What's happening with the Hill family!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Dignity is Worth Exactly One Flesh Toned Bandage

So I had a really graceful moment this week.  Probably my most graceful moment of the year.  If I had to rank this on my scale of personal professionalism it would have to rank higher (as in less professional) than the time I cleaned my sunglasses with toddler underwear in front of my boss.  Here is what happened.  I take Connor to school early one morning a week because he has Legos class.  On this particular morning I also had an early meeting way across town that I absolutely could not be late to.  Usually on these mommy drop off mornings, I wait on the porch with him, watch him walk in and then sometimes stay to stare at the empty space he used to occupy for another minute or two. Every week there are lots of kids hanging out on the porch parentless, waiting to get in, but clearly their parents don't love them as much as I love my kid :) However, on this particular day I told Connor that I was going to have to drop him off on the porch with all the other kids and take off because I had a ways to go and absolutely could not be late to this meeting!  I was feeling pretty guilty about this because I'd never done it before, even though the doors open at 7:30 and we walked up at 7:27, I still felt bad. And even though he would be in the building before I even made it back to my car I still felt that working mommy guilt.  But nonetheless I felt that pressure of new job, big meeting so I powered through, kissed him goodbye and started heading back to my car.  I was parked on the street directly across from the porch and made it literally one step off the sidewalk and fell.  Hard.  It was not an "oops, I just stumbled, how embarrassing" kind of fall.  It was pretty major and more than a little embarrassing.  I should probably mention at this point what I was wearing.  Since it was our first day of cool weather in ages I busted out my cute tall boots and a knee length skirt. I thought I should clarify what length the skirt was, just in case you were picturing another kind of "professional."  This ensemble made the fall all the more awkward.

As I fell, I landed with my entire, considerable body weight on my right knee.  It drove into the broken asphalt like a jackhammer and then hurt so bad, I couldn't recover and just fell completely over. I know, super elegant. All this happened while a school bus waiting to turn into the parking lot, idled next to me, full of children with their face pressed against the windows.  That's called a real world education kids.  So I hoisted myself up using the handle of my car door and threw my body in the car to survey the damage.  It wasn't pretty.  After brushing off the pieces of gravel size asphalt I realized that I had pretty much removed all the skin from my knee cap.  It was bleeding profusely and being the always prepared mother I am, I had no Kleenex, wipes or napkins with which to staunch the bleeding.  All I had was a spare shirt of Connor's, left in the car because everyday that the Rangers have been in the world series, we have had to travel with his championship shirt so as soon as his butt hit the seat in the afternoon he could whip off his uniform shirt and throw on his Rangers gear.  Blood was running down my leg and into my cute boots so I did what any desperate person would do, I licked the shirt to get it wet and started to clean the blood off my leg, all while driving, because remember I could not be late to this training session.  It was not my proudest moment.  I made it to the meeting and felt like I had a pretty good handle on my injury.  Don't get me wrong it hurt like the devil and every time I lifted my foot off the gas, my key chain banged against my knee and I had to hold back tears.  But I had to rise above the pain and try to save any shred of dignity I had left, because lest we forget, I am a professional.  I hobbled in and asked a couple of friends in the elevator if they thought it looked okay, and by the horrified looks on their faces I realized it might not just be an overdramatization on my part.  It looked nasty. But whatever, I sat down and made a personal vow not to get up because I didn't want to draw any more attention to my humiliation which, again, hurt like nobody's business.  In talking with another friend, she got a grossed out look on her face and said, "Um, I think you need a napkin or something, blood is running down your leg."  Oh, fabulous!

On the car ride over, I called Matt to explain to him that the dark cloud of bad luck that seems to follow me everywhere had struck again.  He actually had the nerve to accuse me of exaggerating my injury.  That offended me so I stopped to take a picture with my phone and sent it to him.  His response, "Oh my lord. That is so embarrassing."  Thank You Honey!   After a while, someone was nice enough to find me a giant elbow bandage, probably because people were getting sick of looking at my wound every time I hit the snack table.  The bandage was a lovely flesh tone.  I'm not sure whose flesh tone this particular bandage was  modeled after but it wasn't a close match to my already pasty white winter skin, but since bleeders can't be choosers I stuck it on and made it through the day.

So alone, this might not have been blog worthy.  After all, I do stupid stuff every day but there's more.  I also have the added pressure of running a 5K with Connor tomorrow.  It's his first 5K and being the compassionate child he is, checked out my injury and said, "Mom, I am really worried that this is going to slow us down."  Um yeah, me too, that's definitely my biggest worry. I think I might be slowed to a gentle walk.  So since it hurts every time I extend my leg like, for example, when I take a step, I'm sure tomorrow's big run is going to be a really fun and enjoyable experience. But since my child has been looking forward to this for months, I am going to slap a smile (possibly a grimace) on my face and watch as he leaves me in the dust.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kinder Creeper

So Connor has just completed his first six weeks of Kindergarten and he loves it.  I mean, he really loves it.  Which is a good thing. There are a couple of things that have come up though, that have me slightly concerned.  But only a couple, so I think that we're doing pretty well. 

