Sunday, October 27, 2013

We Totally Did The Mash

Our elementary school has hosted many Father-Daughter dances and Father-Son baseball outings. But never anything for the moms.  Our reward is the sense of fulfillment we get from organizing and running every PTA event, finding new creative ways of raising funds to keep the school functioning, and managing our children's classroom lives on a day-to-day basis.


All of that changed the other night.  My amazing friend pitched the idea for a Mother-Son Monster Mash and then pulled it off with flying colors.  The decorations were out of this world, there were activities to keep all of the boys occupied even if they didn't want to dance, and the food was Halloween-inspired tastiness.  I mean, who doesn't want to eat a cup of snot or guts - with Oreos on top?  (Personally I might eat anything with smashed up cookies on top, but I digress).

The best part was the fun spirit that filled the multi-purpose room.  All of the moms wore costumes and the boys felt special accompanying their "dates" to the dance floor after adorning the moms with unique monster corsages.  Who doesn't want a googly-eyed creature on their arm?  (Not referring to my son here).  I stopped to talk to another mom about my son's Minion costume and while I was explaining the exhaustive homemade process, I accidentally dropped the F-bomb.  At a school event.  Again.  Whichever one of my friends had the over-under for 5 minutes got the payout for that bet.

I escorted my Minion to the photo booth and carefully instructed him to step over obstacles because the poor boy could not see anything through his limited-view eye hole.   I was dressed in a coordinating unicorn costume ("It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!") and was immediately drenched in sweat and flushed from heat stroke.  My unicorn was a furry-inspired pajama onesie that I found on the internet and supposedly people really wear these things to lounge around at home.  What???  I could only wear this thing if I was lounging around in the Arctic.  With my other furry-animal-pajama-wearing friends.  That reminds me of a certain music video...

So the song "What Does The Fox Say" started playing, and being the insane mom that I am I dragged my reluctant son toward the dance floor.  I think the combination of heat, nervousness, and mortification caused him to have a mini-breakdown.  He started crying because he didn't feel like he should leave me but he definitely didn't want to be near me while I was busting my moves in public.  I looked on in envy at the other mother-son couples who were shakin' it.  Flying toilet paper rolls unfurled over the crowd periodically.  The fog machines kicked into high gear, the DJ was getting into the groove and I looked over to see my Minion up on stage dancing with his friends.  Ah, life was good again... and then the fire alarm started blaring.

What do responsible moms do in this situation?  A few ushered their sons outside per regulations.  A few more went outside with the express intent to direct the firefighters to the appropriate location.  Most stayed inside to keep dancing.  Sure enough the fire truck, lights flashing, showed up and the crew got down to inspect the source of the alarm.  Um, could it be the wall of fog/smoke inside?  A rumor swirled around that one of the boys might have pulled the alarm.  Because of this, the DJ was playing "I Knew You Were Trouble" when the firefighters walked in.

Here's the thing: you can't send the cute, young guy in first to an event with a bunch of moms standing around.  It's like throwing innocent Christians to hungry lions in the coliseum.  The appreciative chorus of screams was almost deafening.  I can't be sure, but I might have seen boys roughly shoved aside so that grown women could get closer to the ax-carrying public servant.  I'm surprised that no one started chanting "Take it off! Take it off!"  He gamely smiled and tried to make his way through the growing throng of costumed moms, all snapping pictures while he valiantly tried to do his job.  Eventually we were all sent outside so that fans could blow the offending smoke (and, coincidentally, wads of TP) out of the room and the alarm could be silenced.  After one group photo with the fireman that is.

During the chaos someone fell and bumped their head and an ambulance joined the foray.  Small groups of mothers and sons wandered off toward home rather than wait for the party to resume.  I felt proud that I was not involved in the harassment.  In reality it had something to do with the fact that I looked like this:

In any case, that was the best Inaugural-Farewell Mother-Son event ever!!!        

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Conference Week - Are You Kidding Me?

