Last week I volunteered in my son’s class for the first time this year. I had signed up to lead the class for the afternoon during a teacher planning day, and I was really excited to get in there. That is a lie. I was terrified. You guys, Owen is in third grade. Third graders are so scary. I mean, Kindergarteners? They look at you like you’re a magical fairy and they are just so happy to be at school and you basically just play with them. But third graders? I kept envisioning a total uprising and the teacher returning to find me duct taped to a chair. I actually asked my son to pray for me the night before because I was so nervous.
Annnnyway, the day ended up going so well that I don’t even have any funny stories to tell. Somehow that third grade class is full of little angels, God bless them every one.
As I drove away from school that day, I couldn’t help remembering another time I helped at school. It went a bit differently. I mean, it ended with me straight lying to the teacher, if that tells you anything. Let’s relive it together, shall we?
Originally published November 6, 2014.
Need a self-esteem boost? Allow me to help. I have lots of mom fails. But this time? I lied to my kid’s teacher. And you won’t believe why. (I still can’t.)
Every other week or so, I go to Owen’s school to volunteer. Covering lunch duty is one way I help, and my first time ended in certainly one of my most shameful mom fails ever.
But let me start at the beginning.
Mrs. H. arrives at the lunchroom with the class of first graders, and I don’t take even a moment to ask for instructions. I quickly shoo her away to go enjoy her lunch in well-deserved peace.
And guess what I find out?
I AM AWESOME AT LUNCH DUTY. That’s what.
The entire 25 minutes is basically one part “shh,” one part “face forward please,” and approximately seventy-three parts “yes I will open your ketchup/mayo/gogurt/yogurt/pudding.”
The truly impressive part (besides how Heinz seals up ketchup packets like Fort Knox) is how well this school has trained the kids and their “lunchtime voices.” Every few minutes, quiet instrumental music plays. And when the music plays, the talking STOPS.
It’s magic, I tell you.
But when the music is NOT playing, the kids talk in
crazy screeching excitable quiet voices. At one point, I’m wrestling a pudding cup when the rumble of a million little voices becomes a theatrical chorus, hushed but rising in unison: “Baaaaa sowenyaaaa…!”
Um, cue Twilight Zone. I look up from the
damn pudding, in utter confusion. What is happening!?
Oh wait. I notice a familiar instrumental score amid the Impromptu Cafeteria Vocal Choir. It’s the Lion King song.
Of course it is.
I regain my composure just as Owen’s teacher returns to pick up the class. Since I’ve been
utterly winging it skillfully improvising for the past 25 minutes, I decide to quickly clarify a couple class policies.
It goes like this (me, with big, reassuring smile): “Hi! The kids did great. Quick question – what’s the bathroom policy during lunch?”
Mrs. H’s face says, “The policy is no.” Her words say (with a knowing grin), “How many asked to go?”
Me: “Um. 6.” (quickly waving it off, no big deal) “But only one at a time, of course.”
BUT THAT IS A LIE. THERE WERE 8.
And I have NO IDEA if they went together or one at a time and honestly I don’t even know if they all came back because KETCHUP PACKETS, PEOPLE.
(BUT I LIED.)
(Hi, Mrs. H!)
So, not only am I decidedly NOT awesome at lunch duty, I am also not super awesome at. um. TELLING THE TRUTH.