deserve another chance at today. Hey! It's the first day of the
rest of my life, people!

This has not been a good day. It began with a call to my Hillbilly
Mama to tell her that I did not need a wake-up call at 6:00 a.m.
It's a little routine we have. I have only needed to be woken up
one time, but just in case, I have her call me. We have done this
for several years. Hey, she gets up that early anyway.

So as I was talking to her, getting lunches ready, she said how she
woke up this morning and really missed having me and my brats
at her house. That made me teary-eyed, because I don't like to
think of her being sad to start the day. As soon as I hung up the
phone, I spilled a new box of Honey Nut Cheerios all over the
kitchen counter. I gathered them up into a large plastic cup such
as the kind you can get at a fraternity house to drink green beer
pumped from a keg at a St. Patrick's day party. The reason for
that was that my lazy layabout son will not take out the trash when
I tell him. So we play the balancing game until something ooky
falls out and he has to pick it up.

Forty minutes later, with only ten minutes left before our departure,
the boy decided to pour himself a bowl of cereal for breakfast.
I suppose the thought didn't occur to him during the thirty minutes
he laid sideways in the recliner grouching at his brother. He picked
up a bag of Save-A-Lot fake Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries
cereal (hey, only the adults get the name brand around here) and
tore off the top. Then he stood it on end on the cutting block. Silly
boy. Bags do not stand up. They lean over and pour their fake
crunchberries onto the kitchen floor. I must have been pitiful, what
with my tears just dried from my sad lonely mama conversation,
because my sweet #2 son rushed in to help pick up the errant

I dropped the boys off at school, and began to clean up the aftermath
of the ice storm in my classroom. The posters had jumped off the wall
again, so I snatched them bald of all their masking tape and stacked
them unceremoniously on the bad-kid desk at the back of the room.
Then I hiked to the teacher workroom for some coarse paper toweling
that is most definitely not the quicker-picker-upper. It was white! Not
the regular brown! But it was still coarse and non-absorbant. The only
difference was that with my long swatch of it, I looked like Santa with
his checking-it-twice list.

The morning classes were uneventful. At Basementia, I reached into
my upper left drawer, the one that squeals like Ned Beatty in Deliverance,
but without the purty mouth, to get my 3-hole punch. Oh, I got it all right.
But the bottom came off of it, and I left a pile of holes in the bottom of
the drawer. You wouldn't think holes could leave such a mess, but they
did. Nobody volunteered to clean up that mess for me, so I had to do
it myself.

After school we went to order #1 son's birthday cake for Saturday, even
though his actual birthday is Tuesday. He was crankier than a teacher
with a migraine on a full-moon Friday picture day. He finally picked out
a design and begged for donuts. Of course I gave in, because it's just
easier that way. The poor pitiful bakery worker who boxed up the donuts
must have had a hole in her head like her merchandise. She could not
understand that I wanted the white icing with sprinkles and the chocolate
icing with sprinkles right beside it. She put in a plain white icing and the
chocolate with sprinkles. #2 son said, "Hey! You put in wrong one! I
want the one with sprinkles!" So she added that to the box. I had to
tell her twice that we didn't want the plain white icing donut. I don't
know what was so hard to understand. It's not like I was speaking
pig latin or anything.

After checkout, we played $1.75 on the quarter-pushing machine
until we ran out of quarters. Then we went to buy a PoweBall ticket,
but some guy was cashing his check, so instead we bought two scratch-
off tickets out of the lottery vending machine. While we were doing that,
three quarters fell out of the quarter-pushing machine, so of course we
had to play again. This time we quit with $4.75. In the car, #2 son
scratched a $10 winner for the $12 we spent on tickets. Which, if
you're math-inclined and have been following along, means we came
out with $14.75 after investing $13.75 on our gambling addiction.
WooHoo! We're Even Steven with a $1 Christmas bonus!

That was the high point of the day.

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