Thursday, July 22, 2010


There's nothing quite as exhilarating or relaxing as a good swing!

The innocence of childhood is a wonderful thing.
I was raised in a very strict household.  There were rules that had to be followed and standards to be kept.  One of the rules was my mother's 
This included the word "crap"... a word that innocent to me, offended the heck out of my mother.

Being the child I was, free spirited and determined to have things my way, I naturally was attracted to swearing the way ants are dedicated to finding sugar.

The ability to swear was one of the most attractive features at Ananda School... that and being able to smoke in class.  Its fair to say that I used that privilege to its utmost.  Perhaps even beyond that.
Swearing, like smoking is a habit hard to break.

But you know, there is something delightful about swear words.  The variety of ways that they can be coupled and the assortment of inflections 
give one a sense of satisfaction that reflects the emotion behind the statement.

We did not curtail our language all that much once we began to have children.  They were told that these were "adult" words that they could use too... once they were mature enough to use them.
As if the use of swear words is mature.
But we were young parents and inexperienced.
Not that we ever changed.  But eventually we did get to a place where we used them according to socially appropriate conditions.

Along came a big day in our family... the first day that Boo, our oldest child would begin school.
When the letter arrived inviting us to attend with our child that first day we planned to go.
He was on that day, our only child.
As it happened, his sister decided to show up in the world on that very day.  We, his parents were unavoidably busy bringing Bear into our lives.

Emergency plans took over.  A series of drop-offs and pick-ups from school were arranged in a carefully planned schedule of aunts and uncles to make sure our darling blond headed, green eyed boy with the single dimple was delivered to his teacher and reclaimed each day for his first week of school.

Thus it came to pass that MY first day of picking up my child form school arrived on Monday of his second week.
I bundled up his new sister in the stroller and walked down to meet him.  Thoughts of my pride for my child, memories of my school days as a child and hormones gone wack-o got us there to the gate with me dabbing at my eyes as I stood amid the other moms to wait.

It was hot.  Most of the other classes had let out and children swarmed out of the gates.  
My excitement grew until at last... there they were!
Perhaps 20 or so darling little sweeties
dressed in their cute little school outfits with tiny back packs sporting Rainbow Brite or G.I. Joe.
They were led out by an older woman... the teacher, who had miraculously managed to arrange them in a straight line.

Like many others, my son beamed out a big smile and waved at me.  His teacher, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him along with her.  She said something to him and his smile faded as his head dropped.
I thought:

The teacher then greeted the other mothers, one at a time and delivered their darlings.  As they dwindled, my mood began to darken.
When all others had gone, the teacher faced me, still clutching my son's arm.

"Are you the mother?"

Why yes I was.

She launched into a lecture on the importance of parent partisipation in a child's school life.
The series of adults that I had sent to bring and pick up my child was unacceptable.  It made it difficult for the school to insure my son's safety.
Our lack of interest in attending his first day of school parent and child orientation sent the wrong message to our child... that school was not important.

I'm certain that I listened to this with an open mouth.
Inside, anger began to well up and I was thinking some pretty bad words by the time she had finished.
I managed to stammer out that I was giving birth that day and felt it took priority and reminded her that I had sent a detailed schedule of the names of those who would be picking my son up.

Her response was to say that it was a shame that we could not attend.  Not a shred of forgiveness in her tone.  She then pulled my son, who had been lagging behind her forward.
She said:

"I want you to know that Boo said a word we do NOT use in school today.  I put him on the wall at recess and have told him that you will follow up at home and not allow him to watch TV for a week's time.  I hope you will not be sending others to pick him up from now on."
She then released my sullen child and began to walk away.

Now I understood that we used colorful words at home and any number of words could have come from my son's mouth that were not to be used in school, but the "F" word was the one set in my head.  So I closed my open mouth, gave my son a hug and we began to walk away.

After about a block, I asked what word he had used.
"Shut up!" he confessed sadly, ashamed.
I was astounded.  This was a very polite and well behaved child.

"No.  Everyone was yelling and she wanted them to be quiet.  So I told them to shut up."

Now that was a picture I could see in my head.
Boo was trying to help.  Under my breath I muttered
bitch.  Then I did the responsible thing and explained to him that while I did understand, he had to let the teacher take care of things like that herself and reminded him that we used the words be quiet or sssh instead.  But I was not mad.
As soon as we got home, I let him watch G. I. Joe.

The job market is looking better.  I have several leads and three applications to deliver by Monday.
All are in schools.  Very cool beans.
And best of all, I found a real live person to talk to about them who answered all of my questions without having to endure an endless choose number... menu.
I feel much better now.

Still no puppy but we are going to look at some this weekend.  

Tell me... what made you happy today?
Or say how you feel about swearing.
Or well... anything you want.


  1. We swear like sailors at our house. Mr. Cube's excuse is that he's in construction and, therefore, must swear. Me, I just have a bad temper.

    Speaking of swearing, I think I would've had a few choice words for that teacher. Some people just shouldn't be around children. She sounds like one of them.

