Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stress Led Me To A Narcoleptic Hooker

It's been a stressful week here at the Erwin household. I've been attempting to figure my taxes but I've now thrown in the towel and made an appointment with a professional. The combo of a home office, writing income, fire loss, selling of land that once had a house on it but said house was destroyed, the buying of a house the loss of personal property and propensity associated with the home office, the buying of a house and do I or do i not qualify for the so-called first time home-buyer rebate ...

Well you get the idea.

Also this week, my father-in-law fell from the back of his big diesel pickup and broke his leg in SEVERAL places.

But quite possible the biggest stress this week has been getting my boys to do their homework. It's been a constant every night battle this week. Why i can't say. Maybe it's the approach of spring break a week and a half a way that has led to the mutiny. Maybe the lazy genes they surely inherited from me have just awoken. maybe. They simply decided dear old dad had been too calm lately. Who knows why but let me tell you they have mightily tested my patience this week.

And as always when challenged as a parent o figure out why my boys have suddenly gone bat- shit crazy I try my best to recall what it felt like to be their age. They are 7 and 9. So with that in mind let me share with y'all a few school memories I have of both my 1st and third grade years.

In 1st grade I stepped on a large sewing needle. It bled and my mom pulled it out of my foot. Or so she thought. Actually she only pulled half of it out but no one knew half an inch of the steel shaft was still in my foot. I limped around for more than a month. My brother called me a pussy. Sorry for the abrupt and harsh language but he was 13 at the time and took every opportunity to curse he could find. Even my mom told me to quit milking such a minor injury. But after several weeks she relented and took me to the doctor. An xray confirmed I wasn't simply being a feline or a dairymen and I had my first ever surgery. It was kind of cool because I got the wear house shoes to school for a while.

Also in the first grade I could read far better than most of my classmates so I didn't get nearly enough time in the reading circle which led me to get bored and get in trouble. But not too much trouble because my teacher was absolutely beautiful in my mind and I didn't want to disappoint her. Her name was Mrs. Williams. I believe that to be my first ever crush.

I have more memories of third grade. I did not have a crush on that teacher. her name was Mrs. McCarthy and to this day I believe she may be the Anti-Christ. Okay that may be a tad unfair but then again Mrs. McCarthy was not a believer in fair. she hated the boys and favored the girls. You could chalk up that assessment to a jaded memory or resentment except I still got good grades in her class. At least I did in everything but handwriting. Also I distinctly remember a group of the boy's parents banding together and going to the Principal late in the year. Possible that was my first time to be aware prejudices existed in this world, much less to feel it's sting. And yes I know there are far more damaging version of bigotry than a pissed off and unfair 3rd grade teacher.

Third grade wasn't all bad. Me and my buddies had fun at school as well. One of our favorite games took place in the boys bathroom right next door to Mrs. McCarthy's (too bad she didn't look more like Jenny McCarthy. we boys might have forgotten how mean she was) classroom.

Anyway back to that bathroom. In it was a long trough style urinal. I'm gonna guess it must have been about 5 or 6 feet long and we boys loved to stand at one end and try to pee all the way over it. It took most of the year but eventually all of us mastered that feat and judging by the rusted toilet stall divider at the opposite end I can only assume many boys before us found success in that endeavor as well.

I also think it was third grade when my school, Oakdale Elementary decided it would be a good idea to write a little note, stuff it inside a helium balloon and send it off into the atmosphere. After that we did it ever year. Basically it was school sanctioned littering since half of the 200 or so balloon didn't even make it passed the trees on the far side of the school park. Sure one r two letters would come in from somebody that found our landlocked version of message in a bottle. I even remember one from as far away as Pennsylvania, but I'm still not certain what was educational about littering the landscape with nylon and twine.

Another asinine aspect of elementary school was the paper straws they gave us to slurp up our milk with. I repeat -- Paper straws. They were good for one suck. Now I feel obligated to make an off color analogy and compare paper straws to a hooker with narcolepsy. But I've ranted on the sucky nature of shoddy straws before so I won't do it again here. But click if you missed that post. It was a good one if I do say so myself.

And now y'all have suffered through this post, this staggering limp down memory lane, simply because my boys won't do their homework.

Now I'm curious, give me at least one grade school memory of your own.

30 comments:

Cloudia said...

Your mind is a carnival, Travis!



Aloha from tsunami land, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Sharon Mayhew said...

Well, Travis, there's always next week...I hope it will be a bit easier for you. :)

Teresa said...

Grade school memory: studying about Passover and eating dandelion leaves as an example of bitter herbs. We didn't have anything to wash the taste out of our mouths and had to go through the entire afternoon with yuck on the tongue. The final bell couldn't come fast enough.

Rick said...

