Sunday, September 6, 2009

It’s My Pity Party And I’ll Whine If I Want To

Yes it’s true. Lady Di is in a funk something bad. I am neither witty nor funny lately, just abnormally sarcastic. In fact if you haven’t noticed, I have developed an aversion to the bloggy world. GASP!! Don’t go getting offended anyone. It’s not you. It’s me. I’m in a “mood” and I’ve been afraid that if I wrote anything it would turn into a big whine festival. AND SORRY, I only like whine festivals that are minus the letter H and include food, drink, and music. Since MY whine festival includes none of these…well maybe the drink…I figured no one else would want to par take in the festivities.

However, I thought about this and perhaps a good purge will “cure “what ails me. So, what did I say where the components of a good whine fest otherwise more famously known as the “pity party”? Oh yes, food, drink, and music. Well let’s see. Hmmm….bowl of Lucky Charms, non-fat Chai Tea Latte (the non-fat off sets the Lucky charms, trust me it’s completely rational), and Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds are singing in my ear (thanks to my new I-Pod). I’m ready to PAR-TAY!!

Hold on… I am having a stare down with my 3 yr. old…..and the winner is…MOM. 3 yr. old is upstairs in room now. She still has her bathing suit and goggles on (her idea of getting dressed), BUT she didn’t take that whole bag of marshmallows and the jar of peanut butter with her.

Okay where was I…Oh my GAWD!! Now as I sit here and type these very letters I am explaining to the JD Boy that, NO he can NOT use the Sharpie marker for ANY writing purposes whatsoever. I don’t care if he is seven now or said please. My word, can’t a gal whine in peace around here? I’m considering adding some Kaluha to the Chai Tea. However, that would jack up its non-fat status.

DEEP BREATH and EXHALE….okay. Sip some Chai Tea, Bob Marley is now singing Stir It Up.

Let me get to the nitty gritty of my situation. I don’t want this party to be an all nighter.

Okay, I spent the last two years as a full time student in a teacher credential program while working full time as an intern teacher, AND let’s not forget I am a mother of 3 children. I worked all day in the classroom and taught English Language Learners with the lowest languages levels in a specially designed language class called Structured English Immersion. The students learn the same curriculum as the English Only students and held to the same California Standards, however the teacher (me) has to design all the lessons to accommodate and support their language needs. It is not bilingual education. All the lessons are taught in English. The emphasis on the lessons is English Language Development (ELD). My point is, this kind of class is more challenging to teach than the average class and I volunteered to teach it two years in a row (because I’m crazy like that) and my students (I’m very proud to say) did very well both years. In fact, the principal and reading coach were very pleased and told me that my SEI class had the best scores of any SEI class in the last 5 years. Did I mention that I did all this awesome teaching while I was in school maintaining a 4.0? Okay, so what gives? This is awesome right? I’m like SUPERBAD (bad meaning good) when it comes to teaching. Why am I including this in my pity party? Well, because this is one bad ass teacher that is unemployed now, THAT’S why!!! Serious budget cuts meant no more class size reduction, which meant reduction in teaching staff.

Sorry to all the SAHMs out there, but I am having an identity crisis and I mean no disrespect when I say this, but I feel demoted and defeated every morning I have walked my son on to his (our) school campus. When I first got that effing pink slip last March I told myself it would be okay and that I would enjoy being home and doing the SAHM thing. Being home with the kids all summer I kept thinking, “This isn’t so bad, no problem.” Then the week before school I see my colleagues (my friends) cars in the school parking lot. They were getting their classes ready and I was not. The teacher catalogs I had subscribed to while I was teaching had already been coming in the mail (crap, I’d forgotten to cancel those). I just tossed them in the recycling bin. I didn’t even want to see the latest and greatest border. I’m a sucker for cute border and trim for the bulletin boards. Oh well, all that stuff is tucked away in boxes now collecting cob webs in my garage.

BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE!! Taking my son to school that first day was more bittersweet and harder than I expected. The kids, my friends caught up in the hustle and bustle of the first day meeting and greeting of their new students, and my old classroom with someone else standing in the doorway meeting the kids who would have been my students. What was that feeling I had in my mouth right about then?? Oh yeah, like I’d just had my teeth kicked in, right, that was it. Yet, I made sure I had my big girl panties on that morning and I kept a real good front up DESPITE all the forces of the universe working against me. Forces in the form of small children who happened to be my former students with their cute little first day outfits on: “Mrs. Taylor, how come you are not at your classroom?” KICK (I think a tooth just cracked), OR the teacher/friend who had the time to give a real quick hug and gave me “that look” and said, “We miss you already” KICK, KICK (missing just a few teeth), OR the clincher, My own JD Boy said, “Okay so I’ll just put my lunch box outside your classroom when I get out of the cafeteria (like he did last year) and I had to remind him, “No, honey remember that’s not mommy’s class anymore, you have to put your lunch box in front of your own room.” KICK, KICK, KICK, KICK (all front teeth have got to be missing by now and some bottom, think Hockey player). Then the bell rang. The teachers took their students into the classrooms and me, the self-proclaimed superbad rocking teacher turned stay at home maybe sometimes working mom (that’s another long story, I only have enough food and drink for one problem at a time) walked, well, where else? Home.

