Saturday, January 15, 2011

Good Citizen

It's been a rough week. Just when I thought I was about to shake this cough/cold/crapcake I'd had for nearly three weeks (three weeks, Readers!) a new front blew in and I was brought down by a totally different version that took me back to square one. How is that even possible? Luckily, this one doesn't seem as tenacious, and I'm hopeful that a long weekend will take me back to my old self. In the mean time, I'm over here with my tissues and my Sambucol (do you think it really does anything? It sure tastes yummy.)

A highlight of my misery, though, was attending my first-ever elementary school assembly yesterday. I wouldn't normally frequent such an event, but we'd received an invitation informing us that our child had been selected to receive an award. Well, if that isn't the consummate parent lure, I don't know what is. So there I was, standing in the back and coughing into my elbow, as the kids filed in with their classes.

A gang of third graders stood on risers, and led by the adorable music teacher, they launched into a surprisingly tuneful rendition of a song I had never heard before, I believe called "I Love America." All I remember about it is that it was very catchy, and that they repeated "I do. I do. I do." a lot like they were all getting married to it. My favorite part was where they made a slow square in unison between verses, shuffling like they had sandbags tied to their ankles. It was freakishly sweet.

Then the classes were welcomed up to the stage one at a time--one teacher and about four students from each room, and one by one they came under the principal's hand as if for a blessing or a spell. It amazed me that he never repeated an introduction, and I'm still laughing about Jarrah's. She was wearing a dress with a large butterfly on the back, and as he ushered her into the spotlight, I saw him glance at the dress, then launch into his intro with "This social butterfly here..." Hee. She received her award for excellence in reading, which of course made this reader very proud. I noticed that the awards were for lots of different things--writing, math, good attendance, even "excellence in all they do." Harumph. I certainly think Jarrah deserved that one. Oh well. Next time.

There was a lot of snapping of cameras, and a slow exodus of parents after every class grouping, to the point where I joked that the last group of kids would hear "Yay!" and the clapping of just their own parents. Each child was presented with a pencil, a certificate, and a card entitling them to a free meal at Applebee's restaurant. Later, I saw that the free meal card read "Applebee's--A Place for Scolars," which just about sums up what I think of that place.

After, the honorees were ushered out one door while their respective classes exited through another. The reason for this became clear, as there was a cookie reception laid out for the award-winners in the back. The sign said "Only Two Each!" and I pointed this out to Jarrah. Just then, one of the minding moms anxiously shouted "That means only two! Just two!" to Jarrah, and when I shot her a look, she smiled sheepishly and said "I think she thought I meant she could have two of each KIND." I narrowed my eyes at her and said witheringly, "I think she got it." That'll be my lot in life--giving helper moms the stink eye over paper plates of Chip Ahoy.

Jarrah, of course, was not pleased that she couldn't have seconds and thirds after her two cookies were gone, but I think she liked getting the award. It's hard to know, since unlike some of the other recipients, she wasn't beaming ear to ear while getting it. She looked a bit grim, in fact. Of course, it's hard to know, since she'd handily removed my off-the-face hairstyle from the morning and the whole thing took place behind a curtain of hair. Every time I tried to snap her picture, she was either inexplicably looking at the wall behind her (checking for spies?) or trying to leave. Sigh. It was still pretty exciting. And the principal even pronounced her name right. Usually we get a lot of "HARA" and "Ja-RAH." Even "Ja-RAY" once. Who knows? Maybe the principal really knows her. He did call her a social butterfly, after all.


Mary said...

Wow! That is awesome about her award! I am not surprised!

The part about the cookies was hilarious. I have been in that situation, usually the one taking extra cookies for me...

And, I hope you feel better soon! Let's just focus on getting better together.



Jen said...

Good for Miss Jarrah! I am so not surprised, as she's a chip off the old block.

Hope you are feeling better soon. xoxo

Miss J

The Wades said...

Of course she got an award. Of course. She was bored because she knew that was just the first of many, many more to come!

Dress is quite lovely. :)

Don't you love when others help you parent. "Yeah, I got this, lady. Thanks." grrr. Some people.

I line I really loved--"Well, if that isn't the consummate parent lure, I don't know what is."

Really, Applebee's? Tell me you'll be doing an anonymous call when you're feeling better. Tell me. They should have added, "Kids, YOUR awesome."

Jennifer said...

Congratulations to Jarrah!! I can just imagine how proud you are for her! Those moms in the cookie line...they have to feel important in some way don't they? ;)

Hope you are feeling better

Stephanie said...

Congratulations to Jarrah! Love it when your Momma Bear comes out.