Can I be frank?
(Except I’m not sure the name FRANK really fits me, because… well… it makes me think of old men in older hats, who can fix the transmission in a 1944 Buick without batting an eye, while they sip a cup of ultra-black coffee, complete with some grounds in the bottom of the mug.)
It’s been a day.
THAT’S what I wanted to be frank about.
It. Has been. A day.
It all started with a busy and chaotic morning, trying to get everyone where they needed to be at earlier-than-normal hours, because this is April. And for some reason, teachers think early-morning band practices are a good idea in April. This is just the warmup, though, for May, which promises to be worse.
May is the silent December, with everything that gets crammed onto the calendar. Don’t try to convince me otherwise. I’m totally ON to May and what it holds.
I managed to get in the shower at 7:50 this morning. You can go ahead and offer all your applause right now, because I managed to get Thing 2 to preschool at precisely 8:28 today. We had two entire minutes to spare, before his 8:30 start time. I had freshly-washed, freshly blow-dried hair, mascara, lip gloss, AND coffee. I don’t know how I pulled it off, but I’m calling it an April Morning Miracle.
And then I rushed back home to spend an hour trying to teach myself the game of Spike Ball, because I’ve gotten a wild hair that my 4th graders should play this game in PE. I’ve never played it before, which means I’ve definitely never taught it before. I pulled up several You Tube videos on Spike Ball, because you can teach yourself anything through the technological advancement of You Tube. Spike Ball is exactly like volleyball, and yet it’s nothing like volleyball. You play in teams of two, around a hula hoop, where you take turns spiking a ball into the hoop and trying not to let it touch the floor outside of the hoop. That all sounds good… in theory… until you actually attempt to play it for the first time in front of your 4th graders, and then have to say words like, “Pretend I didn’t do that,” and “I hope y’all are better at this game than I am.”
The real truth is that 4th graders are indeed NOT better at it than I am, because Spike Ball is HARD. It’s hard like Calculus and taxes and real French cooking. It’s hard, and it requires more coffee than I drank this morning, for the steady hand needed to pass a ball that bounces at one-point-nine trillion miles per hour right at your face.
My 4th graders were enamored with the game, and were completely on board with learning how to play it. They were enthusiastic, and so gung-ho, it was like I had handed them Christmas morning today in the gym. So, we gave it our best shot, which included me saying, “Now remember, you can’t catch, throw or carry the ball! Just like in volleyball! You have to smack it!” And then I chased that ten minutes later with, “Let’s all just catch and throw the ball, because SWEET UGLY MERCIES, this is HARD!”
Which is also why I had an aerobic workout in 4th grade PE and basically needed a tank of oxygen spouting off its goodness beneath my nose, while I laid in the bleachers and tried not to die.
In the end, my batch of ridiculously athletic 4th graders and I pulled off a successful Spike Ball volley. We are almost ready now to make our own You Tube video, for someone else to learn how to play! We’re thinking about getting a sponsorship and getting a traveling Spike Ball team together; we’re just that good now, after one PE class.
I also suffered through the day with something similar to a THUMBPRINT on my right contact lens, which hindered things like… oh, I don’t know… MY SIGHT.
And then I came home this afternoon, to quickly give Thing 2 a snack and get him to hockey, except…
… while I was getting things going, in the sense that I was trying to work up enough energy to make him a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich after a day of teaching Spike Ball, Thing 2 managed to get a pair of scissors out of the kitchen drawer, and then he proceeded to CUT the net off his hockey goal here at home.
He cut it off, exactly like a college senior might do to a basketball net, after shooting the winning basket and winning the NCAA National Championship.
Let’s just say that the preschooler didn’t get to play hockey at the ice rink this evening, because of something I like to pronounce as, GROUNDED.
After I dealt with THAT… and the mess…
… Thing 2 snagged a brand new tube of toothpaste out of the boy’s bathroom cabinet…
… and then he squirted it all (ALL. OF. IT.) into his train cars, because apparently the load for the day was unpackaged Crest Whitening, which was being hauled straight down the Burlington Northern tracks.
Do you know how far a new tube of toothpaste will go on a child’s train table? There’s enough toothpaste in one of those tubes to circle the globe seventeen times.
And THAT, people, is why I still haven’t gotten to downloading my Easter pictures, and why my Easter pictures will be lucky to make it onto the blog before Father’s Day.
God bless all the parents out there, who are parenting through scissors and toothpaste. Your victory is going to be as sweet as winning the Hunger Games is.
Y’all have a good Wednesday evening. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning. I’m standing on that Biblical promise tonight. I suspect my joy will be restored tomorrow morning, when the chopped-up hockey net and vision of four electric train cars filled with toothpaste is completely behind me.