Let's see... oh yes, being picked up by the police for playing hooky and being driven home in a squad car. Being caught stealing candy at the candy store, being turned over by to the police and being driven home in a squad car. Paying a classmate to impersonate me so I could hang out a hamburger stand, being caught by the truant officer and, yes, driven home in a squad car. You get the picture.

Thanks for encouraging me to bring up these happy memories, Travis!

Good post as always, friend.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

One of my first grade school memories is potty related too, Travis! When my mother registered me to start Grade One, she made a point of taking me to the girls' bathroom and showing me how to flush the toilet. We didn't have running water at home or indoor plumbing, so it was a new experience for me. She wanted to make sure I didn't disgrace myself by not realizing I had to flush. Thanks, Mom!

jjdebenedictis said...

This probably happened during second grade.

Some kids were playing a game where you had to pay a rock to go down the slide. The kid accepting the rocks was of course just dropping them over the side of slide.

I ended up wandering into the wrong zone. And you know what? Head wounds bleed amazingly. I didn't actually feel too bad, but the recess lady pretty much had kittens when a few of the big kids brought me over to her.

I remember being quite fascinated by the fact that I could hear the doctor sewing my scalp up, but I couldn't actually feel it. To my little-kid brain, the pain of that rock on the head was a small price to pay for the oh-cool factor of getting stitches.

the walking man said...

I burned all those brain cells out that remember anything before 30 years old long long ago.

Richmond Writer said...

I wore a beanie cap as part of my Brownie uniform. The boys loved to steal it and run. I chased one right in front of a moving swing with metal tips and got a concussion. I woke up and the principal asked me if I remembered anything. Nope. Mom took me to the doctor who proceeded to tell her that if we took the stitches out too soon my head would split open like a melon and my face would fall off.

Melanie Avila said...

I like this post. I'm sorry the boys are giving you so much trouble. The saying "boys will be boys" comes to mind...

I have an insane memory so I remember a LOT of things from elementary school. The thing that always pops into my head when people ask -- because it's so out of character for me -- was the time in 2nd or 3rd grade when I got sent to the principal's office for fighting with a boy. I believe I ripped the hood from his sweatshirt. Anyway, we were sitting in the hall on each side of the principal's door, waiting for him to call us is. (the ironic part is I was actually friends with this kid)

After a few minutes, the principal decided he was ready for us and said "come on in, boys." Apparently the safety hadn't told him who was involved and he'd only seen Jason in the hallway. I don't recall getting in trouble -- I suppose he found it too funny that my 4-foot self "beat up" a boy.

Janna Qualman said...

Well, Travis, one can't go wrong by reading this post. Great stuff. Your title.is.awesome. ;)

Writing Without Periods! said...

When I was in the early years of elementary school, girls still wore dresses to school -- with petticoats. Yes, I'm old. In second grade, I recall swinging on the playground during recess, wearing my dress. A boy named Ricky White (weird that I remember his name)scooted underneath my swing on his back when I was way up in the air and laid (lay?) there gazing up. I was mortified and told the teacher when the bell rang.

Jenny

Charles Gramlich said...

There was this kid in my grade school who I hated, hated, hated to sit near at lunch. He was a very messy eater and would always get his napkins totally gross with food and spit and then throw them at people. I'm making a gross face even trying to recall this.

Annie said...

Memory: Fifth grade teacher, straight out of college, hated my guts. I read a book a believe was called (but cannot locate it anyone on the web) The Mystery of (or at) Castle Croom. Whatever her name was dinged me for misspelling "Croon"...It was Croom you moron. Sad that I should remember this huh?

Melissa Marsh said...

So, so, many memories. I remember sitting outside in the freezing cold in the morning, waiting for the bell to finally ring so we could go inside. I couldn't buy warm enough gloves and to this day, I STILL do not understand why they didn't let us in the school building. The temp was in the single digits, for heaven's sake!

BTW, have you seen the new fan page on FB for the parachute in elementary gym class? Remember that? I wonder if every elementary school in America had one of those...

Avery DeBow said...

In third grade while playing in the woods behind my house I fell face first into poison ivy. The entire left side of my face swelled like the elephant man, and my eye was glued shut by ooze. After a cortisone shot and couple of days' rest I went back to school, far less itchy, but still looking horrific. At recess a group of cool kids started a "game" where I was the "monster" and had to chase them. Being naive, stupid and hopeful, I thought they were being nice, and played along. Soon enough, the game turned ugly and the taunting started. I just stood there, not understanding the changed dynamic with my new "friends." Finally, Mr. Fisher--the fourth grade teacher with the bristly mustache and no-nonsense stare--intervened. I felt fairly stupid for a few weeks (and horrifically ugly a few weeks more than that), and never trusted the cool kids again.

G said...

