I took Helena for a walk this past Monday at 1:00 p.m., in the frigid, arctic air because it was either that or hop in the car and drive it up the nearest wall and I couldn’t find my keys.
Monday was a “Superintendent’s Day” when the elementary kids didn’t have school because some geniuses in administration smoked too much crack and decided that Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving week, Christmas week, New Year’s week, Martin Luther King Day, February recess, Good Friday, Easter, spring recess, Memorial Day, two unused snow days, an assortment of mysterious “exam scoring” days, not to mention almost three months of summer vacation, isn’t enough down time for the students.
I wonder how many of those geniuses have children?
Under the age of 10?
Who think that Superintendent’s Day is code for WHAT ARE WE DOING TODAY, MOM? WHERE ARE WE GOING? WILL YOU PLAY THIS WITH ME? WILL YOU PLAY THAT WITH ME? CAN WE GO HERE? CAN WE GO THERE? MOM?
And so, on behalf of moms everywhere who played 72 rounds of Go Fish this past Monday, I present my first open letter, addressed to superintendents everywhere:
Would you be so kind as to clarify the purpose of a Superintendent’s Day?
What do you do on your special day? What can’t be done while kids are learning fractions and the anatomy of earthworms within the confines of brick walls and tiled hallways and whiteboards and little desks, far far away from anything remotely resembling a hall closet filled to the brim with WHAT CAN WE PLAY NOW, MOM? CAN WE PLAY THIS NEXT? AND THIS AFTER THAT? MOM? MOM? MOM?
Do you need the classrooms for something? And the gym? The library? The cafeteria? The auditorium? The cafetorium? Locker #62 down the hall from the Principal’s office?
You are aware that we have 7 elementary schools in our district, right? That’s a lot of lockers, I think.
Are you throwing a party? Exactly how popular do you think you are? And how come I wasn’t invited? Not that I could have made it anyway, since I had a child at home that day. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Of course you did.
If you’re having a party, why not rent out a banquet room at the local Holiday Inn Express and leave our children happy and content in an environment funded by our tax dollars? Isn’t a Holiday Inn Express supposed to make you smarter? That’s what the commercials say. So you get smarter and our children get smarter. Doesn’t that qualify as a win/win?
Why, yes it does, according to the The Big Book of Mom. Asks all the moms in our district, if you’re skeptical. They’ll tell you, but only after they wake up from their MOM! I’M BORED! WHAT TIME IS IT? THERE’S NOTHING TO DO comas.
Are you worried it would be too expensive? Concerned about the budget? You know, I bet every single one of our moms would chip in a buck or two to make it happen. Although you might want to wait a week or ten before you ask them. Yelling DO I LOOK LIKE CHUCK E. CHEESE all day and begging kids to play a new game called “Hold Your Breath Until You Turn Blue, Whoever Faints First, Wins” tends to suck the happy right out of you, not to mention oxygen, especially if you’re really good at it.
Do you require that all teachers be present and accounted for on your special day? I’m assuming so, as apparently there is no one available to teach our children. Although I have heard of this nifty new concept of a “substitute teacher.” Look it up.
Are you just looking for some “me” time? Some grown-up time? A playdate with your peers? With conversation that doesn’t include WATCH THIS, MOM! NO, WAIT. OK, NOW. WATCH ME, MOM! DID YOU SEE IT? WATCH IT AGAIN!
Well, guess what? So were the 5,000+ moms who had no time to grocery shop over the weekend and thus served stale crackers, onion powder and a pickle to their kids for lunch on Monday and then to their husbands for dinner that night, because they were too tired to grocery shop after having been woken up at 7:00 a.m. that morning, with a poke and a stare and a few renditions of MOM, I’M BORED. THERE’S NOTHING TO DO.
Didn’t they teach this stuff in superintendent college?
By the way, why does your special day fall on a Monday? Aren’t Mondays hard enough simply by being Mondays? You have seven days to choose from … why Monday? Did you know that Monday is the day that God set aside for moms to do all the stuff they can’t do on Saturday and Sunday because the kids are home from school? It says so in the Bible. Go ahead, check. I’ll wait.
On second thought, no, I won’t.
Here’s a novel idea … how about scheduling your special day on one of the umpteen breaks the kids already get during the year? You’ll have your pick of seasons. Bonus! Just think about it … you could go skiing or swimming, skating, leaf collecting or golfing. Whatever floats your expensive, overcrowded, bureaucratic boat.
Or hey, how about scheduling it on the weekend?
The unused snow days?
After school? You could take the late bus.
During the assortment of half days scheduled for parent/teacher conferences?
Or how about on those vague, mysterious, “exam scoring” days?
Or … now I know this might sound a bit loopy but let’s throw it out there and see if the cat licks it up … how about during the nearly three months of summer vacation?
I know, right? It just came to me! Out of the big, vast, entity we like to call BLUE.
So, my dear superintendent, just to be clear, in case there is any doubt … I wholeheartedly reject, as a classic example of UNECESSARY STUPID, the entire concept of your special day. With so much time off of school during the year, I see no valid reason to pull the kids out on a perfectly good Monday unless toxic fumes or flooding is an issue and even then, suck it up, put on a gas mask and move to higher ground. Are we a nation of wussies, for heaven’s sake?
And please know that I write this not because I’m cranky from shopping at Helena’s Magic Gift Shop Emporium three hours straight on Monday.
I write this because on the worldwide, supersonic highway that we call education, I’m tired of feeling as though we are putzing along on the inside lane in a rusty, old beater, stopping every couple of miles so that the ancient and decrepit radiator that we’ve repaired eleventy billions times already doesn’t overheat and seize up our engine.
*whooooosh* *whooooooosh* *whoooooooooooooooooooooooosh*
Did you see that, superintendent?
It was the blur of other countries whipping by us at the speed of light, while we’re stuck on the shoulder, trying to fix a flat with a broken lug wrench.
*cough* *cough* *cough* *cough*
And that’s us, choking on their dust. And all the bugs that just flew into our mouths.
I don’t like bugs.
So, my dear superintendent, please take a second look at your calendar and schedule your special day accordingly.
And now, I’m off to hop in my car and scour the neighborhood in search of my right buttock that froze and fell off during our walk this past Monday. Regrettably, it did not take its brethren on the left side of my fanny with it, leaving me a bit … lopsided. Regardless, I shall forward any and all medical bills to your attention.