Thursday, November 8, 2012

Veterans, puppies and blankies

I am thankful that I got to go to Jake's first school performance tonight! And I am truly, deeply thankful that it is over. We got a notice a couple weeks ago that Kindergarten would be having a special Veteran's Day special tonight. Jake has been practicing his songs at home and I was really excited to see them perform. Especially since he kept singing a line about "holding puppies in our hands" and I just really thought he had some lyrics down wrong. I went through all of the songs I know about America and couldn't think of one that talked about puppies. I knew they were singing "God Bless America" and "Grand Old Flag" and "This Land is Your Land" and Jake was having trouble with some of the words in those songs so I figured "holding puppies in our hands" was really supposed to be something else too even though he assured me he had the words down right.

I also thought it would be neat for Mike to go since he is an actual Veteran. However, he had to work and couldn't make it. Jake's teacher even asked Mike if he would speak about being a Marine because their other guest speaker fell through. That would have just sent Jake over the moon. But, it didn't work out and then I realized that I would have to attend with Emma Mae in tow without my backup parent.

And Emma Mae did not take a nap today. I repeat. She did not nap.

The show started at 6:30 and they wanted the kids there by 6:15. So we showed up at 6:10 because Jake's teacher told us that the cafeteria would fill up quickly. There was a line to get into the school when we arrived. Turns out the first grade and fifth grade were also performing in one way or another. We finally got Jake to his class and headed to the cafeteria. There was not a seat to be had. Well, there actually were several empty chairs but people were "saving" them for friends and relatives. I'm gonna go ahead and call that crappy. I'm sorry if you have people who want to be there but haven't yet arrived. I'm here. I'm on time. I have a three year old girl wearing pink cowgirl boots on my hip. Let me have a chair please.

Actually, I think every Veteran in attendance should have been offerred a chair up front. And then every Kindergarten parent should have had next dibs. All the other riff raff could have stood up in the back. This wasn't their first rodeo.

I finally found a spot along a side wall for Emma Mae and I to stand. Now, listen. I talked with Emma in depth before hand about expected behavior. I told her that once the performance started she was to be still and quiet. I bribed her with treats. I told her she could have candy or ice cream or candy covered ice cream if she behaved herself. Then I asked her if she understood and she said yes. Then I asked her to repeat my words and she did.

We had ten minutes to kill before the kids came out to sing. Emma spent that time spinning around in circles, crawling all over the floor and generally being a nuisance to everyone around us. I reminded her of our deal and told her the treat was off if she didn't get quiet and still when the singing started. T-minus two minutes to performance she told me that she needed to go potty. Now, listen. This is Emma Mae's go to "get out of jail free" card. She plays it all the time when she wants to leave somewhere she's not having fun at. Like, every morning meeting I go to at work. So I knew she didn't really need to go. I also knew if we left our spot to go to the bathroom we probably wouldn't even get back into the cafeteria. So, I wasn't moving. It's not fun when your child tells you that she'll just go potty all over you instead. And your fellow student parents stacked up beside you like sardines in the cafeteria over hear that. Still, I held firm.

Finally, the kindergarten classes came out. I thought this would calm down little sis. Unfortunately, we could barely see Jake so Emma just decided to entertain herself. First thing she did was take off her cowgirl boots and start sliding all over the floor saying "yipee!" I decided to ignore her. And maybe pretend I didn't know whose kid she was. Kindergarten started singing. I busied myself trying to pick my little ant out of the crowd so I could videotape him. Then I noticed that a few parents were starting to stare down towards my feet. Where Emma Mae had pulled her pants up above her knees and was spinning around in circles on her booty again. I should mention that she colored all over her legs this morning with black dry erase marker and I hadn't bothered washing it off yet because hello! her pants covered it up. Oh, she had also taken my lipstick out of my purse and applied it liberally.

Kindergarten sang another song. A song about holding puppies in their hands! Then  fifth grade started reading essays to the veterans. This is when Emma started shouting "hey! where's Jake? JAKE! Get up and dance Jake! Why aren't you singing??" I chose this time to take her out into the hallway and threaten her very way of life. I told her that the treat wasn't happening and that if she didn't get quiet for the rest of the evening I would have to take away her beloved polka dot blankie when we got home.

Well, she didn't get any better. When one of the kids announced we were going to have a moment of silence to honor the veterans I was afraid I might cry. I just prayed it would really be a moment and not a full minute or anything. Oddly enough, Emma Mae was quiet during this time. It's because she is so respectful. The one good thing about our evening is that she didn't actually pee on me. So when we got home and got out of the car I told her to bring me her blankie because she wouldn't be seeing it for 24 hours. And that's when she decided to stand in the middle of our front yard and scream "YOU ARE NOT THE NICEST MOMMY ANYMORE! AND I DON'T LIKE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE MEAN. AND THAT IS MY PROPOSITION!"

It was great. Although I was pretty impressed that she used the word proposition in a sentence. Even if it didn't really make sense. So I finally got her inside and took a look at my precious son. Who was doing all the right things. So I told him how proud I was of him and how I loved the way he sang those songs tonight. And he looked at me and he said "did you hear the part about having puppies in our hands?" And I said yes. And he said "so that means I was right and you were wrong."

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