I guess I’m growing up. It only took me thirty…cough, cough…two years. I have been feeling bad however; I haven’t gone into full blown cry fest meltdown. I think the big girl panties help. Anyway, I know I need to see the silver lining in the cloud, be grateful for the things I have, understand that there are people who have it a lot worse and yada yada (I told you I was in a mood). Oh, and by the way, in case you’re thinking this is just one issue what’s the big deal? Unfortunately, I hate to admit, but Lady Di has several other very personal “issues” on her plate. See, it’s so hard for me to talk about them; I talk (write in this case) in third person when referring to them because I like to pretend they are someone else’s problems. That poor Lady Di, wouldn’t want to be her. Okay, that was a lame attempt at a joke. I already told you I am not witty, clever, or funny right now and I think I just proved that.

I apologize to the eyes of any of our more sensitive viewers ahead of time for the language I am about to use. But, seriously, I am girl who recognizes when she needs a good bitch slap (figuratively speaking of course) to snap her out of the funk. It really isn’t the worst thing that could happen right now…right?? It just (for lack of a better word) SUCKS. Actually, I think SUCKS is a perfect word. The situation does indeed suck (I used it again) but what’s a girl going to do about it? The economy is what it is and I hear Starbucks is hiring (I hear they give their employees free coffee). I’m just making lame jokes. AGAIN.

Oh my, I have carried on too long. Where is that bitch slap already? Well, the food and drink are gone and the music is fading. I think this party is coming to an end. I hope everyone makes it home alright and no one passes out on my front lawn. If you, do don’t worry the sprinklers are on a timer and they’ll wake you up at 5 o’clock like an alarm clock.

OH SWEET JESUS, ALLAH, AND HARI KRISHNAH!!!! My children are making a “small fort” which is made up of EVERY chair and blanket in the house. Wait a minute??? Did I just hear the boy tell the little girl to get rubber bands…and TOOTHPICKS? WHAT IN THE…. Oh well, I'm just going to keep typing until someone starts screaming. I'm almost done anyway.

So, like I said in the beginning, it’s just a funk. I’ll get my new routines established and I have already made a list of several rather large tasks that I can now attend to in my new found status. Ughhh, “moody blue” LadyDi needs to take a hike and “fun-loving” Lady Di needs to make a comeback. I’m trying. I haven’t done a post or commented because my mind has been consumed with things going on in my life right now. However, I can count on my good friend Amy to not let myself get weighed down by my problems and stop doing the things I like to do. She was very patient all week and gently encouraged me to do a post, and when that didn’t work she threaten me with bodily harm and posted that god-awful picture of the fried cat (a likeness of me supposedly) in my honor. She also said there’s more where that one came from and she was going to keep making such posts in my honor until I finally graced Mama Drama with my presence. I think I just got bitch slapped!! Thanks Amy, I needed that. You’re the best. There. I think I feel better now. Now maybe I can get my blog groove back. So, I look forward to my comeback with Monday's Mama Drama (sorry I missed last week). Now to go find me some toothpicks that my two children absconded with.



Amy said...

We all need to whine some. It's good for the soul.

You know I love ya! Slap. Slap. I think you feel better. You were more yourself this morning than you have been in a while. I am always there for you. Slap. Slap. Life is bound to get better. I just know it.

Mom of Three said...

Oh that's just so tough in so many ways because you have to keep confronting it, in ways that are out of your control.

I got laid off in April, and was home with the kids for the holidays as well. Recently I had cause to go back to that place because I hadn't gotten all my severance money. Well I couldn't do it. My dear sweet husband went into that office every time I needed to collect or drop something. I even made him park in the lot next door to avoid seeing anyone from the office. Bleh. It was nice to hear the messages people sent back - that I was "one of the good ones" and that they shouldn't have let me go. And that's gratifying, but didn't help me.

So I got off my a$$ registered my own company name, came out of hiding to make contacts with old colleagues again and network, and let everyone know I was in the market on my own terms. Got a great contract, and am now working on my own terms and wondering why I didn't do it sooner.

Your situation is a bit different because there's no way you can avoid there, and because of the association between yourself as a teacher and your son. But what I'm hoping to share with you... is that I was hiding myself away, and was worrying in the back of my mind what my peers might have been thinking. When I sucked it up and went out there, it was more empowering than I could have imagined. I was holding myself back, because of my own feelings that I wasn't acknowledging.

If you're the teacher with the value you know you have, you have a great opportunity in front of you to define your own future. You are a great writer, you have the expertise - you can be a contributing writer, you can give private lessons, you can choose to stay at home. What I'm saying is, whatever you do from here on in is your CHOICE and one you should be proud to OWN - on your own terms.

Good luck. :-)

Amy said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear your story. But welcome to the SAHM club. You can shop really fast because everyone is working. You can pick different tasks to do. Take a nap. Read blogs, read books and spend more time with your children if they are at home. Or when they get home from school. I say Welcome...

Amo said...

I agree with Mom of Three! You do have every right to sulk a little - we all do at some point. And if anyone tells you to just be grateful for what you do have and think of the people who have it worse than you do, then slap them. Others may have it worse, but this is your life and your problems.

You are a great writer. Very funny and entertaining! I love reading your posts. Have you ever wanted to write a children's book or a novel? Maybe a memoir? Memoirs don't have to be about huge life-changing events. If Julie Powell can do it with Julie and Julia, then you can too.

The point being, feel bad. You need to grieve your losses. Then, do whatever you want. The world is there for your taking.

blueviolet said...

There's no question that you have been missed but it sounds like you deserve a little whine time. I'm sorry for the funk life is throwing you at the moment but I hope that you're able to find a way to twist it to make it better.


Muthering Heights said...

I'm so sorry about your funk and the reasons for it...


Our Mission

To have a safe place where you can air all your mama drama without judgement, cause we know you don't always have the kids in bed by 7 and make creme brulee for dessert every night.

Oh yeah.........

and if you do, you're on the wrong blog!