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Monday, May 24, 2010

Only Our Kids!

I'm in the middle of teaching when my phone rings. I checked the time.
"Who in the world would be calling me this time of day?" I thought.
Usually I would let it go to voice mail but I saw the number on the ID... it was the kids' school.
"Mrs. Jackson!" I answered.
They were calling to let me know that our little six-year-old had magic markers out on the bus and colored all over his hands on the way to school.
I waited for the rest.
"Um...did he color on the seats or anything?" I asked.
He hadn't.
"Well okay. I will take the markers and make sure he doesn't bring them to school anymore," I assured.
"Well it's not a big deal. Just wanted to let you know what's going on."
I was about to hang up when the school rep added, "Well the bus driver didn't even know about it until someone went up to her and told her when she got off the bus."
Of course, I thought, someone ratted him out for some markers that belonged to him.
Then he told me who the culprit was: HIS OWN SISTER!
I mean I couldn't figure that one out. Couldn't wait to talk to them when I got home.
"What were you thinking to squeal on your own baby brother?" I asked.
"You know what... don't even say anything!" I added.
I paced a little then threw my hands up and asked again. "What were you thinking?"
Playing with the end of her shirt she said, "Well the bus driver made a rule the other day and said no crayons and markers on the bus."
"But, baby... it was your brother. You shoulda just told him to put them back in his backpack. Then you coulda told me when you got home."
The little three-footer chimed in, "I don't know why you did that. The bus driver didn't even see them."
She gave him the "stingy caterpillar" eyebrows. "Mama don't need no co-signer!"
This one was a little tough because I didn't want her to think I was telling her to go against rules.
"But I could see if the driver asked you if he had markers- or if he had used them to draw on the seat. But you just dropped dime on him like you weren't related."
Shouldn't have said that.
"Mama. What you say?" she asked.
She was about to veer too far from the point. Had to reel her back in.
"Look. You are supposed to look out for your little brother. Not take him down."
And over some markers?

Becoming What We Speak

So we're in Walmart recently to grab a few things as our weekly usual. "Can we go look at the cakes?" our daughter asked as she and her brother began walking backwards to the bakery. I confirmed and made way to the produce nearby, when someone got my attention. It was a parent from the kids' school. Her oldest daughter was in the same class as our daughter a year ago.
"Haven't seen you in a long time," she commented.
"I know. Long time no see," I laughed, as I glanced over at my kids.
"Say. I didn't know you were part Mexican," she said.
"Come again," I replied- giving my version of Arnold's, "Whatchu talkin' 'bout Willis?" look.
She looked over at our daughter who now had her little brother in the headlock, forcing him to look at the cakes.
I snapped my fingers to get her attention, then gave her the rising eyebrows.
"Your daughter told me that you all were part Mexican and that's how you speak Spanish so well."
I shook my head.
"No. I learned to speak Spanish a few years back- not exactly fluent either," I responded.
I guess now that we have learned a few words in Mandarin Chinese, thanks to a little cartoon she watches, we will be part Chinese.
She has to know better.