  2. Glad your employment situation is looking up. I know how you feel about paying your share.

  3. Cube-- Swearing is sort of a joy for me. Ha. Still feels like freedom of a sort.

    That teacher and I never got along. I tried but she was an awful person. A friend of mine with a son in the afternoon class said that her son's teacher told her that there are just some kids you do not like in your class each year... my son was that for his teacher. It made me angry so I went to the principal and he explained that she had just lost her brother and found out she had breast cancer. I thought about that a moment and told him I was sorry for her, but that was not my son's fault. He did agree, but didn't really do anything to help.

    Fortunately, that was near the end of the year and his teacher next year more than made up for it by being wonderful.

  4. Cube-- Thanks. I am very weird about paying my own way. Anything else and I would feel trapped and obliged to do whatever was asked of me. Not that Randy is demanding or would use that method. He's great! Its how it would make me feel and the changes it might bring into a good relationship. Once bitten twice shy.

  5. God bless you for raising your child correctly. Never mind that BITCH of a teacher, who obviously never truly listens to anyone outside of her own head (or, at least, hears only the words, but not the intent behind them.)

    Teachers like those... There are, to my mind, two sorts of instructors in this world. There are those who become teachers in order to foist their own weird power trips onto the only people powerless enough for them to do so without being punched in the face - children. Then there are those who sincerely want to nurture, who desire to convey their knowledge to those same children.

    (Each comes in varying degrees of competency, so some of the authoritarians do actually impart knowledge, while the others sometimes are ineffective, but those are the two main types, IMHO.)

    I detested school, for the most part. I was saddled with more of the a-holes than the good ones. All it takes is one particularly loathsome teacher to turn a child off of education forever. Lucky for me, I had parents and other relatives who knew the value of knowledge and who instilled in me a love for actual learning (as opposed to rote memorization for testing.) Other kids are not so blessed.

  6. Suldog-- I think you hit the nail on the head. The power trippers! I think it was also upsetting to me that she wanted to tell me how to punish him at home too.

    You would not think that I would end up in education with all my tales of dread. But the truth is, its the dread that sticks in my head... or maybe my craw, not the good times.

    I hated school as a child too. But I was gabby and opinionated, not a candidate for student of the month or anything else and when someone tried to strong arm me, I planted my feet and did the opposite. Naturally, I dug my own hole as a student in public education.

    But like you, my family believed in learning for the joy of learning and so, I managed to get an education after all through books, museums and experience... and developed a passion for it.

  7. Wow, whatever her reasons that woman was a miserable, nasty person. Poor Boo and poor you!

    Swearing doesn't bother me when other people do it. I swear mostly when startled or injured or just situationally. I get self-conscious casually swearing, it doesn't seem like me :-)

    Good luck on the hunts, pup and job!!!

  8. laura b.-- Thanks. You don't seem like the swearing type to me either.

  9. I was raised in a military family and swear like a sailor myself. I figure there are far worse words - I don't use hate words or words I consider nasty - just things like "fuck" and "goddamit." I don't apologize for it and I've told my kids they need to not say that sort of things in front of teachers and other adults.

    That teacher owed you an apology for chastising you, period, but especially after she found out you were busy having a baby. What a sanctimonious ninny (see how I can control my language when I want to?). And I would have let him watch tv, too.

  10. Well, one thing that made me happy was to see you have leads in schools. Good. I still bet you'll find something before the school year starts. Hold off on Wal-Mart for a bit ;-)

    My wife thought I was bad for swearing. Then she met my sister. No joke. Sister Dear was playing air hockey screaming "Die m-----f-----! Die m-----f-----! I'll see you in HELL!" at her opponent. Ha!

    Sister Dear is barely 5 feet, about 90 pounds, and literally a rocket scientist. People don't expect it. You can take the girl out of the city....

    I was more casual with #1 son than perhaps I should have been. He had speech problems and couldn't say "F" or "K." (shrug) He was listening, though. Oops.

    I don't mind so much as I think it's too hard for kids to discriminate when, where, and around whom you can say certain things. I try to set a better example... to maintain the fiction, as it were. Not that I never swear, but I try to hold back some.


    Honestly, both know 'em all by now. I've improved, though.

    One day we were all watching Sesame Street, brought to you by the letter "F." #1 pipes up "Hey, that's the first letter of Daddy's favorite bad word!" Wife glares at me as he begins to spell:

    F... R... (R?!?) I... G... G... I... N.

    Ahhh. See? I've improved.

  11. "bitch" is abut the nicest word that could be used to describe that teacher. the only problem i see with using it is the insult it conveys to other bitches.

  12. Yea! I hope you find a job soon. I can't believe that teacher didn't apologize to you. It makes you want to say, "Wow. I'm sorry my labor didn't work for you and classroom..." Jeez!

  13. Churlita-- Thanks. I think I'll find something.

    Yeah, it still irks me. But maybe now I will get over it. Sheesh!