Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scary Spice Latte at the K-3 Rave

Last week I had quite a dilemma. I was inundated with a large amount of free time (approx. 12 minutes) and didn't really know what to do with it. I had just finished volunteering in my first grader's classroom but I had to be back in 12 minutes to pick up my other daughter from 1/2 day Kindergarten. Normally I would just sit on the bench by the playground and day dream (focus on all that I hadn't accomplished that morning, day, week, year, lifetime, etc.) and wait for Gabby's Kindergarten to be released. Then she'd undoubtedly run out, throw her backpack at me and yell at me for not remembering to pack her library book or something similar, then run off and play on the playground a bit. I'd chat with the other Mommy's and that would be it.

But today was different. I not only had to be back to pick Gabby up, but I had reluctantly agreed to come back with Gabby and join Bella for lunch with 65 other first graders. This is a treat in and of itself. You get to experience what a K-3 grade rave might be like.

First you enter and it's awfully quiet. But then they line up and file in. Just like you might outside an abandoned warehouse for a rave. Then they stand in line and get their treats. Just like a rave--only there it's a glow-stick and an ecstasy stamp, here it's food and a carton of milk.

Next, everyone sits down, but it's pretty much like they are standing up and dancing. Since recesses are slim and p.e. is slimmer this is time to bounce to an unheard beat. Then the lights begin to flash and strobe. Just like a rave. This is for two reasons: 1. to signal a time count-down and 2. to signal that everyone is too loud. This is funny, though, because the kids are at constant attention and worry that the lights will get flashed, so they watch the door with wary eyes while they chomp and talk and giggle and dance. Just like a rave where the door is watched for the cops to raid it at any minute.

Then when the time is up, everyone makes a mad dash to dump their milk in a 5 gallon bucket and their lunch in the trash and then busts it to the door. Also like a rave when the cops do come and everyone runs to the bathroom to flush their stash before making a dead sprint for the doors.

*See footnote at bottom.

So you can see why I didn't want to treat that 12 minutes like any other odd amount of free time. And how sad is it that as a mom 12 minutes is considered so much free time that we don't know what to do with ourselves? So anyway, I made the decision to make a break for a local coffee shop that I'm trying to frequent more rather than the one I usually do and then end up feeling dirty for afterward. It was approximately 2 miles from the school. I did the math. Even if I hit every light, I could still make it there and back no problem.

So I did. But. Having not been there tons of times, I got nervous at the last second when it came time to order because I don't really know the menu, so I made the mistake of ordering a pumpkin latte. Now let me start by absolving the coffee shop of any blame. The drink was fine. I was feeling a bit light-headed from not eating breakfast that morning (had to rush to pack the lunch for Gabby and I at the last minute that morning) and being in Bella's first grade class kind of always makes me feel nauseous because there simply isn't enough space for my big-mommy frame so I'm constantly knocking kids over and bumping into tables, etc. It makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland when she eats the cake. And I tend to get all nervous-sweaty when I'm around the girls' teachers anyway, so you can see that this wasn't a good combination to start. I gulp down the spicy latte while I'm flying back to school and I make it in just enough time to finish it before Gabby comes out and of course throws her backpack at me and yells "I HAD NO KLEENEX IN MY BACKPACK FOR THE BUS, MAMA!". *

*See second footnote at bottom.

Well, by this time, the pumpkin is not settling well. I am feeling greasy, sweaty and spicy. And now? Now it's time to go the K-3 grade rave. It's just like I said it was. Loud, flashing, throbbing, bouncing, and sticky floors. By the time Bella led me over to "Look at all the rotten milk, Mama!" I was not doing well. Not doing well at all.

I won't go into details of what happened in the school bathroom adjoining the cafeteria, but suffice it to say, I will be ordering no more pumpkin spice latte's this fall. And in my suffering (and Gabby's--she had to come with me while Bella ran blissfully ignorant out to recess) was born this shirt.


*I should clarify that most of my rave knowledge is extremely dated and murky. I attended one rave in my life and it was enough to scare me straight.

*I should also clarify that Gabby doesn't always throw her backpack at me and yell something, but we've all been sick as of late, so tempers flare, and melt-downs occur at a more frequent rate than normal.

The author of this blog is in no way endorsing that K-3 graders should attend raves. They are dirty, smoky, scary places. Like a haunted house that you can never find the door out of.

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