Yesterday I was having a ho hum day. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but not all together good either. Normal crazy morning trying to get three tired and cranky kiddos up, dressed (in different clothes than what they wore they day before,) fed (something other than bacon and cookies) and out the door (with backpacks and SHOES) in place. Luckily, I got an easy button for the day as it was crazy hair day for my class so doing my hair wasn’t really a big deal. A set of easy braided pig tails, floral leggings and a tunic and I was dressed comfy and casual.
We got out of the house, not early, but not late. We made it in just enough time to get Kyra to school allowing for a locker stop. Lucky for me, I work just a half mile down the road from her school, so the drive to work is easy peasy. I pulled up in the parking lot… early… before the sun was even rising and dragged two very reluctant and tired little boys out of the car and gave them each an armful of materials to to tote in with them. Whining and complaining the whole time, they finally made it into my classroom with me.
This is when my day began. As a quick preface, I need to tell you what started my week…. it adds to the excitement of the second day. You can skip day one if you want to just jump forward to Darci and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day…. Arriving in a theater near you in November 2025.
The day before I had gone through the first part of my JPAS evaluation. That is the district evaluation of teachers to make sure that we are doing our job and actually facilitating learning. It is kind of a big deal and it involves a lot of integrating of highly effective teaching strategies… blah blah blah. Regardless, it is stressful to have someone sitting next to you watching your every move in your classroom and how on task your class is while you sit, pretending to be calm, sweating and heart racing as you teach a small group how to figure out big words and practice visual imaging. All the while, you have “those” kids that are running around the room as though they had never once heard a classroom rule before. Better yet, they had never heard of ANY sort of rule before. The evaluator left, yet my anxiety didn’t. Thank heavens I had some friends that provided comic relief for me throughout the day and a good friend that took me to lunch. What would I do without you.
Later that evening, I had planned a special evening for my daughter. She has turned 12 years old, has entered Young Women’s and junior high. I had the BRILLIANT idea that it was now time to introduce her to the wonderful world of the Birds and the Bees. I have been dreading this task for the last month or so, but being stalwart in determination to talk to her about it before any of her friends had a chance, I chose Monday night to present it to her. I had been to the book store and bought the book that everyone recommended and endorsed as the best coming of age book for children. Honestly, I was red in the cheeks just flipping through the book. Pictures were one thing, but the verbiage… oh man. Well, as the cover proudly proclaims, over 2 million book buyers can’t be wrong… right.
We went to a cozy little gluten free restaurant and got a table in the corner. Now, imagine the next part in a very soothing, loving, mom voice. I started telling her how proud of her I was and how wonderful of a child she was. I told her that as she got older, she would become aware of certain things and that I wanted to be the first one to tell her these things. She looked up at me with giant dark brown doe eyes and smiled a very innocent smile. “Ok, mom!” So, I reached into my purse and opened up the book and saw all of the color instantly drain from her face. I started reading the first page to her (in my still very soothing and loving mom voice) and turned to see her big brown doe eyes, even bigger… and completely glassed over. “MOM! Can we do this later????” Mom Fail!
I put the book back in my purse and we carried on as though nothing had happened. It was one of those weird quiet moments that is usually saved for awkward first dates or when you are visiting someone else’s grandparents.
We returned home, just moments before the boys were returned from their dad’s house. Chaos ensued as it always does as pajama, tooth brushing (or as we call it Scum Busting,) prayers ad 100 bed time tucks ensued. After all that, Kyra gently came up to me and said, I think we can talk about it now.
We curled up on the couch and I read the book to her. Page by page we (I) talked and stopped to check her understanding and see if she had any questions. She didn’t have a single one. As we rounded the end of the book, I told her how special it was and about marriage… and all the things that we are supposed to tell our kids. I looked at her with my adoring mom eyes and soft, soothing and loving voice said, “Do you have any questions?” “Yes,” she replied. I was kind of thrilled to have a little dialogue… “Can I go to bed now?” And BAM… the moment was over. She sauntered off to bed as though we had just been discussing ice cream or Netflix. I don’t know how much she absorbed, but I will forever be slightly traumatized.
Just as a weird side note, I googled the book to see why people loved this book so much and stumbled up on the video version that they made of it. It is a cartoon animation of the book. Probably one of the most hilarious things that I have ever seen in my entire life. I couldn’t help but email it to some friends to give them something to smile about. I watched it after my kiddos went to bed and I would be surprised if I hadn’t woken up my neighbors because I was laughing so hard. Made the evening much more entertaining. I recommend watching it without little ones around until you have had a chance to screen it. My favorite part is the rubber duck.
