Let me tell you a little story.
At the parent orientation a week before school started we were to check our numbered mailboxes for all important literature about policies, homework, don't let the pedophile through the door behind you, etc. Well, I stood in front of the mailboxes for awhile convinced that someone else raided the Romberg family mailbox. I looked in number 19. There was nothing there. So Ava's lead teacher comes over to check her box and I say something slightly accusing and pitiful about there not being anything in mine. That's when she points out that I'm looking in number 18. Number 19 is the one RIGHT NEXT TO IT. Now I'd like to think I could figure out a mailbox grid system. But apparently given the right circumstances this is well above my current intelligence level. So then later as we are sitting in the tiny chairs and the clipboard comes our way with the volunteer sign up sheet, the only thing left (we are last to receive it) is Room Parent. I try to discreetly show Erik our misfortune and ascertain whether this will result in disaster. He assures me, in a decidedly unassured way, that it will be fine. So I write our names down and hope I haven't screwed us for the entire year. I imagine Ava's teacher Leslie seeing the list later and thinking, "What?? The lady who couldn't find number 19!?! SHE'S the Room Parent?!?"
But wait there's more...
Yesterday I was early to pick up Ava from school. We are hanging around and then Eden tells me she needs to pee. So we walk down the hall and I realize quickly that the bathroom door is directly opposite one of Ava's classroom doors. And it is open. Now I'm not sure how I knew this was going to prove fatal, but I knew. So I try to get the three of us into the bathroom quickly and quietly. And I succeed. Eden pees, then Safa, who is OBSESSED with sitting on the potty "pees", we wash our hands, and begin to exit. I swear I barely open the door and damn if those two don't bolt right for Ava's classroom. They pass Leslie standing at the door and enter with an air of comfortable entitlement. The entire class is sitting in a semi-circle listening to Paulo's dad read "Are You My Mother?" in Spanish. Ava is, of course, the child farthest from the door. Leslie whispers, "Do they want to sit down and listen to the story?" I look into the class, and Safa has crossed in front of the children and Paulo's dad to tackle Ava. Eden is walking right in front of Paulo's dad and is talking in a loud voice asking me questions. Then Leslie says, "You guys can leave whenever you want to" It is not rude at all. It is filled with pity for the dumb lady who can't find number 19 AND can't control her kids. I'm trying to reach Eden and I can't. Safa is a lost cause way across the expanse of now staring children. She and Ava are now laying on the floor and Ava is saying "Safa!!" in a loud, annoyed voice. So I realize if I go around to the other door I can grab Safa and get out of there. So I tell Eden to wait in the hall for me while I go get Safa. She immediately wanders back into the classroom. I go down the hall just a bit and quietly open the door. Safa is now within 4 feet of me. As I reach out to grab her, I slip on the wet floor and FALL ON MY ASS in front of three teachers, 17 children and Paulo's dad. (Who, to his credit, keeps reading the entire time). ON MY ASS... I'm laughing and trying to reach Safa and Eden and Ava wants to stay, and the other teacher is cleaning up the mess and the other teacher is red-faced and laughing. Meanwhile Leslie is thinking, "HER?!?!?!?!?!"
We get outside. There is more to this story but it gets less funny and more pitiful and ends in me trying not to yell at my children in the alternative school parking lot.
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