Practicing Self Control. Or Not.

Tater Tot brought home his first report card this week.  

In 10 years of teaching, I’ve never been on the other side of a report card until now.  It’s a whole new world.  When I saw the brown report card envelope in Tater Tot’s take-home folder, a few or six dozen butterflies flew right across my stomach.  Because let’s face it.  It’s a known fact that a child’s academic future can be determined with 99.7% accuracy based on his first 3-year-old preschool report card.

Fortunately, nothing too surprising showed up.  He’s doing very well in calculus and world history, but we may have to hire a tutor if he’s going to bring that B- up to an A in physics.

What?  Do you think I read too far into the fact that he doesn’t recognize six or seven of his letters, a couple of his numbers, and that he has yet to master snapping, zipping, or skipping?

Maybe so.

One of the things he hasn’t mastered, either, is “practicing self-control.”  Really?  A three-year-old hasn’t mastered self-control.  Shocking!  Honestly, I was more worked up over the fact that he doesn’t recognize the letter P.  When we play with our foam letters in the tub, he never misses it.  Why in the heck he can’t pick it out at school is beyond me.

Tater Daddy, on the other hand, was all over the self-control thing.  That was surprising to me, mainly because neither he nor I have exactly mastered the skill ourselves.  You all know about my addiction to diet coke, and Tater Daddy has never met a  TV he didn’t like.  And if you’ve ever seen that man in a store that sells Tennessee athletic wear, Katie-bar-the-door.  There have been times when I was sure we were one UT sweatshirt away from bankruptcy.  I’m just sayin’.

Tater Daddy, who from here on out will often be called by his real name (David) because I’m outing him, too, asked Tater Tot about his report card Wednesday night.

“Hey, Tater.  At school, are you supposed to do something that your teacher calls  ‘practicing  self-control?'” he asked.  (Yes.  Yes, he did use those words.  Because all three-year-olds know what “practicing self-control” means.)

Tater Tot looked up at the ceiling, put his hand on his chin, and said, “Um…no, Daddy.  I don’t have to do that at my school.”

With that, I poured myself a diet coke, and David sat down and turned on the TV.


Fall Break and Stuff

A post in bullet-point format.   Because I’m edgy like that.

  • It’s around 11:00 Tuesday morning and it’s raining.  The little Taters and I are still in our pajamas, the way the good Lord intended it to be.  No one is sick or anything like that.  We’re on Fall Break.  AND THE PEOPLE SAID, “AMEN!”  We have to go back to school tomorrow, but we’re enjoying every minute of unscheduled lazy bliss until it ends.
  • Actually, it hasn’t been four days of pure laziness.  I went to Beth Moore Saturday morning.  I couldn’t make it Friday night, and I’ll be honest.  I’m not sure my system could’ve handled two sessions.  Y’all.  I’m still trying to process everything from Saturday’s four hours, not the least of which is how someone so tiny has so much energy.  I mean…dadgum!  I had to take a nap when I got home.  (You know me, though.  That’s always a good thing.)  At any rate, like anyone who’s attended a LPL event, it was well worth it.
  • Small Fry’s big news is hat he’s discovered that rolling over is fun.  I’ve been trying to make help him do it for a few weeks, but he’s resisted.  Then, Sunday afternoon, I put him on a blanket and let him play while I sat on the sofa and watched.  Within about eight seconds, he was rolling over like nobody’s business.
  • My car tags expired at the end of September and I haven’t had time to have them renewed.  Because we live in the city of Memphis, we have to take our cars through inspection, and it is a pain and a half if you happen to be a working person whose schedule is not flexible.  Translation:  a teacher.  Since we had some time yesterday morning, I loaded up the tiny Taters and we went through inspection, sitting in line for about 35 minutes before it was our turn.  After following all of the directions that were barked toward me, my car failed due to a crack in the windshield.  When I told my husband that I failed inspection (and couldn’t get my tags) he said, “Windshield crack, right?”  Nice.  Nice heads-up there, Tater Daddy.
  • After failing inspection, we left to spend the afternoon with my mother.  It’s been a sweet forever since we’ve seen her, and Tater Tot was going to have an absolute come-apart if he didn’t lay eyes on her.  We rolled into town around 1:00, and I wasn’t paying much attention to the speed limit (never did when I lived there, why start Monday?), so you can imagine my surprise when I saw blue lights in my rearview mirror.  I’ve been driving in my hometown for 24 years, and except for one time on a highway when I was in college, I’ve never been pulled over.  There I was, nearly 40, with two children in the car, and I’m stopped by the PoPo in the middle of town.  I liked-t’aved died.  The kind young officer, however must have felt sorry for me.  Small Fry was wailing (hungry);  my auto insurance card for my car expired in May, but I had a current one for Tater Daddy’s vehicle; and when he nodded after I asked, “I bet you noticed my expired tags, didn’t you?” I showed him my failed inspection card from  90 minutes earlier.  He said, “Ma’am, bless your heart.  Let me just call in your license and I’ll be right back.”  Fortunately, I’m a dull driver and there was nothing on my record.  He let me go, politely asking me to slow down and drive safely.  Now, the whole time, Tater Tot is saying, “Hello, Mr. Nice Policeman! I wike your wights!”
  • We had a great time with Poopsie.  Tater Tot played.  We took him for a much needed haircut, and then we got ice cream.  It was a good afternoon.
  • We met Tater Daddy for supper at Cracker Barrel on the way home.  Tater Tot greeted him with, “Daddy, Mama talked to a nice policeman.”  There’s nothing like being thrown under the bus by your three-year-old.
  • In between all of these events, I’ve enjoyed NOT grading papers or writing lesson plans, both of which I’ll pay for later in the week.

