Dazed

I am not adjusting to this post-spring break return to normal life. Waking up at seven is for chumps. Trying to convince a six-year-old to get up at seven, also, is an activity best reserved for chumps. I bet chumps enjoy this sort of pastime. What is a chump, anyway? That sounds odd the more I write it. Chump chump chump. Who wants to look up the etymology of "chump"? I do!

1703, "short, thick lump of wood," akin to O.N. kumba "block of wood." Meaning "blockhead" is first attested 1883.

There you go. Thank you, Etymology Online Dictionary.

At any rate, our schedule's all weird and none of us are getting enough sleep, both because we're getting up at SEVEN and more importantly because I'm getting up at FOUR-THIRTY, when my son calls for me from his bed. When I say "calls," I mean "screams as loudly as he possibly can, which is awfully loud, by the way." My child can project. He gets scared (at 4:30 a.m., inconveniently) and wants to scare me, I guess, so that I might empathize with his plight. I hurtle myself toward his bedroom, half-asleep, and he says "I'm scared" and I mutter something impatient and yet semi-soothing and I put on some quiet music for him and pet his head for a bit. Then I lurch back to bed and discover that I am completely awake; there is no getting back to sleep for me. But I cannot accept this, so I lie there, listening to my husband snoring and my dog snoring and my cat making squeaky sleeping noises and I decide that they are all awful and selfish because they are asleep and I am not.

And then I fall asleep. At 6:30. So that's fun.

Yesterday I volunteered at Henry's school for the second time. The first time I inadvertently caused a head-to-head collision between two of the four children I had been given possession of. We were going about the school with magnets, finding metal objects they would stick to, and did you know that four children are surprisingly hard to corral? Parents of four or more children, I do not know how you do it. Teachers, you are like gods to me. Getting four children to follow me around the school was like herding cats. Rabid, insane cats. And one of them was my own child. This one would go this way and the other one would go that way and the third would start climbing the ceiling and it was nuts. I caught this one boy's attention by raising a magnet above his head, and he leapt for it, crashing down such that his skull went into the eye socket of one of the girls, who crumpled to the ground. I considered making a run for it. They can never prove I was here, I thought. No, I didn't; why do I make stuff up? I tried to stay calm but I wanted to cry while this adorable girl whimpered "I want my Mum" (she's Australian, by the way, and it turns out that in Australia they make incredibly sweet-faced youngsters for whom you would turn back time and move them three inches to the side so that no injury could ever befall them). I wondered what in hell I was going to do, now that we were across the (large) school from her classroom and I didn't know where the nurse's office was. My first day volunteering and I had broken a kid. What would the other parents say?

I eventually got her up and moving and she sobbed her way back to the classroom, and I might have sniffled a little as well, but the teacher was unimpressed. "Take her to the nurse," she directed the little boy whose skull had caused her injury, and he did, and it turned out she was fine. And I realized I made the right choice, never becoming a teacher. I do not have a heart made of steel. And I mean that in the most respectful way. Those teachers, they have to be tough as nails.

Anyway, yesterday I just had a math game to play with some kids, and I managed not to damage any of them, so I felt pretty good about it. Then I went home and napped for three hours. Which is another reason I could never be a teacher: the schedule discourages hours of mid-day napping.