I need to tell you I've got a cold. It is a simple change of seasons affair, I suppose, but I take no comfort in that fact, because to me, any cold, even the slightest irritation of the throat or plugging of the nasal passages and sinuses is a personal assault to be received with a complete lack of grace and dignity. having a cold makes me cranky: Why me, Lord? Why am I so accursed? Picture me, if you will, shaking my fist at the heavens with one hand, and clutching a used tissue in the other.
I mention this, not as a play for sympathy, but as a point of information. I started the blog post a day thingy yesterday, and today, my one day streak is threatened by a nasty virus. I was actually coming down with this most of the week, but there was no time to try to fight it, so today I am really feeling sick, and yes, more than a tad sorry for my own self. But, I am soldiering on. With just a few hours left on the clock, I've dragged myself from the sofa, still clutching a tissue, and stopped shaking my fist at the heavens long enough to write a quick post.
My plan was to give an account of the week, so I'm going to dive in, letting you know that I worked three days, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, at my post office job, which you can read more about here. Those were also school days, of course, and Tuesday was our "early day" when I drag the kids out of slumber an hour early and Fiona and I hustle Delia to school for her chorus class, walk home again and then head back to school an hour later for Fiona to get to kindergarten.
Speaking of kindergarten, my days off were spent helping with Fiona's class trip to a farm, and at the "Fall Party" which included pumpkin painting and a healthy snack. The journey to the farm, which is about forty freeway minutes across town from the elementary school, was loud, but blessedly uneventful. The farm visit included a chance to pick vegetables (we got some really nice cucumbers, zucchinis and radishes, which we have eaten several nights this week), a chance to feed and pet baby pigs, chicks, and lambs (though the goats, which are known to bite, are off-limits), a chance to find our way through a corn maze, (which finishes off in a "corn classroom" where we learned that corn is in everything and that each strand of corn silk corresponds to a kernel of corn on the ear) and, of course, a chance to bounce in a bouncy house-- so, all the regular farm activities you'd expect. After lunch, a mandatory stop at a "porta-potty," and some more good old-fashioned running around, the kids each picked a pumpkin from the "patch" and re-boarded the bus for the forty minute ride back to school. Some of it was fun, and the kids had a good, but smelly, time and all of them made it back, though several head counts were required. On the whole, it could have been much, much worse.
The pumpkins were put to good use Friday, at the class shin-dig, where the kids applied paint and stickers to customize their farm-picked friends, then set them in the sun to dry while they (the kids, not the pumpkins) sucked juice from boxes and ate clementines cleverly decked out as mini jack-o-lanterns by the extremely efficient room mother. I am a less efficient, some-time room helper, and this time I was tasked with "mummifying" the juice boxes with white duct tape and applying "googly eyes" to give them a holiday feel, even though this was a "fall party," totally unrelated to that pagan celebration, Halloween. Did I mention that there were 55 juice boxes to mummify and eyeball? Did I mention that it took me the better part of three hours to open the industrial sized box of juice boxes, take off the straws so the kids wouldn't feel like we'd purposely frustrated them (though, for a moment, my inner evil twin considered leaving them on, under the duct tape, just to see what would happen to 55 frustrated, thirsty kindergartners) then wrap each box for the desired mummy-like effect?
By the time I got to googly eyes, my fingers were sore and I had twenty minutes before I had to leave the house and transport said juice to the school. To my credit, I was able to stick eyeballs on roughly half the boxes... I made sure that Mrs. Efficiency's little girl and her whole table got juice with eyeballs, so that she could claim to have had the full party experience. The kids who got juice without eyes were told that they had "mystery juice," and it was their job to guess the flavor... that went over pretty well, I think. Everyone had fun, got plenty to drink, and went home with a paint-covered pumpkin and hands that smelled nicely of clementine juice. One little girl briefly got upset about paint dripping on her pumpkin and ruining the face, complete with eyelashes, that she had lovingly designed. The kindergarten teacher (of whom I am a loyal fan) walked over, asked missy what the problem was and then told her to reel it in and stop being such a drama queen. "We're moving on," she said, "wash up and join us." My thought is that it's not a really good party unless someone winds up crying and splashing water on their face-- at least that's what I learned in college.
Thursday was Halloween, which entailed a quick change worthy of a big Broadway show. It was a work day, so the girls were at the Boys and Girls Club until 5:45 and their brother was due to pick them up for trick or treating at six. Fiona ran around in her underwear for a couple of minutes before getting her ballerina gear on and Delia got half-way into her owl costume, then sat down and started making a rubber band bracelet which she adamantly swore must be completed immediately so that she could give it to her brother's girl friend. That night. Really. Tears ensued, threatening to ruin the owl mask I had cut out of construction paper and glued together. Luckily for Delia, her brother had more patience than I did, and he talked her down, and into the rest of her costume. For the record, he used all the soothing tricks I had used on him years before...
Of course, this would have been a spectacular post if I had taken pictures of any of these events (not work at the post office, maybe, but the stuff with the kids, for sure). I have a picture of Fiona on the farm in my phone, but no idea how to get it into the computer and onto the page. And I really wish I'd gotten a picture of those juice box mummies. The rest of the week whirled by too quickly for me to capture it on film, though I'm beginning to wonder if things really happen if they're not posted on Facebook... But that's a topic for another post.