Sprung

25 03 2009

Springtime is a teacher’s nightmare. The kids and I are currently engaged in a riveting unit that involves standardized testing and the systematic banging of our heads against the cement block walls that keep us from fresh cool spring air and delicious temps that, in Alabama, are fleeting. My solution to the bitterness that testing hath wrought? Practice testing with Blow Pops. Class time currently consists of bleary-eyed students (who, in recent weeks, have taken on a scary resemblance of actual sloths) taking practice tests for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, we stand up to stretch and then review the answers. Students are rewarded with Blow Pops, which I deliver using an underhanded pitch. As a fifth-year veteran teacher, I have come up with no greater reward for my students than time outside and/or candy. Despite the fact that public education deems sugar unsuitable for its students, I believe that sugar goes hand-in-hand with learning. Personally, I cannot endure any amount of studying without a bag of sweet tarts and Hershey Kisses.

Me, on a Sunday afternoon, tending to the garden in my best frock.

A first-class gardening gentlewoman bearing the fruits of her labor with a waist that would surely snap were she to exist in real life.

Along with standardized testing, spring also marks my annual yard analysis. Prognosis: not good. Both yards will not grow grass, and I, lacking even a green fingernail, can barely remember to water the pitiful fern that lives above the kitchen sink. This year, I am determined to make something of my nothing of a yard. I look across the street with longing each day. There, the grass grows thick and the young man who inhabit the right side of the brown stone duplex planted (successfully) tulips that have turned up beautifully. Meanwhile, I have three arbitrarily placed rose bushes that spike from the ground with their stubborn, stark thorns.

I’m writing this in hopes that someone, some gentle green reader, will be able to offer advice. I would like to put a flower box in Ruthie’s window where the yard gets sun from about 11:00 on. I’d also like to plant some kind of bush-ish thing beneath the window to cover the immense space between the dirt and the window (we have a crawl-space). Then, I want to plant GRASS. The problem with grass? Half the yard gets sun, half does not (I’ve got a magnolia tree). Lastly, there’s a little bitty square garden where my driveway intersects with the sidewalk and it gets nearly-full sun. I want to plant some cute flowers there as well. So, friends, please, please, PLEASE! tell me what to plant. What kind of grass? What kind of flowers? I prefer flowers and grass that will not die, but I know this might be over-reaching. Any suggestions would be welcome.

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2 Things

7 10 2008

1.

On Sunday, I took Ruthie to the grocery store. Before we even got out of the car, “Green car, Mama? Can I get in the green car? They have them here. They do. I’m gonna ride in the green car.” As we walked up to Kroger, she spotted the lone green car across the parking lot. I hate those stupid car/carts because they’re breeding grounds for every kind of viral fungal bacterium that seems to stick to all children between the ages of 2 and 5 in the form of a thick crust of snot between their nose and their upper lip and often times caked all over their cheeks. Of course, my child is not prone to the snot-crust-cake because her cheeks and nose are generally chapped from the considerable amount of time I spend wiping her face off.

So anyway. She boards this ship of black grimy grundge and happily honks away on both of the horns in the car, as this is a two-seater. We head to the frozen foods aisle where I always begin my schlepping through the grocery store. As I’m debating over whether we eat enough Homestyle Eggo waffles to make it worth my while to purchase a box of 10 or a box of 25, I hear Ruthie talking to herself. “This is my special day. This is MY day. My day. It’s my day. Is it my day? It’s my day. It is.” I don’t know what she’s talking about until we get to the pizza section. It is at this moment that she turns to me and proudly declares: “THIS IS MY DREAM COME TRUE, MOMMY! IT IS!” And it is also at this moment that I realized that we have very little control over the cultural messages that our children receive in this world. My only comfort was that at least in Ruthie’s version of the fairy tale dreams come true, she was the one driving the car.

 

2.

We planted mums this weekend.