I'm back in high school. At my age it's just humiliating to have to return because of a mistake. It seems I am one credit short of graduation. Even though I've earned a bachelors' degree in the meantime, I have to make it official and earn my high school diploma. The only problem is I can't seem to make it to first period gym class -- ever.
It's the same dream over and over again.
I get through a school year only to realize I've never attended a single first period class. The dream varies on occasion -- one night I miss history and another I miss an entire year of math -- but the gyst is always the same: I'm flunking out because I can't seem to remember to go to class.
I understand such dreams are common, but I'm blaming their frequency these last few weeks on the sad fact that it's the back-to-school season and because Ittybit will be returning to the Marilla Cuthbert Academy for Unspeakably Charming Children in the Fall. It's irrefutable proof that my baby is growing up, and soon she'll be in post school rather than preschool.
Two years ago she could barely walk from one corner of a room to the other and now she's trying on every sneaker in the shoe store, wondering which one will make her jump higher and run faster in the tiny tots' tiny playground, not to mention selecting a pair she believes will give her enough "entergy" to jump to the moon.
And not only do I have to come to terms with my baby's eventual independence (and astronautical aspirations), but also the fact that when it comes to the rudiments of elementary education, I am in a sub-remedial category.
Why just the other day while speaking with friends about their vacation plans I incorrectly identified Charlotte as being located in South Carolina. I even tried to cleverly conceal my stupidity as they snickered uncontrollably by asserting that GEOMETRY was not my forte. GEOMETRY! Of course then I just put my finger in my mouth, made a popping sound and blamed "mommy brain" for my sudden lack of intelligence.
But the truth is the brain bust wasn't sudden. I am horrible at geography. I am one of those people who say we're going "up to New York City," or "down to Canada" for the weekend. It's painful. But it's more than maps and locations, I'm also unsure of a lot of other basics. All those things we learned by memorization? Yeah, well my memory isn't what it used to be. I joke that if I have to learn one more phone number my own number will be squeezed right out of my memory, only it's the kind of joke that rings true.
So I'm looking forward to helping the kids with their homework about as much as I'm looking forward to an ingrown toenail.
As it is, helping out in the preschool classroom has proven me to be on the low end of the learning curve. I'll run down the list of egregious things I've done in case you missed them: I've allowed children to finger paint when they were supposed to be painting with bushes; I've hung artwork right smack-dab in the middle of the walkway through the painting room and the kitchen; and allowed my kid to wear skull and crossbones leg warmers to school, a completely inappropriate item of clothing regardless of the popularity of pirates.
But back to school we go, both of us. She will have a few new outfits and a new pair of sneakers that make her jump higher and run faster and I will have a nervous breakdown.
Fractions? Integers? Spit infinitives? Intercoastal waterways? The periodic table of elements? Paste? They all scare me to death. I might as well be standing in front of an audience in my underwear. Another common dream, I'm told.