To Whom It May Concern:

It has recently come to my attention that at some point over the last nine months I have lost my innate capacity to socialize as an intelligent, rational adult human being.  Instead, my interactions have deteriorated to such a degree that I no longer recognize the very scary woman I have become.  

To illustrate:  my brother and I went to a movie last weekend and at the end of it, he announced that he was heading for the restroom.  Thankfully there was enough background noise that he more or less missed my response, which was something along the lines of, “Very well, but go quickly please.”
Excuse me, but when the hell did I become the bathroom police?!?  “Your bodily functions are now subject to Amy’s approval.  You have exactly one minute to finish your business and if you are not back within that time frame, she WILL come and haul your ass out of that bathroom stall post haste.  And by the way, do not think that she will not hear you howling like a loon or that she will not find out if you decide to overflow the bathroom sinks or fill the toilets with paper towels and soap.  You WILL be on your very best bathroom behavior or YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!”

Yes.  I have indeed lost all touch with reality. 

And really, that whole bathroom thing is just the tip of the iceberg.  I find myself saying the most god-awful things all the time, and while out in public no less.

For example, I'll be out with some friends (with not a child in sight) when suddenly out of nowhere I will hear myself saying "Okay, it's getting a little loud in here, let's try to keep our voices down.  Remember:  be peaceful."

Oh.  My.  God.

Someone shoot me now because I did NOT just say that.  Of course, I immediately try to play it off as a joke, but no one ever really laughs; instead they just look at me like I'm crazy, and frankly, who can blame them? 

Sometimes I think there should be a sign, one that says "Scary teacher lady on the loose.  Flee the area now."  Instead there's just me in my sad teacher outfits with an infinite number of pockets filled with crazy confiscated crap:  everything from matchbox cars and doll heads to shiny jewels that are really just bits of collected glass (the joys of having an urban parking lot serve as your school playground). 

Yes, every night I get home and it's like my pockets held a party during the day.  They're filled with candy wrappers and tiny bits of erasers, hair clips and shoelaces, rings and bouncy balls and stickers and tattoos and every other piece of crap you can possibly imagine that might fit inside a child's pocket or shoe.  And then sometimes there are the more valuable items, like what appears to be mom's diamond engagement ring, and the scarier unidentifiable items that make you think that maybe someone has a criminal or a spy living at home because no law-abiding citizen should ever have an item that looks like that. 

But then mixed in among all that worthless junk are the tiny bits of treasure:  the carefully plucked flowers given with a smile, the exquisitely written and illustrated letters ("I know you loved your kitty very much, Ms. Culey"; "you are a good teacher"; "I love you"; and "Can I come over and play at your house?") and the crumbling cookies and cherished Hot Cheetos innocently shared.

Sure, maybe I've turned into some crazy bathroom monitoring dictator, and maybe my pockets ARE filled with crap these days, but at least I'm greeted with 23 smiles and an endless number of monster-sized hugs five days a week. 

Then again, I also get to deal with little boys sneaking behind the trash bins at recess to have pissing contests and little girls obsessing over my status as a mom (Do you have any babies, Ms. Culey?  When are you going to have a baby, Ms. Culey?  Are you going to have a baby, Ms. Culey?  How many babies do you have, Ms. Culey?  Why don't you have any babies, Ms. Culey?  Aren't you ever going to have a baby, Ms. Culey?)  I've even had little girls pat my admittedly not as flat as it should be stomach and ask when is my baby going to be ready.  GOOD GOD.  If I actually wanted children, I would be a basket case by now, obsessing over my baby-less state!

And to top it all off, for the first time ever, I was wished a happy mother's day not once, not twice, but three times.  Of course, they don't get it.  They're young enough and come from fairly traditional families, so they assume I'm a mom and they say it with so much love ("Happy Mother's Day, Ms. Culey!!!") that I can't help but think that being a mom wouldn't be so bad if I could be mom to all these wonderful, adorable, lovable children.  So maybe, a hundred years from now, in my next lifetime, I'll adopt a dozen or two.

I'm sort of rambling, hmmm, that's so unusual for me. Can't imagine what's gotten into me.  I feel like I started this blog with a purpose, but now, well, it's just fluff.  So there you have it, my fluffy first grade life.  Isn't it grand?

And speaking of first grade (which we certainly haven't been doing before now), my darling first graders are wrapping up their year.  The last day of school is May 21st and we're in an all-consuming rush to get everything done before then.  (Nine days of instruction, one school play, two school masses, one field day and a celebration cookout and then we're home free for the summer!)  
Here's hoping the kids and I make it (without losing too many more brain cells in the process) and that snickers bars and dr. pepper IVs remain in constant supply throughout these, our final school days!