|QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat|
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Today was the first day of school for the urchins!!!
whew. excuse me. ahem. Just had to get that outta my system.
where was I?
Oh... today the boys went back to school!!!!!
Even better, though, than having the whole house to myself today, in blessed, uninterrupted peace, enjoying the complete and total quiet around here... even better was the report I received when I picked up the urchins from school.
Yes sirree, bob. The reason I work from home is so that I can pick up the boys from school each day to hear how their days went. It's the highlight of my day. Okay. That's a lie, I admit it. The highlight is dropping them off at school. After that might come a glass of wine around 5 0'clock.... but picking up the boys is in the top 10, I'm sure...
And why? Because boys are just so darn loquacious. Today, the very first day of school, a day during which, no less, the 13-year-old started his first day at the top of the middle school totem pole as a big 8th grader... and the 11-year-old started his first day in middle school. Big day. Enormous. Momentous. Today was just like the other days I pick up the loquacious urchins from school:
me: "HEY, guys!!!! How was your FIRST DAY!!!?????" I ask enthusiastically.
me: "good? GOOD!!!!"
me: "what else? Tell me all about it! I wanna know everything!!!"
11-year-old: "It was good."
me: "Oh c'mon! Gimme more than that. You spent 7 [beautifully serene] hours away from your mom! What did you do?"
13-year-old: "Not much."
me: "Okay, guys. Tell you what. I'll make a deal with you. You tell me everything there is to know about your first day of school today and we'll go to Dairy Queen and get blizzards... medium-sized blizzards."
13-year-old: "You mean after the orthodontist appointment that I have right now?"
me: "oops! That's right! You do have an orthodontist appointment right now. Yup.. so after the orthodontist...."
(Minutes later at the orthodontist's office. 13-year-old has been seen and returned to the waiting room. 11-year-old has usurped my blackberry to play Brickbreaker while he was waiting. The waiting room is full to the brim with snot-nosed, adolescent, metal mouths and their moms.)
receptionist: "Ma'am? Did you want to make your son's next appointment?"
me: "oh yeah. heh heh." (I walk up to the desk, soon realizing I don't have my blackberry to see my calendar or make the appointment).
me: "uh, hey, buddy... I need my blackberry to make the appointment."
The people in the waiting room apparently think this is humorous.
11-year-old: "aw, Mom.... can you wait until I die?" as he expertly maneuvers the click wheel to play brickbreaker.
Prodigious smiles are now on the faces of the people of the waiting room. Tension mounts. All heads turn toward me.
me: "heh heh. Very funny, buddy. No. I need it now."
The entire waiting room now looks as if a tennis match is ensuing in the middle of the orthodontist's reception area. They are looking back and forth at me and my son to see how I will handle this. They are judging me, I know it. Tension mounts further. There are smiles (or snickers?) on many faces.
11-year-old: "come on, Mom; I'm doing really well."
All faces turn to me.
me: "heh heh. I'm proud of your brickbreaker skills and your use of an adverb to describe how your doing, love, but really.... I need it now."
All faces turn to him.
11-year-old: "You really can't wait until I die?"
All faces turn to me.
me: I clear my throat and say: "ahem." I give him the evil eye, the one that says: "I will kill you. You will not see your next birthday." You know the one; I know you do.
He stands up and hands me the blackberry. There is a palpable sigh of relief.
End of orthodontist tangent and back to "what did you do today?" main thread:
2 medium Dairy Queen blizzards bought me all kinds of information.
me: "So, buddy," I ask the 13-year-old 8th grader, "was it pretty cool being the big man on campus this year?"
13-year-old smiles slightly: "yeah it's pretty fun."
I extracted quite a bit of information about his teachers and classes this year. The trick is:
1) Bribe with Dairy Queen blizzards
2) Ask detailed questions
Here, as a point of illustration, are your basic dos and don'ts of picking up urchins from school if you really want to extract information:
Don't do this. It just doesn't work. (unless you have a girl. Girls tell all).
Instead, do this:
You could also ask: "you didn't trade your organic lunch with anyone for a product that contains hydrogenated oils, did you?"
Among my favorite pearls of information from my interrogation of the 11-year-old, though, was in response to my question about what the rules were for middle school this year.
"Oh," he said. "yeah. We're not allowed to put each other in the lockers, even though we would fit."