Ethan had his kindergarten open house tonight. Nate was working, so it fell to me to handle it, and the three boys, by myself. The following events could not do better at demonstrating why I typically refuse to leave my house when I am solely in charge of the boys.
Just before crossing the street to the school, Connor found a feather. In case you didn't know, feathers are like, amazing to kids. They love them. So Connor has the prize and Ethan doesn't. He frantically looked around for one of his own, to no avail. We started crossing the street, and halfway across, somehow I realized that one kid wasn't with me anymore. I turned around and saw Ethan picking something up from the middle of the crosswalk.
It took about two seconds for my brain to register that it was a dead bird, that was absolutely annihilated, smashed flat, guts and blood everywhere, and my son was holding it like he just won the best prize ever. I start yelling at him to drop it, DROP IT RIGHT NOW! It's a dead bird!! but he was so hung up on his amazing find that it took him several seconds to actually listen.
Meanwhile, we're all still standing in the street. He finally dropped it and before I could tell him not to touch anything else, he started wiping his disgusting hands on his shirt. So then I told him, "Don't touch anything!" and he looked like his best friend just died. We finished crossing the street and I busted out the alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer and washed him down. I asked him what he was picking up the dead bird for and he morosely said that he didn't know it was a dead bird, he thought it was a feather and he just wanted a feather like Connor.
Jesus. So we continue on to the open house. The gist of it is, the students have several of their works of art and writing on display for us to see. Some of them are these books they write, apparently about whatever subject they choose.
Well, this was one of Ethan's:
I know his father and I are no strangers to alcohol, but I SWEAR, Ethan has no idea what a bar is. I promise. I mean, we drink at home. I was totally mortified, and asked Ethan what that was supposed to say. He answered "bears" like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Fortunately, his teacher was standing right next to us and I held up the book while laughing in embarrassment and said, "I swear, he has no idea what a bar really is!" She thankfully started laughing, too, and said that she has seen way worse spelling errors, and I believe her. I wanted to ask her what, but didn't feel that it was appropriate to force her into saying "penis instead of peanuts" or "shit instead of shirt" in front of all her students and their parents.
We wrapped things up and the older two boys headed outside to play on the small playground in front of the classroom. It was pretty chaotic in the classroom and I lost sight of Brandon. After not finding him there, I figured he had gone outside with his brothers, so I went out there to look for him. Didn't see him, so I went back into the classroom.
You know how you sometimes know something, just before it swims into your consciousness? This was one of those times. He's not on the playground, and he's not in the classroom. I knew exactly where he was just before I moved my eyes to the right and looked at the man holding him out at arms length with a disgusted look on his face, exiting the bathroom.
Brandon had found his old favorite toy and decided to revisit it for old time's sake: the toilet.
I went over to them and the guy is saying that I definitely want to wash his hands, definitely. He could tell by the look on my face that I knew Brandon had been playing in the toilet. I thanked him profusely for pulling him out of the toilet and then lamely added that I had been looking for him and should have thought to look in the bathroom. He just grimaced and moved quickly away.
Sigh. I washed Brandon's hands over and over, then saturated them in hand sanitizer. I took him outside and figured that I'd find Connor chewing on a cigarette stub or dog crap or something since that was how the night was going. I gathered up the other boys and as we were walking back to the car, Brandon tripped and even though I was holding his hand, both of our hands were still soaked in sanitizer so his slipped out of mine and he face-planted on the sidewalk, scraping his chin up. Then we reached the car and Connor, who was exhausted and in need of sleep, flipped out because Ethan got in the car before him and he felt that Ethan was blocking his way. Ethan was doing his best to make sure he was in the way. A request in my "long-suffering voice" for Ethan to move and for Connor to just get into the car did nothing to rectify the situation and so I got to yell at them in my no-nonsense, "do-it-or-die psycho mom voice" in front of all the other parents who were coming and going.
Sweet, sweet bedtime....
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