Thursday and Friday of this week were Juneau School District "in service" days. Those dreaded days on which teachers do training or some shit, and parents--who as children themselves once greeted the words "no school" with unabashed joy--now recognize them as the two dirtiest words in the English language.
"This is not to be mean, Mom," said Isaac this morning as he inhaled his nutritious Honey Nut Chex with a "touch" of honey before pre-school, which was mercifully exempt from the horrid "in-service." "But you have the boringest job ever."
How deeply wrong you are, I thought. For I coincidentally had "off" from "work" today, and today's much more difficult-than-lawyering "work" would be entertaining an 8 year-old girl who thrives on school and structure, with neither school nor structure at my disposal.
I knew it was going to be a long haul when, before the clock even struck nine, Paige insisted on performing a "concert" with the "French Horn" she made last summer in an ill-advised class called "Recyclable Orchestra." The instrument is a piece of green garden hose fashioned into a loop with duct tape around the mouthpiece and a black plastic funnel for the horn. Truth be told it's more of a "French Canadian" Horn, but here we were.
She grabbed the family iPad and deftly located the Harry Potter soundtrack. "Do you want to hear 'Harry's Wonderful World' or 'A Hogwarts Christmas?'" A Hobson's Choice at best. "Are there any other options?" I asked meekly, already knowing the answer.
"Fine, I'll choose." She plugged a pair of mini-speakers into the iPad and blasted the opening score to the Harry Potter movies at top volume. It's incredible how much sound can come from such small speakers nowadays. She took her position in the kitchen in front of a wall of booze bottles and blenders, and began spitting and tooting into the garden hose with the enthusiasm of a big band majorette and all the tunefulness of a moray eel being slowly murdered by a fishing spear. Her "I'M NOT TIRED" pajama t-shirt heaved up and down with the effort.
I knew it was going to be a long day, and as of this writing, it still is.