Friday, April 16, 2010

Old Wisdom...or Not

I was recently in a classroom getting twenty kindergarten kiddies ready for home as their assorted parents, babysitters, relatives and friends waited patiently outside. In the midst of all the hustle, bustle and chaos of zippers, shoes, backpacks, notices and library books, came a rather shrill little voice yelling, "Hey look. Look at me."

It's amazing what happens to even the most trained professionals when we are overwhelmed, rushing about, multi tasking, desperate for more hands and unable to focus. All evidence of psychology training, learned teaching strategies and early childhood courses falls by the wayside.
In this instance, "Hey look. Look at me," came from the mouth of an impish young fellow who elected not to get dressed, but rather demonstrate a talent for rolling both eyeballs toward his nose. Of course, he elicited the desired attention from his classmates who chanted in unison, "Ewwwwwwwwww."

Super teacher that I am, I immediately took action to regain control over the situation. With years of education and experience under my belt, I responded sternly with, "Stop doing that or your eyes will stay frozen that way forever." I couldn't believe my own ears. Did that actually just come out of my mouth? I shook my head and looked around sheepishly hoping nobody over the age of five had actually just witnessed this embarassing moment.

I'm thinking that I'm not the only one who grew up with, and still has some of her parents' words of wisdom ringing in her ears. Remember these brilliant and enlightening phrases? "Wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident." "Don't eat that, you'll get worms." "You'd forget your head if it wasn't screwed on." "Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been." Or, my all time favourite, "this hurts me more than it hurts you."

I guess my tiny classroom transgression can be described rather as a moment of regression.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Noisy Nights...A Poem

"No human being believes that any other human being has the right to be in bed when he himself is up." Robert Lynd

Noisy Nights

My eyelids are heavy. I hear sounds in the hall
Voices of strangers, making their nightly call.

Real people or spirits, my own thoughts I guess
I really don't like it, this I confess.

The dog in her wrappings, her nest on the floor
Is sleeping behind you, a soft little snore.

I stare at your nostrils, I gaze at your head
As I sit up and wonder, at night in our bed.

I move myself closer and blow in your ear,
Why don't you wake up and see what I hear?

A tug of the covers a kick of the toes,
Oh why don't you 'waken and share in my woes?

I've said it before. I hear voices at night.
They're quite indistinct, should I turn on the light?

But my eyes are too heavy to read anymore,
So I sip on my water and look at the door.

Do I get up and wander, should I look for the source?
My sleeplessness surely will lead to remorse.

Ahem, cough and sputter, my throat I do clear.
Oh, I am so sorry, did I wake you my dear?

Well, since you are up now, do you share my concern?
About voices, the voices that make your head turn?

No! I've told you before, I'll repeat what I've said.
The voices aren't real nor are they in your head.
We've a street full of seniors, so don't you agree?
The houses are close, it's the neighbours' t.v.

Your breathing is rhythmic. The lights are all dim.
Are they living among us, or are the walls thin?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yes We Have No Bananas....

Last night I went to get some essential groceries to survive the Good Friday shopping drought. I picked up some salad, a tub of non hydrogenated margarine, cottage cheese and English muffins. Yes, I know, I'm starting to eat like a senior. I also wanted some bananas. Bananas! Those thick skinned yellow crescents that are piled in at least three different locations in the store. Bananas! Usually found in the organic section, the regular produce green but will ripen some day section and the store packaged slightly darkened discount banana area. Bananas! The things I like to slice up on my 130 calorie Special K breakfast.

I searched in all the usual places. No bananas. My brilliant observational skills allowed me to locate stacks and stacks of banana crates with the words "Imported" and "Chiquita" emblazened on top. Ah yes, my brain started singing, "I'm Chiquita banana and I'm here to say, bananas have to ripen in a bowl of Special K". Remember that or at least some unadulterated, unHilde-esque version of the jingle? I determined that there was no way I could leave the store without satisfying my now desperate need for bananas. Finally, as a last resort, I asked.

"We're sold out," the clerk responded.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I shook my head in disbelief. Sold out? Sold out! What store is ever, ever sold out of bananas? I went to two other grocers with the same strange result.
I shared this story with a friend who responded with "Yep, it's that pre-Easter shopping."

Pre-Easter shopping? Ah yes, of course I forgot that bananas are traditional Easter fare. Oh no! Whatever will I do? No bananas. Now what can I possibly dye for my annual Easter banana hunt? Oh dear, no banana stuffing for the turkey and and I can't believe there won't be any mashed bananas and gravy.

Could it be that there might be an impending world wide banana shortage? Bananas...the most popular and most consumed fruit in the world becoming extinct? Should this happen, the cost of this delicacy could rival the price of say...gas in the upcoming months. Some country might have to wage war to gain control over banana crops. But alas, let's not go there.