Ok… back to yesterday. Yesterday in the classroom was pretty typical. I have a rather challenging class this year and you could definitely tell that it is full moon season in explosive motion. Wow. They were on one. I was feeling a little down with the fact that I really have so little time to do the things that I want to don… including this blog. I put a feeler out onto Facebook asking for ideas as to how to kick start my blog. I got a myriad of answers and suggestions. I got a text from a friend who gave me an idea that I hope will spring board my creative juices. Another said to write what I know. Yeah, I’ve done that, but for some reason I have been hitting major writer’s block. That hint of the blues mixed with anxiety over the enormous helping of drama placed on my plate for this week, I started getting a migraine and a bit of anxiety. So, what’s new… right.
So, the day progressed, I survived. I sent the students home at the bell, got the daily report on my own children. Kaeson had a good day. Kelton had fallen asleep in class (poor kid having to get up at 6:00 a.m. every day to accommodate his mother’s wacky schedule.) Kyra says she is caught up in math.. we will see when I check Skyward later today.
We hurried home as I had to finish preparing for part 2 of my JPAS evaluation. I pulled up into the driveway and tried to open the garage door. Nope. It didn’t work. We tried several times. Weird. I walked to go to the front door and there was a notice that the power had been disconnected! WTH!!!! I had just paid the bill on Friday. I had the confirmation code on my phone. So, I call the power company and try to talk as calmly as I can to the 18 year old that they have manning the call center who I swear was playing Minecraft as we were talking. After 45 minutes, we got it figured out (for now, let’s just chalk it up to a clerical error on their part… SO much more to that story,) and I was told that it would be turned back on, but possibly not until the next morning. I started to lose it. I told them that I had kids. They told me they sympathized and would do all they could do! AAAAACK!
Sooo…. I called the kids dad and asked if he would take them overnight if it came to it. He VERY reluctantly agreed to help. Bothersome considering he lives less than a mile away. Lucky for me, as we were getting all put together for the kids to go with their weekly dad visit… and possible overnighter, the power company showed up and restored power.
Kids left to go with dad and I left to go meet an old friend for ice cream. We were sitting outside of Cold Stone and enjoying the autumn evening. The breeze would tickle my arm every so often and I would rub my arms to get rid of the goose bumps. After the third or fourth shiver I went to brush my arm and it hit something… A BIG HAIRY SPIDER. I freaked and hit it sending it flying into the air. I looked to smash it, yes SMASH it… I am not going to apologize for my desire to do that, and it was no where to be found. Shiver city.
After I parted ways after ice cream, I headed across the parking lot to the dollar store to pick up a few things for my class for our prize box. My car was feeling weird as I was driving it through the parking lot. I parked and got out of my car to see what was going on. A flat tire. Yes. A VERY flat tired. ARE YOU SERIOUS!
I posted a picture up on facebook with those exact words and rolled up my sleeves and went to work. Now, being… well… me, It took me nearly an hour to fix this stupid tire, but I did it. I want to get props though because my spare is tethered UNDERNEATH my car with a thick metal cord, so in order to get it you actually have to get partially under the car. I ran into the store to get a salesperson to take my picture. I was feeling pretty stellar.
I got back into my car and saw my phone and facebook had lit up with messages from all sorts of people, some I had only met once, offering to help. I even had someone offer for me to use their car so that I wouldn’t be in a hurry to get my tire replaced that night. I have to admit, I was so very touched by the whole scenario. It made my day.
I got home at the same time my kids were pulling into the driveway with their dad. It was a lot later than I had anticipated, but I still had time to go in and finish preparing my JPAS lesson. We get inside and I get the kids into bed. Nice, calm evening… then… the smoke alarms started going off. Beep… Beep… Beep… Carbon Monoxide Detected….. Long pause…. Beep…. Beep…. Beep… Carbon Monoxide Detected.
