Saturday, December 10, 2011

Crazy Carpool

Okay guys. Some crazy shizznit went down in the carpool line this week.

Trust me, *Pours glasses of tea* you're gonna need this.

I don't know how you all do carpool, but at my school it works like this...

Every parent has a car tag with their child's name and class name on it and our secretary goes out and calls the names on a walkie talkie while the children wait inside with the assistant teachers. When I hear a child from our class we gather up ALL THE THINGS and walk them out to the cars. The teachers are MORE than ready to throw (sometimes literally) the kids in the cars with a wave and a smile and a quick "Had a great day!", and get them the heck outta there.

We make a point to keep the line moving as quickly as possible, so we don't talk much unless there's something really important to say, or unless the line ahead isn't moving.

Well, earlier this week, I had something important to say to a parent AND the line wasn't moving. As I was talking to the parent and putting (TWO) kids in the car, the line ahead shifted half a car length. Not even a full car length. Seriously. There was a six foot gap and two more cars ahead of us. The line wasn't going anywhere.

But APPARENTLY the mom in the car right behind us thought I was wagging my tongue too long and she HONKED AT ME! Y'all know how carpools work. There is NOWHERE for her to go. What's worse, is that I had her kid last year and she was nuttier than squirrel poo then.

If there weren't so many witnesses I'd have gone over there and knocked her teeth in. Which would have been fine, really, she could have been twins with her kid who's only four and is missing all of his front teeth due to cavities. (Word to the wise: Send more than CAKE to school for lunch AND snack! I told you, squirrel poo.)

Well, that riled me up enough as it was, but after carpool, I was walking back to my classroom and passed our Director. She said, "So, I heard somebody was talking too much during carpool. What's that about?"

I told her about the mom honking at me and she giggled. "I know," she said, "She called me just now to explain that she had to honk at you because you were talking too much. She said she timed you and you were talking for FOUR minutes. Which is impossible. There's no way you were talking that long."

Yes. This woman not only HONKED during carpool, but she took it upon herself to CALL THE DIRECTOR and bitch me out! Of course, our Director is the

BEST BOSS IN THE WORLD

...and she took my side. My head was about to explode. She said she should charge the mom the price of a pedicure and treat me. I told her that was a fantastic idea.

So, dear readers, here are some tips for making one of the most stressful times of the day a little easier on everyone:

Carpool Tip #1: Do NOT honk your horn unless there is a child running out in front of your car. For realz, it is SO unbelievably impolite. We are all doing our best, and those little preschoolers' legs can only move so fast!

Carpool Tip #2: Please do not leave TEN FEET OF SPACE between you and the car in front of you. Nobody does that in the McDonald's drive-thru line. There's no reason to do it in carpool either.

Carpool Tip #3: If you have a car tag like at our school, make sure it is clearly visible in the window. Laying it flat on the front dash does not enable us to see it.

Above all: Be KIND. Be COURTEOUS. BE PATIENT!

We are SO sorry that it is SUCH a burden to you to sit through a 30 minute car line, but you are MORE than welcome to come line up early and wait in the comfort of your air conditioned (or heated, depending on the season) car.

Might I suggest possibly watching a movie on the TELEVISION you have in your car? Or listening to an Audiobook? Or even reading a book while you wait? Catch up on email, or Twitter, or Facebook on your cell phone. Knit a sweater for your dog! There are LOADS of things to do to pass the time.

And please remember: You are not the one out there in the freezing cold (or burning sun, depending on the season) wrangling three-year-olds with folders, and artwork, and jackets, and backpacks bigger than they are.

So, relax.

And thank the people who care for your child, and love them, and put them safely back into your car at the end of the day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Overachievers

*Full Disclosure: I will not reveal names of the people I'm gossiping about. If you know me and you know the people I am discussing, please keep your mouth shut.

I'm a pre-school teacher. I have a class of fourteen three year old children Monday-Thursday from 9am-1pm.  I'd like to say they're sweet little angels who bring a smile to my face and fill my heart with joy. Every now and again that actually happens.

Most of the time, they're busy excavating their nasal cavity with sticky little fingers like they're part of the Gold Rush of '49. If only the stuff they dug out and wiped on the carpet, their shirt, my shirt, and any other nearby surface was made of REAL gold, I'd be able to buy more jets than Richard Branson. It isn't. (But if the formula I'm working on in my super secret ungerground lair does the trick, I won't be driving my Civic to work much longer. Boogers to gold, baby! MUWAHAHA!)

Anyway. The kids are mostly fun and great. The most aggravation I get is from the parents. I know I don't have much right to speak on parenting skills, seeing as how I have no kids of my own. Aside from this little four legged hunk of cutie pie...


But I have been teaching for five years. I've had over 70 kids come through my class alone, plus interacted with the other 200 kids in the rest of the school each year. So I'd like to think that gives me at least some authority on what I have to say here. 

I pass the parents and their kids in the hallway. I see them during carpool. And let me tell you, we teachers luuuuuv to talk. The first thing we do as soon as we get our class lists at the beginning of each school year is sit down and compare notes. 

"Who did you get? OH! I had him last year. Get LOTS of hand sanitizer. That finger never left his nose. Make sure you don't reuse the play-doh either. OH! Yeah, that one dropped trou on the playground and peed on the slide. She is SO CUTE, just don't give her scissors unless you want somebody to end up bald."

Seriously.

So, let me fill you in on the LATEST gossip, Dear Reader. *Sits down on porch with glass of iced tea*

This morning I had breakfast with one of the teachers from school at this quaint little hole in the wall bakery place. The coffee was so awful it was undrinkable, and the food wasn't anything to write in to Atlanta Magazine about, but the conversation was absolutely delicious.

We got to talking to the owner (we were the only customers in there) and when we mentioned where we worked, she said that she was catering a party there soon, but she didn't know exactly what it was for. I promptly filled her in, because I'd gotten the full dish yesterday from another friend (it pays to treat your friends for birthday lunches and breakfasts, trust me).

Here it is:
This mother, who had a child in my class last year is having an outside caterer come in and do the class Christmas party. For four-year-olds. I know a lot of you won't blink at this idea. My sister teaches in Manhattan and they hired a live clown come in to her class and scare the shit out of her kids for a First Birthday party. I'm not even kidding.

But this is Georgia. We do things differently here.

Tip: Do not go above and beyond with expensive outside help. It will only make other parents (and especially teachers) think you are stupid and wasting money. 
At our school, catering a Christmas party is a ridiculous idea. We live in the South. We don't hire other people to do our cooking. It's a matter of pride. We purposefully try to outdo each other with our mad baking skillz. Paula Deen style.

Another Tip: This is Preschool and you are not Martha Stewart.
You are not impressing anyone with the hand knitted Irish lace table cloth that you whipped up last night just because you thought it would add a little extra something to the atmosphere

So please, if you are a Room Mom or are helping to plan a Holiday Party for your child's class, do not go psycho crazy with it. They will not remember this. Especially if they are little. There's a slim chance they'll recall pulling the eyes off the candy cane reindeer before they shove it in their mouth, but that's a whole other thing. At this point, all you need to do is show up. Your kids will not judge you for ordering pizza. In fact, they will probably love you even more for it.


What are some of your class party experiences? Have you, or someone you know, gone above and beyond the call of duty when planning a class party? Do tell!