Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Too cool for cupcakes

Yesterday our darling Abbygirl turned 11. Yeah, I took pictures. No, I don't feel like getting up right now and getting the camera and putting the pictures on the computer. Not tonight. Tomorrow looks good - pencil me in.

I gave up a long time ago on taking cupcakes to my childrens' classes for any kind of party. Heck, I'll hardly make cupcakes at home. Why am I such a mean mother? Because invariably those little snots will lick off the icing and throw the cupcake away. If you're a mom, you totally know I'm right. And because of school rules that protect our children from ptomaine, botulism and cooties, we can't home-bake treats anymore and have you bought cupcakes at Wal*Mart lately? Too dang expensive for two dozen cupcakes that everyone just slobbers on then throws away.

So I take Little Debbie cakes, Hostess snacks and those itty bitty cans of pop and I am the coolest mom on earth. Nothing makes elementary school kids happier than a Twinkie and a little can of Coke. Well, the only thing that would make them happier would be if Hannah Montana hand-delivered the Twinkie and the Coke, but they get me instead and heck, I'm almost as cool. Okay, I'm not, but I'll still have to do.

I went to work early and left early in order to have time to go home and change into some moderately cool clothes - yeah, like I have tons of those lying around - before entering my eldest child's classroom, the last classroom she'll have in elementary school, the classroom that is daily shaping her tween life into something that will hopefully succeed in the big bad middle school across the street.

If I hadn't sworn off kids altogether (except the ones I'm related to, of course), yesterday would've made me reconsider substitute teaching again. I fell in love with those 5th graders yesterday! Something has happened to them this year - I think it's called "maturity." In Kindergarten, when I went on field trips and to parties, all the kids wanted to hug on me and hold my hand and "Please, Mrs. Abby's Mom, sit by me! Sit by me!" and first grade they were still pretty cute and lovey, but by 2nd grade I had become the enemy. They were aloof and guarded and I was devastated because just a couple of years before I had been worthy of hand-holding.

But yesterday - and I may mist up while I write this, so bear with me - these kids acted like little miniature adults. Yeah, they were wound up, but duh, I had just brought them chocolate, sugar and caffeine and had totally gotten them out of a whole half hour of work, but no kidding, those kids were (I can't believe I'm writing this...) mature. Yes, I said mature. They spoke to me, made eye contact, thanked me and I was no longer the evil mother of a classmate. I think they thought of me as a person. It was weird. One boy, who reminded me SO much of the kid who was the class clown in my class, entertained me the entire time since his desk had been pulled off away from everyone else's. I totally knew why he was back there, but I appreciated his sense of humor. I wanted to tell him to shush a couple of times because I could see the teacher was getting frustrated with him, but at the same time I was secretly impressed with his humor skillz. I like me some funny, ya know.

One of the little girls that is coming to The! Slumber! Party! this weekend came up to me and told me excitedly that she gets to come because well, her mom knows me from Sam's class because her sister is in there and like, well, she just like, knows me and all and stuff. One boy that I've known since they were in Kindergarten (his mom did my awesomely awesome header design - Hi, Lil!) has always been quiet and shy around me, but yesterday he actually spoke to me and asked how I was. Did ya get that? He asked how I was! Like, "Hey, how are you?" And I was stunned for just a moment before I stammered out, "Well, I'm, uh, well, I'm fine!" and I wanted to like, start up a conversation and ask him how life was and how was school and did he have a girlfriend and did he have a college picked out and then I remembered that kids that age are hormonal and moody and at any moment I could again be deemed uncool and decided that less is more and for a split second almost did that tip your head back all aloof and nonchalant and say, " Yo. 'Sup." but then just decided to go with, "How are you?" I think I did okay. He didn't roll his eyes, put his fingers in an "L" up to his forehead or anything. I took that as a good sign.

Abby's *Chance* still won't talk to me much. I asked Ab awhile back why *Chance* won't talk to me. She shrugged. I said, "Well, tell me! Seriously. Am I doing something wrong?" She said, "Mom, you're... well, you're my mom. I think he's secretly scared of you." The boy is taller than I am, which is no big feat, I'll grant ya, but he's scared of me? Oh, the power of motherhood. I have the ability to frighten 11 year old boys by merely existing and having a daughter. Yay me.

Anyway, after they had inhaled their treats they had a science test to study for, so I asked if I could just hang out in the back of the room until time to pick up Kady over in the other building. I sat back there and just observed these kids who were once little and chubby and cute and lispy and maybe said their r's funny and cried when their mommas left them in the mornings and marveled at how, in just 6 years they have grown up into young men and women. Oh my gosh, I totally sound like a parent, don't I? I sat back there in a chair that wasn't so incredibly small like the ones in Kindergarten and took in the ambience of the room. They had decorated their "lockers" which are actually still just cubbies, but omg, don't call them cubbies, Mawm, gawww. (Abby's looks like a shrine to all that is High School Musical. If Zach Efron offered her koolade and a trip to Guyana she would SO be there, I just know it.) I looked around the room at the way they interacted with each other and their teacher, the way they really listened in class, they way they snuck glances at each other, the way the girls flipped their hair and how the boys cleared their throats before it was their turn to read a question and it totally hit me that my little girl is growing up and so are all her friends.

And probably, they really were mature enough to eat the entire cupcake, but like, who wants a cupcake in the 5th grade when there's that slim chance that Hannah Montana or the entire cast of High School Musical might walk in at that very moment and like, they'd all die if they were caught like, eating a cupcake.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd have gone with "Yo, sup" considering the same young man was pimping on the street corner Sunday afternoon. Cracks me up! My eldest actually felt bad for hurting a classmates feelings and wanted to call her and make sure she was ok, he's so going to be a good boyfriend in oh say 20 years when I let him date!

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