My kids have had shortened school days this entire week so that the teachers can schedule parent conferences during normal hours.  My middle schooler literally attends classes for three hours per day.  Seriously?  What's the point?  By the time they return home, hungry for lunch, I've just finished putting their breakfast bowls and plates into the dishwasher.  Here's what I've learned this week:

  1. One positive: I don't miss making lunches.  At all.  I love that they can come home and prepare their own meal and I don't have to stress over the carb-to-fruit ratio in their snack selections.
  2. Clothes worn for three hours still end up in the laundry basket, same as all-day school clothes.  I say they should wear the same shirts and shorts every day of the week to achieve maximum filth allowance before I have to wash them.
  3. My friends will say "the hell with this" and take their children on vacations, posting fabulous pictures on Facebook to make me jealous.  If you're gonna do that you have to keep it a secret for those of us doing extra dishes and laundry.
  4. Even though my older son has bonus hours to do his homework he will still be up until 11 pm  working on it because he has more time to procrastinate. 
  5. The school website does not offer any obvious information on how one would request a conference with a teacher.  They want to go home early and I don't blame them. (Have you been around middle schoolers lately? Shudder)  There are, of course, bright red links that will show me how to donate more money.
  6. The elementary school runs a book fair during conference week so that my kids can bug me every day to spend more money on junk.  Not even books; they want the posters and pointers shaped like a little hand (Why? Is my kid giving a Power Point briefing to Mickey Mouse and needs to direct his attention to some important notation?)
  7. The only thing my child is learning each day relates to who has mastered a new Rainbow Loom pattern for their armload of bracelets.  They're wearing so many of these I fear they'll get an injury.  Maybe I should make a video showing how to make a splint on the  Rainbow Loom. 
  8. I can't catch up on all of my recorded shows in only three hours!  How am I supposed to watch The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, and Saturday Night Live before the kids walk in on an inappropriate scene?
  9. My timing is all thrown off because they're out of school so early.  That margarita at 2:45 pm is probably not ok.  But at least the subsequent ones are sort of on track.
I was going make a list with 10 things I learned, but then I figured "Hey, if the schools can skip out on instructional time and leave things hanging, I can too!"  So there you go.  Thank goodness it's almost the weekend so my kids can recover from their stressful few hours of learning.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Too Old For Midnight Movies?

I recently bought my ticket for the premiere showing of the next Hunger Games movie - Catching Fire.  No, I'm not a teenager.  Yes, this makes multiple late-night premieres that I've gone to.  Yes, I realize that I should hang my head in shame.  But this time, the movie plays at 8 pm on the night before the official opening date, rather than the usual midnight (or later) option.  I'm not really sure why but I embrace it wholeheartedly!

Have I gotten too old for midnight movies?  Well, the last one I went to with friends ended up being very low-key.  We drove around a quiet suburban area in search of a coffee house that was still open only to end up at the 7-Eleven grabbing large cups of peppermint flavored mochas and some snacks.  When we were allowed into the auditorium I nearly fell asleep waiting for the movie to start.

I'm obviously not incapable of staying up all night.  I work the night shift for crying out loud.  You know, my patients really appreciate it when I'm not nodding off at 4 in the morning.

Years ago my friends and I started attending the midnight movies when Twilight came out.  Then the Harry Potter films demanded our allegiance.  And of course now there's the Hunger Games.  Certain movie theaters tend to have a huge turnout, with people camping out for long periods of time before the big event.  I've stood in the rain and in freezing temperatures with these wackos, waiting to be led in like cattle to the slaughterhouse.  The only thing that makes it more humiliating is the costumes and t-shirts.  Oh, did I mention that I made Team Jacob and Team Edward shirts for us?  Yep, that happened.  A friend and I bought tickets late one year and ended up at an out of the way theater for one of the Harry Potter movies.  I had brought my son's Gryffindor tie (I had to sneak it out of his room when he was asleep, shhh don't tell) but nobody was dressed up... well, except for that one girl in the black witch costume.  Awkward...

Then there are the hordes of teenagers.  Why the hell are they all out on a Thursday night?  I know they have school in the morning, and it's not like the movie only shows the one time.  Can't they go on the weekend?  Or the next night?  One time there were a bunch of girls in full footed pajamas with crazy designs on them.  Standing in line for popcorn in their fleecy onesies I tell you.  I was appalled... and soooo jealous.  I wanted to be all cozy watching the movie, falling asleep in my pajamas.  Every time stupid Bella was sitting morosely under a blanket I got sidetracked, dreaming of nodding off in a dreary little town like Forks.

Well, this time I'll be wide awake, ready to enjoy my early-not-midnight movie premiere.  Bring it on!  And then I can head straight home, undo my Katniss-braided hair, and get into my own flannel pajamas.  So -yawn- excited!

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