Back to School Night

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September 28, 2007 by Marj Hatzell

It happened last night.

Back to school night, that is. Since I am me, I volunteered for everything under the sun and then some(once a month duties, each of them). I’m a math helper, a read-aloud helper, an art volunteer and (don’t yell at me) I’ve signed up for homeroom parent. Again. For the third time. Now, don’t be too hard on me! This duty is shared with two or three other parents. There are four events throughout the year and we are going to have a pow-wow and each of us will be in charge of a party, the rest will merely assist the day of. We’ve also decided that in order to avoid the fact that people can be hesitant when it comes to helping out in the classroom, that we will assign four people to each party. That way, you only have to help out once a year and there won’t be that ONE PERSON who sends in everything for every party. Much easier and more efficient, don’t you agree?

At least, I think that is the way it will go. Sometimes when you have a small group in charge of these things there is ONE PERSON who stands out above the rest and micromanages it to death. Because we all know that classroom parties need to be over-planned and micromanaged like celebrity weddings. Because, you know, the party is about an hour long, includes ONE treat, with a game and story and some juice or punch. So that requires AT LEAST A MONTH OF PLANNING and about one hundred E-mails from the micro-manager. Last year I actually had a mom accuse me of trying to take over the whole thing by myself. “Why didn’t you ask for help?” She asked. Um…so the repeated phone calls, e-mails, letters home and the sign-up sheet weren’t enough of a clue that I WANTED HELP FOR THE PARTY?????? And when no one signed up or volunteered to help I was supposed to just call her and say, “HEY! I am going out on a limb here, but did you want to help for the party, because I wasn’t sure even though you didn’t return my phone call, didn’t answer my e-mail and never put your name on the sign-up sheet to help, so I thought I’d call you again and beat a dead horse and beg you on my knees to send in a pack of napkins, even though I realize it may interfere with your nail-filing or you racquetball game…”


I even cooked food for the teachers. There was an AMAZING spread at that Teacher Appreciation Dinner. The Home and School Association at Bug Boy’s school is very active and they really step up and do TONS for the school, including planning the yearly Teacher’s Dinner that takes place between school and Back to School night. There were over thirty people eating some delicious and delectable fare. I managed to steal a piece of tiramisu cheesecake (did you KNOW there was such a thing? It was *drool*!). Then I helped clean up the food, label it, put it in the brand-new fridge in the brand-new teacher’s lounge (that the teachers and HSA are very proud of, because they pillaged IKEA and it looks very minimalist-modern-loft and has colors like CELERON and AQUAMARINE in there) and the husband had to text me from the lobby of the school because he was all anxious about being around actual human beings that talk (instead of computers and pharmaceutical documents) and didn’t think he could walk down the ramp to the cafeteria to meet me all by his lonesome. Because that would require actually, I don’t know, asking someone where the cafeteria or auditorium was and then he might have to look them in the eye or something. You know, because this is the man who would prefer to walk around the Home Improvement Store for an hour rather than ask where the lag nuts or 40-grit sand paper is, even though he has been there no less than one thousand times and can probably walk around with his eyes closed and tell us what stuff is by smell.

Believe it or not, the principal’s speech about how awesome the school is wasn’t that much of a pat-me-on-the-back-I’m-doing-such-a-good-job-speech and there was a multimedia presentation (of students and teachers acting goofy with swim gear and goggles on because the school is so blinking hot right now) and then a brief thing in the classrooms (where we were able to see Bug Boy’s desk and various projects which were able to spot a mile away because he only uses red crayon or red paper to complete his art. Oh, and apparently this week he’s decided to become a veterinarian. And he has no idea what a veterinarian does, by the way). Then Darling high-tailed it out of there faster than you can say super-cali-fragi-listick-expy-ali-docious and got himself Chik-fil-A (but not me) and went home to relieve my poor Mother-in-law who was quite literally pacing by the door, Bugaboo drove her absotively crazy last night. Because Bugaboo acted like Bugaboo. And he got into stuff and turned on the sink, refused to eat, stayed in his room, pushed her away and jumped on the bed and shrieked most of the time. And for some strange reason she thinks that he would behave like other children if we’d just discipline him better, or get him more therapy, or try more drugs, or…you know. At least that’s the feeling we get from her. She makes those comments. You know the type: I read it on Google! I saw it on Larry King! I read this book written by an autistic adult (who is self-diagnosed)! Jenny McCarthy said so! It was in Time Magazine! Why aren’t you trying this? Don’t you think you should try that? You know, because we sit at home and let Bugaboo just be all autistic on his bad self all the time, we ignore him, don’t discipline, NEVER take him to SIX TO EIGHT specialists a month, don’t spend every waking moment working with him or talking to him and we could care less if he ever talks…

(Sorry, tangent. Let’s just say that’s a teeny sore-spot. I know that MIL means well and she loves the kids but she has this way of getting under both of our skins and making us feel that she’s accusing us of not being better parents. I’m off the soapbox now).

Where was I?

I don’t know. Something about Back-to-school. Um. It was last night, it was short and sweet and not too boring. That’s about it.

Have a nice weekend, let’s hope that we actually get some SEPTEMBER WEATHER, hmmm?

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