I was fairly certain that this was just an aftershock to the power outage from earlier in the day, but you just don’t dink around with carbon monoxide. I did everything I could I replaced batteries. I reset the system. I unplugged and replugged in my wall mounted detectors… nothing. Finally, I called the fire department and asked them to come over. Yes, I let them tromp through my home looking for signs of anything malicious. Laundry still on the couch… that I didn’t realize was still there until after they left. Now somewhere in the city there are 6 firemen that may or may not know what bra size I wear. Legos were skewed all about in the toy room. 18 outfits that were rejected from that morning’s trial wardrobe run were still laying on my bed. And the garage… oh dear heavens…. the garage. Well, after a long run with detectors and home inspection, these valiant civil servants left around 12:30.
Oh well, I would finish preparing for JPAS in the morning. I was getting tired and needed to go to bed.
I changed out of my clothes, turned off the lights, except for my lamp and climbed into bed. I reached my hand into my purse to pull out my phone to charge and then it happened…. The BIG HAIRY SPIDER from earlier in our story, jumped from my purse and with a great amount of haste scurried it’s way up my arm. I screamed the scream of the wicked and about hit the ceiling as I went into ninja mode on this spider that was obviously sent on a Kamikaze mission. After about 10 minutes of my going total Charlie’s Angels on this spider, I can attest that he is dead… as a doornail… as he well deserved.
Being fairly certain that no other critters were about, I crawled into bed and tried to fall asleep as soon as I could. I was abruptly awoken at 3:00 a.m. by a phone call. My brother. I don’t care who you are, when a family member calls at 3:00 a.m., you answer the call. My cute baby brother has a very pregnant wife and he was calling to ask information on water breaking. His story included all of the details that you don’t want to hear at 3:00 a.m., but I was secretly SO excited that he called me first. YAY! #1 on the family totem pole today. Great feeling. I gave him my two cents, that even if it was just a little broken, you take her to the hospital… no it doesn’t matter if you are on your way to work… yes go back and get her… yes, call me when you get there… I got a call back at nearly 4:00 that they were in the hospital and would call me soon. It took me a little bit of time to fall asleep, but I am figuring that it was around 4:30 that my eyes finally closed for good.
Fast Forward once again to today.
My alarm went off way too early at 6:00 a.m. A full half hour after I normally get up. I rationalized with myself that if I slept for another 20 minutes, I could still make it to work on time if I skipped doing my hair and wore one of the 18 outfit contenders from the previous day that had migrated from the bed to the arm chair sometime during the night. Then, at 6:15, my eyes popped open like toast out of a toaster! I was in charge of the Birthday treats at school today for one of my team members. My wickedly awesome homemade cookies had been the requested treat. All of a sudden I found myself racing about the house, mixing shortening, eggs, butter, sugar and flour at the same time as throwing Kaeson in the shower (unfortunate accident during the night) and peeling Kelton away from the TV (he knows better anyway) and helping Kyra find her backpack (seriously girl… we have hooks for that!)
The last of the cookies came out of the oven, I threw three interestingly dressed children in the car and started down the street feeling pretty awesome that we made it out in time to get Kyra to school on time, with several dozen warm chocolate chip cookies in tow as well. We get to the main road and I hit panic mode. I forgot the visuals for my JPAS lesson. I screeched on the brakes and flipped a mean mini-van U turn and got back to the house barely slowing down as I sent Kyra running into the house to retrieve my egg cartons, marbles, skittles and tootsie rolls. Now do you envy my minimally paying job?
We hauled insane speed limit bootie on the way to Kyra’s school, kicked her out of the car screaming “I LOVE YOU” as I pulled away and headed down the street to my school. 7:40. Well, at least I had 30 mintues to pull together my JPAS lesson before my students started infiltrating my day. I claimed a parking space a little further away than I normally do as there were many more cars there than usual. I entered the school, opened my classroom and saw written on my board notes from the day before. Faculty Meeting Wednesday, 7:45… Well shoot. There went my prep time.
I sluggishly walked up the stairs to the library to listen to our monthly chats about Covey’s seven habits, a unique visit from Horace Mann Insurance and our administrators pep talk. I was dumfounded. How could this have all happened in less than 24 hours time. Receiving some invaluable advice from a team member, I sheepishly approached my administrator and asked for a reschedule on my evaluation. She was very kind and understanding and moved it to tomorrow.
So, the moral to this dreadfully long and boring story… I have learned a very valuable lesson from this experience, one that I hope lasts with me through the eternities… Never ever ask for the Lord to help you develop patience, humility or blog posts… for He shall surely deliver them unto you.
Oh, and that I make Wicked Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies.