Not For Me



What? All I did was turn on the stove.


Well it’s official. I could never be a teacher.


Actually, it’s probably best if I don’t ever teach, instruct, or otherwise guide small children. Or people in general.


Or living things with faces.


Today was a particularly painful lesson in becoming zen with my strengths and weaknesses. Strength: Not being present in a group of more than two first graders at a time. Weakness: Having hands and a mouth.


Today was volunteer day, see, and the task was to plant marigolds with the children.


Let me back up.


A few more things about me: I am un-dexterous, un-crafty, un-detail-oriented, un-by-the-book.


So when I am called upon to do stuff involving things like say, two hands, or an ability to not drop objects every two seconds, or a sense of propriety, I am NOT your girl. Need someone with gross motor skills? Also not your gal. A brain for knowing? Uh-huh, sorry. Spaz-less tendencies? No can do.


I need to also tell you that I dread my monthly volunteer day. In fact, I’ve blocked it from my consciousness twice, only remembering when my daughter came home from school telling me forlornly, “I waited for you. But you didn’t come. I have a feeling today will only be one in a long series of ways in which you will disappoint me with your lack of crafting skills and illogical un-mom-like things you say.”


Also, after every volunteer day? I suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Either I realize I must pay for the copier I jammed to high hell or I ponder the inappropriate comments I made to the kids such as “Your hair is weird.”


Today was such a day.


My mission was simple: Help the children plant marigold seeds. But I had to read the directions three times and then make another mom responsible for the dirt and seeds because I destroy anything that requires patience or focus.


You should have seen my work area after I was supposed to glue gold glitter on the leprechauns’ bow ties during my March volunteer day.

It was like Las Vegas exploded with a side of Trump Palace exploding with a side of Liberace exploding.


I have a real problem.


Still, I did manage to escape injury and explosion with the marigolds. Mostly because the other mom did everything. But then, the kids needed to draw and write in their planting journals and that’s where things went downhill. I am not one to color within the lines, see. So when Suzie asked if her marigolds could be black, I said, “Sure why not!” and when Jacob wanted to draw marigold seeds using his own saliva, I thought that was a very creative idea.


And then when a group of four little sugar addicts began to do this…:

“Ah blah blah blah, don’t copy me! Bloo bloo bloo beep! Aye aye aye! I hate you! Aber blet blocker boo! I want to go home! I want to go home! I want to go home!”

I said, “Quiet down and color in your planting journals or your marigolds will die horrible unnatural deaths by the power vested in me as a volunteer mom.”


…that was about the point I decided I would forget to show up for next month’s volunteer day.


15 Responses to “Not For Me”

  1. Laurie Ann says:

    But did it work? That’s the important question. If it got the boys to quiet down, then I consider you a success!

  2. It was like Las Vegas exploded with a side of Trump Palace exploding with a side of Liberace exploding.

    That line is golden. Perfect.

  3. Trish says:

    Ha! I’m the same way!! And I stress and sweat, have knots in my stomach and lose sleep FOR DAYS before my volunteer day. Which is why I haven’t volunteered in the classroom for 2 years. I just use the 2 year old as an excuse.

  4. Jessica says:

    yes, this is exactly why no one at my kid’s school knows for sure she even has a mother

  5. Deborah says:

    It does sound rather disastrous, but is it any worse than the mother who looked forward to her volunteer day every month and blithely skipped to school, secure in the knowledge that she was a wonderful example to her son and truly, securely in her element as classroom helper…only to finally be told by son that it was embarrassing because she laughs too loud. Sure, I apparently have a reverberating cackle that my own father labelled ‘diabolical’, but I thought it showed I was fun loving and joyful. Ten years later I’m still scarred, and hoping that son has forgotten.

  6. Casey says:

    Well, you showed up. Right? That counts for something? I’m sure the teachers rather enjoy your wit and sarcasm rather than the “perfect” moms running circles around the classroom.

    At least, that is what I tell myself when I volunteer. :)

  7. Okay, am I the only one who’s thinking “Nice rack!” when looking at your picture?


  8. Diana says:

    @ Mommypants – Haha! That’s exactly what I said! (Sorry if I’m inappropriate — guess I’m just jealous!)

    -another San Diego mama

  9. San Diego Momma says:

    I’m all bra and no boob!

  10. But at least there wasn’t a hot glue gun involved…

  11. tinsenpup says:

    It’s worth homeschooling JUST to avoid this experience.

  12. SurferWife says:

    you are so friggin’ hot. You know this, right?

    Sorry if I stared at your face too much.

  13. MomZombie says:

    After two years in a co-op preschool (which is very nice in all ways except the co-op part which means guess who’s cleaning the bathrooms and taking the recycling to the recycling center and coming up with creative ways to raise thousands of dollars?) I am so addle-brained I enrolled my child in an elementary program that is very parent-volunteer oriented. I guess all that head-bashing into the brick wall really affected my brain.

  14. vodkamom says:

    I’ve assigned you to the craft center. be in my room at 9:15.

    (And aren’t you HOT?????)


  15. Ferd says:

    That was pretty funny!
    You know what? Your volunteer days are probably the ones they’ll remember! :D

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