Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week: Mo' Appreciatin'

Sunday night, after the kids were in bed, I was mentally surveying the week to come. Imagine an old-time riverboat captain, very grizzled, dueling pistol tucked into his belt, studying the river ahead of him for logs, outlying shoals, or maybe one of those little Huck Finn-type rafts. I am like that Captain. So I was scanning the week in my mind, wondering what needed navigating around and what hazards lay hidden, waiting to swamp us.

Do you get cheery like that on Sunday night?

Then I saw it: Great Caesar's Ghost, Teacher Appreciation Week. Helm hard alee! BACKPADDLE!!!

I have held forth in this space before about the phenomenon of the suburban Teacher Appreciation Week and how it offers unparalleled opportunities for moms to outdo each other while adding extra items to your domestic to-do list, every single day, for a week. Sure, I'd gotten about twenty emails from the room mom about this event, but somehow, when I saw Teacher Appreciation Week looming up out of the fog, it gave me a nasty turn.

My first fearful thought was that Monday was Handmade Card Day.  Laura had gone to bed, so I was already planning to lay out the card-making supplies and have her tackle it before getting on the school bus. Then I double checked and breathed a huge sigh of relief: Flower Day.

"I hope she likes daffodils," I thought.

I went out into the dark and cut the only two daffodils I'd managed to protect from Hank's predations.  (You know the adorable way that little children bring you a flower that they've torn from the stem about two inches below the bloom? Let's just say I have lots of bud vases.) I bundled them up with the old wet-paper-towel-in-a-sandwich-baggie trick and called it a night.

There are other goodies for each day of the week, and every morning a different mom is bringing the teacher an iced, nonfat, no-whip chai latte.  I am not one of those moms.  I guess I have given myself a pass this year.

Today was handmade card day, and Laura wrote this note:

She thanks her teacher for being "good-natured and respectful."  I don't know what to make of that.

She also wrote a poem which I will not inflict on you, as asking other people to appreciate your child's poetical offerings is like wanting them to listen to the dream you had last night. Suffice it to say that it included the lines:
In Autumn, leaves fall like colorful tears,
Color strikes the world like a prodigious ray,
The outdoor design is different each day. 
Hmm, if that don't make her feel appreciated, then I don't know what will?  But just in case, I'm sending in a gift card for Ann Taylor.


Suburban Princess said...

I am always surprised when I hear about all of these things parents have to do...when I was little the parents didnt do anything!

Jenni said...

Oh, Laura. She is a precious gem. Also, HOLY CRAP! I have to go get a teacher gift. Thank you for the reminder.

Kate said...

that's a great card! yesterday I saw a mom with a silver platter in her hand. it had crumbs on it. i asked her if she had a birthday party earlier, and she said no, it was from teacher appreciation breakfast last week. OOOPS! I guess I forgot to bring in my silver platter of homemade scones.

Elizabeth said...

My favorite line is "I have learned things that I never dreamed possible."

Christian said...

My mother always slipped my teachers an unmarked envelope full of CASH, like she was a guest at a mob wedding. I was a good kid; she didn't need to buy them off. But she figured that no teacher needed another apple-shaped pencil holder, but probably did need something I wasn't allowed to carry on school property. I've always admired that about my mother.

Becky said...

Ha! Christian, when you say things you weren't allowed to carry on school property, I'm thinking alcohol and handguns. Perfect!

Kate, your scones are here, with the prosciutto-wrapped melon I didn't bring in.

Life on The Rowland Ranch said...

Prodigious...? Did I even spell that right? Wha..? And she's in fourth grade? Wowzers! :) What a sweetheart your Laura is.

Becky said...

She did check with me on the spelling of "prodigious." Also "rhododendron"--that was a choice bit--and I really had to think hard about where that 'h' goes.

Beth said...

We do not have this Teacher Appreciation Week, here. Thank goodness. It sounds to me like that house floating down the Mississippi where Pap is found dead, all bloated up and gross.

Messy Mom said...

GO Laura! She really loves school. That poem is amazing, she must have your gift for writing.

I didn't know people didn't enjoy hearing about dreams. Oops.

Becky said...

You know, I actually DO like to listen to people's dreams. So feel free to tell me all about 'em! I will be all ears, and nod, and say things like, "Uh huh, so then the kitten was really your father?"

Amy said...

Wow, we don't go all out like that here--impressive! And also a bit OTT. But I do love me some teachers.

Prodigious is an amazing word choice. It's true too--we got prodigious rays of color ALL up in here.

Oh--and you are definitely the grizzled riverboat captain of the suburbs.

Char said...

oh the drama of a child, right? i had to laugh at the "one thing" she looks forward to night. so very sweet.

i remember still the valentine i made my baby "bother" (sic)

Common Household Mom said...

The teachers get appreciated for an entire WEEK? Holy Pedagogy, don't y'all PAY your teachers a salary? (I come from a long line of public school teachers, so I can say that. Although I am not one myself.)

Once your kid gets past elementary school, there isn't any social pressure to participate in such things as Teacher Appreciation Period of TIme, at least in our school district. The teachers are just happy if you are sending a respectful non-violent child to their class.

gretchen said...

I'm so glad you posted this. Tomorrow is Jude's teacher's birthday, and he's supposed to make a card and bring a flower. Dang. We may have one bird of paradise that didn't blow away in the freaky winds we had the other night.

That Laura. So mature and well-spoken. Like her Mama. I am curious as to how she worked "rhododendron" into her poem. She didn't have to rhyme it, did she?

Cassie said...

I want to be like Laura when I grow up.

Crystal said...

"Prodigious" wow. Sounds like she's the offspring of someone with their Phd ; 0.

Amy said...

I do not know whom to elaborately and lengthily (31 days) curse for this, but we have Teacher Appreciation MONTH at our n'hood elementary school.