PTA, time machines, reptiles and whatnot


I knew when school started that I’d be running in 82 different directions and be forced to drag out and dust off my temperamental time machine that allows me to be in two places at once, provided it works correctly. Sometimes it’s persnickety and lets me know in no uncertain terms that I am SOL. I wish I could just clone myself ten times over and do away with the time machine once and for all because that damn thing is costing me a fortune in electricity and totally hogs the utility closet.

My GET IT DONE OR ELSE list for today:

  • I need to finish processing the PTA applications because a year ago, in a moment of weakness when I was lightheaded from hunger, I told the head of the PTA that I would help her out with membership this year. Little did I know that my rushed, hunger induced, sugar starved response of “sure, sure, whatever” to her plea for a bit of help would earn me some big, bold print on page two of the 2008-2009 school handbook, to wit: Co-Chair of Membership and Calendars: Andrea Chamberlain. Sounds kind of important, doesn’t it? Now that I’m a bona fide committee chairperson of the PTA, I have every intention of running for Vice President in the not too distant future. Just putting it out there.

Doing this membership work is right up my alley because it requires organization and attention to detail and I’ve got a plethora of both, assuming I’m fed and well rested. Otherwise, all bets are off so don’t be surprised if I’ve just signed you up for our PTA and send you a calendar even though we live on different continents. I’m hoping that one of the benefits of becoming involved with the PTA will be one of those valuable “it’s all about who you know” connections because that might come in handy the next time I’m forced to give the school administration a piece of my mind. Maybe now someone will actually pay attention to that little chunk of brain matter I saw fit to share instead of tossing it away like hazardous waste.

  • I need to deliver the PTA calendars to the teacher mail boxes so that they can be distributed to the students. This isn’t as much fun as I remember. I recall delivering mail to teachers when I was in elementary school in the old fashioned days, waaaay back before cars and electricity and running water and shoes, to hear Helena tell it. If we were really good in class, we could earn privileges and one of the most coveted privileges was to help out in the main office. I used to love to run the ditto machine. Remember dittos? That faded purple ink? That smell? Back then, all of our class work was done on dittos. I’d crank out one ditto at a time and then run across the room and carefully put it in a teacher’s mail box. I’d do this a couple of hundred times. And when I was done, the secretary would give me a piece of candy. It was all so simple and personal. The secretary even knew me by name. Not like today where I have to sneak into the copier room and enter ten digit codes into the $850,000 copier so that I can make fifty copies QUICK QUICK QUICK before the Copy Nazi catches me because apparently there’s a pecking order to use the copier and I’m either not on it or appear just below the homeless bum who just walked in from the street and peed in the foyer.
  • I need to pick up Zoe’s replacement contact lenses because she lost her left one last week during a swim meet and she’s probably tired of squinting and seeing the world through only one eye. Maybe this week will have been a lesson and teach her not to lose another one. Maybe I will fit into a size ten. Hope springs eternal.
  • I need to pick up some tabbed folders for Zoe to help organize her school work because if I ever again hear the phrase “I forgot to do my homework and got a zero today,” I just might rip my ears off and serve them up for dinner with some spaghetti and garlic bread. Then I won’t have to listen to them complain “Ugh, this again?” because I won’t hear them since I won’t have ears.
  • I need to coordinate tonight’s schedules. Specifically, how we’re going to get Zoe home from her swim meet which ends around 8:00 across town when Nate and I are both going to be on the opposite side of town at Helena’s school curriculum night which starts at 6:30 and goes beyond 8:00 and oh, by the way, no kids are allowed at curriculum night so Helena can’t come with us and she can’t stay home because Zoe is at a swim meet and can’t babysit so I have to conjure up another babysitter out of thin air and my magic wand is in cahoots with my time machine and won’t power up. Then I have to figure out who will pick up Helena and who will pick up Zoe and let’s not forget that I’m due at the school before 6:00 to set up PTA membership tables and Nate doesn’t even get home until after 6:00 and somehow, we all have to eat before we go anywhere. This would be when one of those clones would come in handy.

I like curriculum night. This is the night when parents meet their children’s teacher and find out in general what the children will be learning and how they’ll be learning it. I’ve toyed with the idea of just sending Nate to sit in for both of us while I man the PTA membership table and meet the teacher another time but I just can’t get myself to do it. We all know that men just aren’t wired the same way as women. If I send Nate by himself, all I’m bound to learn is that the room is big, there are lots of desks, Helena’s has a bunch of stuff in hers and oh yeah, her teacher seems nice, she has brown hair, and what was her name again? For stuff like this, Nate goes completely against character and doesn’t get bogged down in the details and for stuff like this, I’m all about the details. I want to know where Helena’s desk is in relation to the teacher’s desk … who she’s sitting next to … what her daily schedule is … where she puts her backpack … how many colored clothespins on their name charts does it take before bright orange notes declaring “WE NEED TO TALK, CALL ME” find themselves in your child’s backpack. How did the teacher communicate? Was she funny? Outgoing? Personable? Miserable? Does she even like kids? What about the other parents? Normal or psychotic? Any good playdate material to work with?

