Monday, March 11, 2013

In Case You Were Wondering About the Dead Hamster

It’s been almost a year since I last posted something here, and you may be wondering if that wasp had me locked in my office for good.  No, I’m sure the wasp flew away, but as I have come to realize lately, it did not die a lonely death here in my quaint rental home. There are others that locked me in the office, behind the strange sliding glass doors. But I should fill you in on few other things you have missed.

Thing One started first grade. For some reason I decided I was qualified to be the class room parent. My skills in this area include: emailing a group of parents whom I have never met with information about what is going on in class and sounding confident that what I am saying is accurate; planning parties for first graders based on holidays but never actually addressing, celebrating, or using the name of the holiday in question; coordinating an elaborate system by which each family will bring in snack (and by snack we mean something slightly smaller than lunch, but larger than a hand full of crackers) for the entire class of 23 kids every day for a whole week on a specific week.  These are my tasks, and I embrace them with excitement! Hooray for first grade! I could go back in time and post date blogs for each party because there are too many stories. Needless to say, I have taken on some interesting new roles.

The class email has been something that has really been the most interesting. I went back and looked through a few of my letters from the very beginning. Our teacher must have thought I was a complete nut at the beginning of the year. I attacked with full force. I think I had my wires crossed about what I was supposed to be doing. Partly because I really wanted to do everything by email, and never actually go into the classroom. I think he’s kind of the opposite, so when I received no response from my page long play book of volunteer spreadsheets, time tables, field trip sign ups, etc, I just went ahead with stuff anyway. Then, of course, I said I was going to do things that required me to come in and pick things up-- then I never did, because that would mean I would have to come in and actually show my face and have a conversation with someone. Heaven forbid.

My emails became a bit more, shall we say, spunky. I didn't really have much to do anyway. We had couple field trips. I over planned a couple holiday parties. One involving vegetable car racing, the other a life sized pretend snow man named Fred the kids got to decorate. But I digress, my point is that my job got less complicated and my emails became silly. The only hard part was getting people to get on board for the snack, because I felt sort of guilty about it. Partly because I couldn't find the time remind people, and partly because it seemed sort of hard to make people bring that much food in the first place. So I kept putting it off. 

In one of my last letters, in a colloquial turn of phrase, I swore “on the grave of my dead hamster” I would get that snack list I had been putting off to everyone. This brings me back to the beginning of my story, with the vermin, and the house, etc.  My husband, (who has spent too much time on his fantasy football email threads), replied to the entire first grade parent list “you don’t have a dead hamster.” Which may have been funny if it read in the context of the letter, instead of preceding it for all of the class parents. Now all of the parents are wondering at this point why my own husband is questioning my sanity, and mentioning that I've gone and left the dead hamster somewhere again. They may be thinking we should keep our personal life out of the class email thread. Secondly, (and more importantly) I did have a hamster, and she is dead now. Her name was Ginger. When I was in about first grade I never cleaned her cage and my mother had it put to sleep. Which seems ridiculous considering now we live in a house where a mouse consumed not only all the Decon, but the actual box the Decon was in. Now we have the subtle hints of putrifaction in the wall right near my computer, the very place where I sit to write my emails. That may account for the dead hamster metaphor. . . This is just a hypothesis.   

There is no moral to this.  But I did just manage to combine the role of class room parent and the dead hamster into the same short essay. Perhaps now it will make sense to anyone who was wondering.