My first concern is the weirdness level that Connor is exhibiting at school.  I know he has to be himself, but if I could control things (which I obviously cannot) I would like to keep the weirdness level down to about 30 percent.  From the stories he is telling me, I am afraid we are maxing out at about 75 percent.  That's a lot of weird.  For example, a couple of weeks ago there was a substitute in his class while his teacher went to a prearranged meeting.  That afternoon, I asked how it went.  Before I go into the detailed story, let me just give you the bottom line.....it went weird.  Connor first informed me that he was disappointed in his substitute because, although he was very nice, he didn't actually teach him anything.  Hmm. Connor has a very literal definition of what learning looks like and it doesn't usually fit the traditional kindergarten model, so this didn't surprise me. We've been addressing this issue all school year.   He said, "Mommy, he didn't even speak Spanish to me so since I wasn't learning anything new I decided to observe him."  Um, what?  He went on, "He was a tallish man with no hair on top,but sand colored hair on the sides and he smelled like a grandpa.  He had on black pants, brown shoes and a grey or green shirt.  I'm not sure which one because you know I'm color blind Mommy."  Wait, there's more.  "He also had on a black belt, black socks and a striped tie.  The tie was my favorite part and I spent a lot of time on that when I was drawing him."
Hold the phone!  I asked what he meant by, "drawing him" and he said, "Mom, I have to write down my observations so I drew and colored the substitute and it took me a long time because I had to keep stopping to watch him."   Okay, the needle on the weirdness meter just shot up to the red zone.  I am now picturing this poor substitute teacher who probably was someone's sweet old grandpa in a room full of kindergartners being obviously watched by a super creepy tall kid with overly intense eyes.  Short of a career as a police sketch artist, I don't think this type of behavior is going to serve him well in life.  And here is the best part, when I asked him what happened to this drawing he said, "I left it on Ms. Garcia's desk so she could see what he looked like when she comes back from her meeting."  Oh fantastic, instead of bringing the weirdness home where we could bury it in the giant manila envelope titled, "Connor-Kinder-1st six weeks"  we left it on display for not only his regular teacher, but also that poor sub to see.  I feel like we are already behind the eight ball a little as the five year old who keeps a daily calendar in which he records the lesson objectives and then checks them off after he has reviewed them at home, I'm just not sure what adding the title, "Substitute Profiler" is going to do to his street cred. 
So moving on from my concerns about public weirdness to my concerns about his citizenship (the behavior type, not the origin of birth type).  Connor ended the entire first six weeks on green.  If you are unfamiliar with his particular kindergarten color code of behavior, green is the best you can get.  I should feel elated that my child is behaving himself but instead I have overthought it to the extreme.  What an unusual feeling for me :)  What has me worried is that Connor has now proclaimed that he will spend the entire year on green.  He is really into the personal goal setting and this one is a big one. Come on, that just isn't realistic.  I know he is messing up at school, he just isn't getting caught  or his teacher is being too nice. I live with the kid, I know he isn't perfect!  But he has this enormous expectation for himself that I think is entirely unreasonable and that is my problem. I expect my children to be well behaved, sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't.  But I don't ever want my kids to think that their parents expect them to be perfect.  We don't have that expectation, but HE does. The longer the green streak goes on, the more disappointed I think he is going to feel when the time comes to change his color. And trust me people, that time is coming.  It's life!  I am starting to feel like we are walking around with this giant green cloud hanging over us and I just want to get the inevitable over with so we can talk about it and move on. Normally when I overthink and obsess about things, Matt is always the voice of reason, but I would like to announce that this time he is in agreement with me!  This is definitely "a moment" in our marriage.  We were filling out paperwork to schedule our first parent teacher conference in a couple of weeks and as we were checking the calendar for potential times, Matt looked at me and said, "Listen, when we go to this, I don't want to sit there and listen for 15 minutes about how perfect and wonderful he is, I want her to tell us some stuff that he needs to be working on at home."  Oh how I love that man.  But now I have to think of a way to word a potentially awkward email in which my message needs to be, "Dear Ms. Garcia, thanks for teaching our kid, please spare us the niceties and tell us all the things he has been doing wrong so we have something to address at home. Think really hard about it and don't hold back. Okay, we're ready. Go."
I'm betting if that teacher doesn't have a personal Hill Family Weirdness meter by now, she will by the time that conference is over!