The Cinderella Blues

Recently I had a great disappointment while going on a field trip with my second grade class to see the musical “Cinderella.” I was very excited to use this trip as fodder for my next slightly-angsty, hopefully comedic, blog post.

Alas. It was not to be. Everything went according to plan. All the students and teachers and parent volunteers were present and accounted for at the appropriate time. I did not forget to bring the medication for one student. I even brought a water bottle in case she needed it to swallow the pill.

Each student returned their permission slip on time – even our new student who had only received the letter the day before. One student, who had loudly proclaimed that he would under no circumstances be attending such a girly affair, showed up [despite claims that he would be “home sick” that day] and did not even berate the other boys as they excitedly discussed who they would sit next to on the bus.

The bus had enough seats and arrived on time. We left school at 8:30am. The children were chatty, but no one screamed or punched on the bus.

When we arrived at the performance the class formed a line. The line was neither straight, nor silent. But they’re in second grade – if the line had been straight and silent I would have quarantined the class in order to identify what horrifying illness had brought their childhoods to untimely ends.

We were seated in the front 6 rows. The. Front. Rows. Everyone had a wonderful view. No one had an excuse to stand up on his chair or complain that the person in front of them had hair that was too voluminous.

The classroom teacher and I were able to strategically organize the seating arrangement [“boy, girl; boy, girl; isn’t this nice?”] so that no one would be sitting next to their partner in crime. No one cried when we moved them.

During the performance children did not talk. Or laugh inappropriately. Or sing along. Or boo. Or swing their tip-uppy chairs. Or catcall the actors. No children shouted “Ewwww” during the kissing scenes.

When it came time to leave our students stood up and formed a line. They followed the teachers towards the busses. They climbed on the busses. No one was missing. They did not sit quietly. They are 8 years old. They are physically incapable of sitting quietly.

When we arrived back from the field trip we went straight to the lunchroom and we ate lunch.

I shouldn’t have written this. I’m going to jinx it.

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Snow-pants, Bossy-storm

“2 inches of snow may fall on Saturday night”

That’s what the man on tv said when I was at the gym on Thursday morning. I took note of this forecast and promptly forgot.

On Friday my husband and I left one of our cars at my parents’ house so that we wouldn’t have to drive them both home. We planned to pick up the second car [the one with winter-ready tires and four-wheel drive] on Sunday after church. We also forgot my rich, moist, ganache-covered chocolate birthday cake at my parents’ house.

When I said “we planned” what I really mean is that I said [in my whinest voice, most likely] “But I don’t want to drive home tonight” and Tim reluctantly agreed to let me leave my car behind.

I think a few of you may be able to sense where this story is going.

On Sunday morning we awoke [bright and early, because of the time change] and had breakfast. Then we got an email saying that church was cancelled because of snow. It wasn’t snowing at our house yet.

We decided to set out at 9:30 to go and pick up our other car before the snow got too bad.

I should note at this point that I made this decision against my father’s warnings and with much dissension from my husband. But [as all those who know me may attest] I am a control-freak, bossy-pants. And, if we didn’t go and get the car, then I wouldn’t have been able to get to work on Monday.

Like I said, we left for my parents’ house at 9:30.

We drove off the road three times before winding up on the side of a hill about 3 miles from our destination. The snow was about 4 inches deep and falling fast. Our tires spun. Tim pushed and I revved. Nothing. A man stopped to help us. He pushed too. Nothing. We tried going backwards. Nope. We tried going forwards. Nope. We tried beating on the steering wheel. Nope.

We called AAA. They told us someone would be there in 45 minutes.

They called back 45 minutes later to tell us someone would be there in 45 minutes.

The nice thing about being trapped in a car for 3 hours is that you have time to be mad at each other, time to give each other the silent treatment, and time to make up again before you even get picked up.

Four hours and ten minutes after we left our house we were towed into my parents’ driveway. We thanked the [rather grumpy] man who had picked us up and left our car exactly where he dropped it. The bald tires wouldn’t move anyway. We prayed that no trees would fall on it.

An unfortunate side-effect of an early snow-storm is that the leaves have not finished falling off the trees yet. This makes the [already dense, wet] snow weigh the branches down heavily. When this happens, trees fall. When trees fall they sometimes fall on power lines. When this happens the power goes out. When this happens you have to cook your Sunday pork roast on the charcoal grill [while standing in the barn, hoping that the 2 cords of wood next to you don’t catch ablaze]. You will also make coffee on the woodstove. You will also light all the scented candles you can find. Your house will smell like a Yankee Candle.

At about 5:00 the power came back on for about 10 seconds. Just enough to get our hopes up.

My family was lucky, our power came back on at about 7:00pm. Others in the area still do not have power.

Due to the fact that I am a control-freak, bossy-pants Tim and I still had the problem of having 2 cars at the parents’ house and one car that was completely unsafe to drive on the roads. At about 8:00pm Tim drove our 4-wheel-drive back home. It took him over an hour. I had to sleep at my parents’ house so as to drive to work in the morning with Mom.

In the end, however, school was cancelled. For two days. There was no power at school. Instead, on Monday, I got the snow tires put on the car and Dad and I went to Wal-Mart and nearly got eaten alive in the candle department.

On the way home on Monday afternoon I dodged fallen trees and power-lines.

I will never be a bossy-pants again. Promise.