I didn't know it was school picture day (this must have been in the second or third grade), so I wore this ugly sweater with my t-shirt on backwards.

Got the pic to prove it as well.

sybil law said...

1st grade - Ms. Saxton. She was awesome.
I puked in the hallway at school. It came from nowhere. Went to the nurse, and they couldn't get ahold of my mom. I had to stay in the nurses office with a scratchy wool blanket, and when my mom came to get me an hour later, I cried and cried. It freaked me out because I had never even imagined before that day that my mom had some kind of life outside me!

Rebecca said...

Memories from elemtary school...My 1st grade teacher was mean and grouchy and scary, and only about a foot taller than us. I remember her telling me that I didn't color right. I also remember her leaving the room once, and all of us kids organized an impromptu "animal" parade. I think I was an elephant...She, of course, walked in right in the middle of it...

lyzzydee said...

This is strange as I was chatting to my hubby in bed about this last night. I can still remember all the decorations in my reception class. I was taught in a convent school and my teacher was a nun called Sister Benosa, I can still remember her clearly and every morning we would do the register and then she would start on the alphabet followed by the times tables, the thing was I had no idea what was happening it wasn't ubtil many years later that I realised that the times tables actually meant something!!

Texanne said...

Every week we were supposed to copy our spelling words ten times every day. I never did. I never missed a single word on the test. The punishment for not doing homework was one demerit. Five demerits got you a trip to the principal's office for five licks. I got five licks every Friday. That was the deal, and I took it. PS, I'm a girl.

Bernita said...

I remember having my nose so deep in a book I missed recess. I loved recess.

Junosmom said...

Cool topic. Weird because I was thinking about writing some old school memories because people have to be getting bored with my chicken stories! And because some of my old classmates are gathering over on Facebook. Brings back memories.

I remember sitting down to my lunch and taking a swig of my milk out of those little cartons that to today's kids would seem a ridiculously small amount of drink. It was sour! Awful! I took it up to the lunch line ladies and told them my milk was bad. "Let me see," one of them asked. She took the carton, took a sip out of it, and declared it was just fine. Not knowing what to do, I went and sat down, having no milk. She had ensured that I wouldn't drink it since she had put her nasty old mouth on my milk carton! And it was too sour! Sure made me mad. And yes, we had paper straws, too.

Lana Gramlich said...

Hope your father-in-law feels better soon. That sucks! The needle in your foot also sucks, of course. Damn, man!
As for a grade school memory, I got yanked out of class one day to go around to other local schools, touting the benefits of taking their typing classes (I'd taught myself how at age 5.) Free pizza for lunch. Not a bad day.

Colleen said...

A grade school memory... going to the Lion's Club everyday after school in the winter with kids from my class and other friends to skate. In grade five the big things was to have a boy ask you to skate. His best friend would tell your best friend and if you were agreeable to said request, you were to break off from your girlfriends so the boy could ask without the female horde around him. It was silly, of course, but innocent and exhilarating at the same time. Ahhhh, grade school.

mylifeontwolegs.blogspot.com

pattinase (abbott) said...

When I was in second grade, a boy named Louis Moonblatt got the idea in his head that I had told the teacher about some misdeed of his. So everyday, he made sure to let the swinging wooden doors in the hallway hit me. He'd hide behind them until I walked through and then push them. This so terrorized me I couldn't sleep at night. I still have insomnia today.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

In the old days nuns did not travel alone. So when I was in first grade I was picked to go on the bus with one of the nuns who had to go somewhere. While we were on the bus I told her that my mother was twenty nine but on her next birthday was going to go backwards and be twenty eight. Sister said, "You tell your mother that I am twice twenty nine and she should move forward with dignity."

Of course my mother was horrified that I took her joke so literally and was a lot more careful from then on.

Terrie

Your Other wife said...

I know how you feel with the homework thing I use to think I would kill my kids during that time. Be patience a time will come when they aren't there anymore, and they are getting tattoos one after the other. hahaha! I read your post on 1st and 3rd grade i liked them. It is fun to be able to read your stuff and laugh when I am here at work with nothing to do. Thanks!!!

Rick said...

I dropped by to read this again and I just want you to know that you've caused me to dredge up at least ten new stories just by re-visiting my own past. And I think I had your third grade teacher, too.

Rick said...

Oh yeah, and so sorry about your father-in-law's leg!

Shauna said...

Hi! It's been a while and it seems you've had quite a time of it. I know nothing about taxes, but here's what I did the other day with my kids. I needed to get them to practice their piano and I didn't want to fight with them, so I plopped one of those GINORMOUS bags of Mini Eggs down on the top of the piano. I told them every time they accomplished a goal, they would get a mini egg.

Candy. It may not be the best trick in the bag, but it works! :)