Friday, May 25, 2007

I haven't felt like this since the first twelve months of my son's life. Since I saw images of the flooding and disaster that was 8-29 and after. Since I was yelling at the A.C. of E. hosts of a Congressional tour of the Ninth Ward that was being shown on C-Span. Since the teachers of my son's first preschool class told me the little guy was controlling and manipulative and not very curious. Since I was working in glass for a boss who regularly overworked and underpaid me, and eventually decided for a few months not to pay my salary on time but to pay newer coworkers' salaries in a timely fashion because "I would understand".

First, make a roux. Throw in the requisite veggies, herbs, spices, and andouille sausage, and then uncork a bottle of all the abovementioned feelings mixed together, stir it in, and you've got yourself a pot of whup-hide gumbo. Serve it to whoever needs an ass-kicking.

First off, I'm glad the little guy's school year is coming to an end, because his regular teacher broke her heel and has been out of commission for the past two weeks. As a result, the kid has been acting up in class, since he can sense right off the pushover that the remaining teaching assistant is.

Throw in the fact that the last so-called field trip of the school year was at City Park's Storyland playground on a day that turned rainy, and there was no contingency for bad weather. All the young-uns ran around in a teensy pavilion nearby for over an hour while the buses were seriously detained. The boys in the little guy's class were all getting slap-happy with each other, but my son was the only one who was dragged out to me for his part in the behavior in general. I then took a good look around and realized that nearly all the parent chaperones for the Storyland jaunt were parents of the girls in all the preschool classes; the boys' parents were largely conspicuously absent. And here I'm having to punish my son for his behavior while all sorts of four-year-olds (mostly girls) are walking up to me and telling me how he hit them, too.

Pardon me while I dish out some of that whup-hide gumbo to the teachers who organized such a sorry trip. Here's a ladleful for those teachers who singled out the little guy for something everyone else was doing. And, for those preschool girls who haven't taken the adage to heart about "If you can't say something nice...", some little cups of gumbo for you. Inhale it all, little dears, and go running home, now. Don't forget to drive your parents insane.

Oh, but it gets worse...

I was driving my dad off the Isle of Denial and showing him the real deal of the ruined neighborhoods. Just when I'm heading down I-10 to take him to the airport, I get a call from the assistant to the little guy's class. She asks me to come in and observe my son's behavior in class. I was already feeling terrible from having gone through Lakeview, Gentilly, some of New Orleans East, and the Ninth Ward, and this just put me over the edge. I was already deemed borderline certifiable by my dad for coming back here after four years in NYC and six months after 8-29 (although, when he mentioned this to the folks at LSU Medical who were offering him a job, they thought it was great and (most likely) wanted to subject me to a battery of tests in order to engineer some sort of spray of persuasion that would help the Pharmacology department recruit new people, no doubt), and now here's the teaching assistant reporting more of this antisocial behavior from my son. So I suck as a person and a mom. Beautiful.

I dropped Dad off and went to my son's school in a whup-hide gumbo mood. I went into the bathroom first and encountered two little girls who had been on the Storyland hell-trip. One of them said, "I know you! Are you the mom of a boy? Ohhh...the mom of the boy who was getting punished."

I gritted my teeth and walked out before I stuffed those four-year-old girls' heads in the toilets. Their parents still hadn't taught them to shut their mouths if they weren't saying something nice. So why weren't those parents called in? Grrrr...

I came in the middle of recess and must have come across as whiny little twit mom. Yeah, my son's behavior has to be nipped in the bud. I just wish that the teachers were able to communicate to me exactly what the situations had been in which my son was hitting kids. I want them to at least give me some suggestions on what to do. Instead, I got plenty of nuthin'. I couldn't even come back at a later time to observe him after he came in from recess, because I was in the middle of an emotional breakdown.

"If he's so intent on hitting other kids, then you need to hit him...let him know that it hurts ," a friend told me.

My God, has it really come to this?

There's still loads of whup-hide gumbo left, but someone has hooked up an IV and is pouring it into my veins. None of this hurts anybody more than it's hurting me. Parenthood sucks.

Hey, Pat...where's that bottle of Maker's Mark?

I need to find the bottom of it.
Oh, wait...never mind. I myself already resemble a drink:


Karen said...

Parenthood doesn't suck nearly as much as Pre school..

chrissieroux said...

Oh man, I can totally relate. That REALLY sucks. Some of the worst moments of my life have followed pointed but maddeningly non-constructive "feedback" from folks caring for my child. Four year old boys are SUPPOSED to act like four year old boys, and anyone who doesn't get that should not be working in a preschool. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

Leigh C. said...

Thanks! I'm feeling a lot better now, though I took the cocktail quiz again and I am still a Rusty Nail.

I just miss the broken-heeled teacher my son had, who has twenty-plus years of preschool experience and fully understood the stuff that four-year-olds do. The substitute has a ear-attachment cell phone permanently melded onto her skull, even when she is supposed to be doing circle time activities with the kids. I know I should complain to the school authorities at this point about THAT...but it's near the end of the school year, and I'm afraid I'll be blown off.

I should do it anyhow, because it might well register on this sub's record or something...

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Well, I got nothing from the Kid-Free Republic I spend my days in. Not even Maker's Mark to put a little rust on it. But I do have an unopened bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed, and an imported Altbier from some Belgian monks who know a thing or three about how to turn wheat and hops into high gravity consumables.

Speaking of such edge-reducing activities, when we all gonna get a Geek Happy Hour goin' on? The blowout dinners are awesome, but we got numbers enough to take over any one of the many local establishments.

And "whup-hide gumbo" is now part of the lexicon....

Leigh C. said...

I think our sheer numbers and alcohol-imbibing capacity would conceivably shut down any drinking establishment this side of the Mississippi. We need to reserve that power for the proper time and unleash it only when absolutely necessary.

Which means we need to head inside the Beltway and head to some bars frequented by many, many Congressional aides to have these Geek Happy Hours. It would truly be the NOLA equivalent of flushing all the toilets in the Pentagon at the same time, methinks. Hell, if we're all drunk enough, we can probably do that, too.

Has anyone made the final arrangements on the Rising Tide conference yet? 8-)