In Which I Write a Hipster Wodehouse Mystery Romance with No Sparkly Vampires

Tonight is the kidlet’s Back to School Night, where she finds out who her teacher is and who her classmates will be. Will her BFF, Emerald, be in her class? Will she have to be in the same room her nemesis, Henry, was in last year? Will her frenemy, one of the Haileys and I can never keep them straight, be in her class? This and more shall be answered tonight!

Well, they are burning questions for her, at any rate.

What I want to know is this: Will this next teacher help my kid, or hinder her?

Last year’s teacher was great in that she was very focused academically. That’s how I liked most of my teachers to be. I recognize that they are teaching to an impossible curriculum, and they have to corral a bunch of tiny brains all day. She was not a cuddly sort of woman, and she had a tendency to get a little snippy and sarcastic. First graders don’t get sarcasm yet. As a child, I found comfort in academics, and didn’t mind when a teacher was distant– but my child is not me. She came to first grade a nervous Nellie, and left positively twitchy with nerves. She is absolutely terrified to go to Back to School Night, and is 100% sure she will be just as afraid of her new teacher as she was of the first.

Poor kid.

Don’t get me wrong, I had my own kind of nervousness when I was her age. I could (and often would) go a whole schoolday without uttering a single word. It was a blessing when a teacher wouldn’t try to draw me out, which usually involved trying to get me to talk– exactly what I didn’t want to do. I did my work and I did it quickly, and I tried to not get noticed. That was my brand of nervousness.

My poor kid has it a bit harder, though, I think. She is the sort who raises her hand when she knows the answer (I am so proud of her for that! Why can’t she see it for the bravery it is?), and she wants the acceptance of her peers. When you are on the periphery, other people and their opinions don’t matter as much, and therefore other people don’t have as many opportunities to antagonize you. She isn’t on the periphery, though. She’s right there in the thick of it, wading around in the muck and getting tossed about– and she’s paying the price. She has encountered a popular frenemy (“If you don’t give me that Fab Snap water bottle, we can’t be friends. Also, bring more snacks on the bus.”) and a bully (who maybe just had a crush on her, I don’t honestly know). Her best friend is an overly affectionate girl who gets teased by the other students, and my kid is her stalwart defender.

To top it all off, her teacher constantly complained about how slow the kidlet was. To the kidlet, to me. . . I don’t know. Rush, rush, rush! Now, whenever I can’t do something quickly enough for the kidlet, she calls me “ridiculous” and I know where this came from. I sincerely hope that the next teacher is not so quick to criticize, and fits a little tiny bit more nurturing into the curriculum. Or maybe just is more careful with the way in which she delivers criticism. My fingers are crossed. I tried to undo this crap at home, but to little kids, teachers are demigods. Woe unto a parent who tries to tell their kid that the teacher has the wrong end of the stick.

In other news, writing news, I started a romance (Yes, a romance! What?!) but I think I’m going to have to scrap it. The tone’s all funky, and not in a good way. Or maybe I’ll keep going, and it can be one of those screwball romantic comedies. I’m not sure. Hipster Wodehouse Mystery? Is that a genre? Because that’s what the tone is so far. Oh, what the hell. I’ll do it for another chapter or two. Maybe it will all come out in the wash. And in the meantime, I will read more Wodehouse and it will be like I am taking my vitamins. I’m not sure if it is really going to be a mystery, or if what I’m currently reading (Jo Nesbo) is creeping into my writing.

And since it has been a while since I’ve posted about food (real food, not baking) I will tell you what is in my crockpot:

Everything-I-Cook-Tastes-Greek Chicken

3 large chicken breasts, preferably boneless, definitely skinless

2 cloves garlic, diced

olive oil

sautesautesaute until one side of the chicken is brownish.

Deglaze with white and put into crockpot.

Toss in:

a handful of cherry tomatoes

1/4 of a thinly sliced lemon

one can of either chickpeas or cannelini beans– I am using chickpeas

a sprig of an appropriate herb– I am using lemon thyme basil

1.5 cups chicken broth– my favorite is Better than Bouillon

Cook it on high for about six hours. If you choose to add some zucchini as well, add that about an hour before showtime. Voila! We like to serve it over rice.

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2 thoughts on “In Which I Write a Hipster Wodehouse Mystery Romance with No Sparkly Vampires

  1. My first grade teacher was a menace. She snacked on peanut butter sandwiches cut on the diagonal. I vividly remember her stuffing a whole quarter of a sammie into her mouth and then listening to her work that moist ball of dough and oil through the initial portions of her digestive process. I’ve always been sensitive to mouth noises but ew.

    She was almost Catholic about our learning to write in cursive (despite and probably due to my generation being on the forefront of the computer revolution).

    And worst, I remember coming to school during the fall chill with my favorite bright red windbreaker on (it was hand-me-down from a rich cousin so a special treat to have such a cool piece of clothing; the hood zipped into the collar!). I didn’t want to take it off for whatever reason, whether it was chilly in the classroom, or I didn’t trust parting with it to put on the coat rack because I might forget it, or who knows what logic was running through the mind of a six-year-old. She was adamant that I not wear it inside and I refused to take it off so she literally stopped class to walk me next door to another class where she berated me in front of her colleague and another room of kids.

    She was a bitch and I’ll always harbor distaste for her. Hopefully your kidlet can more easily let her childhood struggles wash off.

  2. She sounds horrid! That’s the sort of teacher that gets written into a Miss Trunchbull, like in Dahl’s Matilda!

    I hope Iso can shake it off, too. She was so nervous last night that she gave herself a stomachache and she looked all flushed. But afterwards, she said she was excited to go to school, and that her teacher seemed nice! So the both of us are hopeful. Poor kids, you know? They are at the mercy of their elders.

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