  • I need to turn back time so that I will never have heard the declaration “I can’t find my $100 geometry book” and my time travel machine just blew a fuse. SOL.
  • I need to fold the three laundry baskets of clothes currently sitting on my living room floor because I find myself thinking that the baskets color coordinate with my furniture and really, that doesn’t bode well.
  • I need to buy more milk. I swear to God, I think my kids are watering the lawn with it. Nate doesn’t drink it and I rarely drink it. How are we going through three gallons before the week is out? Does it evaporate in the fridge when I’m not looking?
  • I need to buy a cow.

I have to run and get started on the above. I’ll leave you with this:

Dead snake

Helena came running into the house after dinner yesterday, shouting in glee that she and Daddy had found a dead snake. Then she ran back out. Then she ran back in and shoved a container under my nose so that I could see the dead snake up close and personal. Then I passed out. Then I came to and hollered that she better get it out of this house this instant before I heaved up my dinner all over her head. Then she laughed and ran back out and placed it on the swing set so that she could show her friend after school today. After school meant that it sat enclosed in plastic in the baking sun all day and apparently, from the shrieks of Helena and her friend, it’s a bit, shall we say, smelly?  And yes, that is my very expensive Tupperware container that is being used for a coffin.

Personal P.S. for Martha: I can hear you laughing all the way over here.

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19 thoughts on “PTA, time machines, reptiles and whatnot”

  1. Avatar

    oh I make it a rule never to sign up for anything, I will gladly help out but as for ongoing basis responsibilities I am a total failure.. and I will up your 3 baskets of laundry for my one basket piled 5 feet high and 3 feet across.

  2. Avatar

    Sounds like a typical school year to me. Although I too have a no volunteer policy. Toddlers are great for getting out of stuff. You should get yourself one LOL. If I can’t contribute from the comfort of my own home during naptime, I don’t contribute until my little one is in school too. Then I’ll figure out a new scheme.

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    I found that the only way to get out of doing this volunteer stuff was to leave the school. But I’m still on the committee email list!!

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    I got roped into the PTA last year too. My first meeting and some how I ended up the Volunteer Coordinator. I had to step out in the summer due to the volume of work I was getting on my site. I went to a meeting yesterday though.

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    Hmm, as I’m sitting here typing but I know I should be proofing the PTA book that I forgot I volunteered to do . . . along with the laundry, the back-to-school night, the unknown babysitter, etc, etc etc . . . yeah I think I’ll go look for a fuse for your time machine if you promise to let me borrow it!!

  6. Avatar

    Our curriculum night is called the “Ice Cream Social/Open House” and is on the 25th. 🙂 I’ll probably go to it with Kristen and have my DH stay home with Kaylee. It’s easier that way. 🙂

    The only thing I had to do last year was get Kristen to school and back every day as well as drive her to Sparks and back every Monday night. Kristen has opted out of Sparks this year (would rather stay home and play with her friends) which is fine with me. I’ll admit it, I’m lazy. 😛

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    LOL, the only way I was able to extract myself from the PTO was when we switched from public to private school last year. I did it all….VP of PTO, interim Treasurer, Gift Wrap Chair, auction art projects, Homeroom Mom………so I totally understand. It was nice to do “nothing” last year at the new school except to help out with classroom events and field trips. This year I’m the Room Parent… spite of the previous years and being completely overwhelmed, it really is hard to not be involved, LOL.

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    um. . .good luck with all that. i feel for you – i think i’ve spent all of maybe 3 hours with hubby in 3 weeks, between school, soccer, crazy kids, etc. not digging on that snake, either. blech.

  9. Avatar

    Im scared to comment on your blog, I dont want to be in your kids pta (giggle) and since your in charge of signing people up….
    crapp I have a feelin Im gonna get mail aren’t I?
    (please don’t send me that snake)

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    Hi, I found your blog on this new directory of WordPress Blogs at I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, i duno. Anyways, I just clicked it and here I am. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day. James.

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    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!

    GOOD job Helena!! though i have to say instead of being in the container she should’ve been HOLDING it up!!;)

  12. Avatar

    My very expensive tupperware was once the final resting place for a dead frog(named cricket). Apparently if we buried him in the ground without the casing the insects would eat him.( I didnt remind them that the frog was…um..dead!) I just said goodbye as well to the tupperware that I had only used once, because apparently my 6 yr old tupperware was not good enough..Hey no worries, nothing is too good for “cricket”

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