So there you have it.  All the boring details of the House 0′ Tater.  I’m off to do laundry, dust, clean bathrooms, and change sheets.  You know…live the glamorous life I had before I went back to work.

Oh, one more thing.  I’ve decided to out myself.  I have a real name, and if you’re interested, it’s Marian.

Enjoy your Wednesday.

Overheard in a 5th Grade Classroom

What I am about to share with you is true.  Frightening, but true.  The words were spoken in my classroom by one of my students.

Last Monday, we gave out the permission slips for our field trip coming up in a few weeks.  We’re taking our fifth graders to a Civil War battle site.  As the children started hopping around in excitement over getting to go  anywhere for a field trip, one student started reading aloud:

“…the historic site of the Battle of XXX-ville.”

That’s when I heard this confused little voice from across the room.

“Civil War?  What Civil War?”

Heaven. Help. Us.

5 Months

Small Fry is 5 months old.  I’m not sure where all the time went.  One minute he was this tiny little thing, perking right along in the NICU.  Now he’s around 16 pounds and change, and he’s nearly 26 inches long.  And this may just be a mama talking, but he’s kind of cute.


How can you NOT smile when you see that face?

Happy Thursday, y’all!

I Wish I Could Tell You

Going back to work has so interfered with my life, and I am learning to function, albeit not very well, on five or six hours of sleep.  That’s per night.  Not per nap.  Oh, naptime, how I miss you.

It sounds like this is going to be about how I wish I could tell you that I don’t regret going back to work but can’t, doesn’t it?  I suppose there are some days I might be tempted to write that kind of post, but this isn’t one of them.  For one thing, Tater Tot is having the time of his life in preschool.  He loves his teachers and his little friends, and he gets to go to Art, Library, P.E., and Music every week.  He plays outside on the playground twice a day, and he gets to carry his Scooby-Doo lunchbox all the way to the cafeteria and eat with the big kids.  According to him, it’s all good.  The faculty is so darn sweet to him that by the time we walk to his classroom every morning, at least 10 people have stopped to say hello and wish him a good day.  (Have I mentioned that I work with the nicest people on earth?)

And Small Fry?  He has adjusted to the transition just as easy as you please.  Nicole, who hangs out with him during the day, could not be sweeter.  She’s just about to spoil him rotten, and we couldn’t be happier with how well she takes care of him.  He is about the happiest baby you’d ever hope to lay eyes on.  He’s also pretty stinkin’ cute, too, although that could be a Mama’s bias coming out.

Oh, look.  Here he is.

Small Fry

Okay, I’ll get on with it. 🙂

The reason I titled his post “I Wish I Could Tell You” is because I wish I could tell you ALL about the  group of kids I’m teaching this year.  Because, y’all, the blog fodder they could provide is endless.  E-N-D-L-E-S-S.

It would be highly unethical for me to write too much about them, but I would like to leave you with a very important piece of advice written by one of my students.  After having acted so terribly in PE last week, the whole class had to sit in time-out for five minutes at the end of the period.  Later that day, I had them write a paragraph explaining what each one thought “good sportsmanship” meant.

Here’s an excerpt from one of those.

“It means that if you lose, you don’t act like a fool.  Don’t poot either.”

I’m pretty sure the student meant to write “pout,” but it’s much more fun to read the other way, isn’t it?

Have a great Saturday.

Be good sports.

And remember, in case you lose, don’t poot.

Why the Blog Must Wait


Need I say anything more?

Happy Friday, y’all!