Thursday, May 14, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

This morning I began the serious task of doing things to completely mortify my children in front of their peers. I'm not much of a planner (ask me what's for dinner any given morning, and I'll tell you to check back with me at 3pm), but I can see that I'm already on the right track for when my kids become teens. It seems I have a knack for it.

Ben had a field trip today to the town library. I knew this. I had the flyer and it was also written on the calendar. But Jacob had a trip on Tuesday, and he has another tomorrow, and I was up till 1am last night... Suffice it to say the flyer was buried under other papers and I didn't look at the calendar, remember the trip and pull out the instructions until the school bus had pulled away.

Quickly emailing Ben's teacher about my faux pas, I hoped for a reply along the lines of, 'no worries. We're not leaving until 9. Just drop off his water bottle and library card before then.' Instead I got nothing. So after getting Jacob on the bus and the dog walked, I gathered up what Ben needed and headed to the school, fingers crossed.

Of course, the class had already left the school and their library tour was well underway by then. I zipped into the parking lot and ran up to the locked front door of the library (because it was still closed to the public, of course. How else could I fully embarrass anyone if it weren't?). Scarf flying, plastic bag with Ben's name on it and library card in hand, I knocked on the glass doors as soon as the class, teacher and librarian came into view. "I HAVE BEN'S CARD!" I yelled as I held the card up against the window while frantically pointing at the group of kids.

Everyone turned to look at me, and the children's eyes grew wide. Unable to recognize or comprehend this mad woman banging on the glass, the librarian (likely in an effort to keep me from frightening the children) pointed me toward the other entrance of the building. She met me there, and I gave her the items with explanation and apologies. "It's OK," she kept saying, as if to calm me. "It's OK." I left without looking back.

Later, when I went back to the library to return some books (because I'm a glutton for punishment), I asked the same librarian how the first-graders had done with their tour. She very professionally assured me they did fine, that they were adorable and well-behaved and seemed to enjoy themselves.

But did she just emphasize the word well-behaved? Is she stifling a smirk while checking out my Sylvia Plath book? So before my face grew any redder, I made my second quick getaway of the day from her, again to avoid knowing exactly what was going through her mind. I figure by the time my kids are teenagers, I'll have this public embarrassment thing down to a science.

I just hope they appreciate all I do for them.

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