Monday, July 23, 2012

Some People...

I've always believed I had a pretty good head on my shoulders thanks in large part to my upbringing. Adulthood has certainly done well for me (although every now and then I feel those pangs of missing my childhood, more specifically, missing those people with whom I shared my childhood). I say this because when I started college, it didn't take me long to figure out what to study (the subject that always held my interest--English). I may not have realized my career path right away, but I kept an open mind, took a few different jobs that allowed me to use my degree, decided on teaching, and went back to school to maximize my knowledge as well as my pay check. Heck, I even got lucky in love! At the tender age of 22, I married a fine gentleman Jeffrey. We've had eight years of a blissful marriage, and I have to tell you, folks, it gets better with every passing year! Guess what? Jeffrey's head sits well on his shoulders too. While I may possess quite a level headed outlook on life, I have one way in which I fall short. I expect everyone else to be the same way. I hold those close to my age and older to the same standard I set for myself. Boy, did I receive some disappointment today! Let's just say, "Shit got real at the swimming pool this afternoon." Jude had his weekly swimming lesson today, and yes, I still see a little Michael Phelps in the making, but I've posted about that before so I won't say anymore about it. Today, Jeffrey went into the water with Jude while I sat and watched from the observation room. Now, getting in the water and swimming around with Jude is a ton of fun, but splashing around in a bathing suit in front of an observation room full of people who love to watch the little babies swim proves a tad awkward for the parent who drew the short straw to get in the water. Oh, but there's much worse. The getting out of the pool, toweling off, and traipsing back through the observation room toward the dressing rooms is positively the cherry atop the already self-esteem boosting half hour. So what do you suppose the parent in such a situation wants first to do? Well, I would think get in the dressing room, out of the damn bathing suit, and into dry clothes as soon as possible, all the while praying no one recognizes him or her. Actually, I can speak for all the moms and dads in our class. One can tell the need to get back into normal clothes by the beeline they make for those dressing rooms at the end of every class. Usually, getting ready to leave goes off without a hitch. Today, however... Jeffrey got out of the pool, handed Jude off to me so I could get him dried off and changed while Jeffrey did his sprint toward the dressing room. Next thing I know, Jeffrey's dressed and whisks me out of the building so fast like he does when he expels really foul gas. Thankfully, the swim school did not have to shut down due to toxic fumes, but what happened instead makes me lose a little faith in humanity. Jeffrey arrived to the dressing rooms and saw two open rooms. Naturally, he proceeded to go in one only to be stopped by some child's mother (an older child who whose lesson was still in session). This mother looks at Jeffrey (who is dripping wet and looking like the drowned rat we all emulate when we've been in the swimming pool) and says, "Oh, that room's been claimed for my daughter and so has that other one." Are you freaking kidding me????? Those kids weren't even done yet, but Jeffrey can't change? Well, anyone who knows Jeffrey knows what happened next. He looked at the woman and casually said, "Oh, ok" and walked in the dressing room and got dressed. Meanwhile, she stood outside the door and banged on it until he got done. Hence why Jeffrey grabbed me and Jude and we flew out the door. I just can't believe someone, an adult, could be so inconsiderate. Here stood another adult, dripping wet, in swim trunks in front of an entire audience, and this woman doesn't have sense to see that maybe, just maybe he might want to quickly get changed? Seriously, what man wishes to be half naked around a bunch of young children? Her actions basically said, "Well, my child is better than you and yours." This swim school is for kids. Seriously, I've never seen so many kids in one setting. It gets a bit chaotic between classes, for sure. I used to think anyone would know that to keep things running smoothly in that place, then wait their turn and get in and out quickly. After Jeffrey got out of the dressing room, that kid still hadn't finished her lesson! Jeffrey hated to be like that, but he also doesn't take kindly to people's crap. I came up with a solution in case this woman shows out again. Next time, Jeffrey will just strip down right in front of her! That'll learn her!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Turn the Page

Jude has a new favorite activity--turning pages. Jeffrey says Jude's the living embodiment of the Bob Segar song "Turn the Page" that Metallica later covered. (Leave it to my husband to make rock and roll nerdy. Oh well, at least Jeffrey didn't work in a Rush reference. He is getting better. :)) Sometimes, Jude even turns the page right on cue! Apparently, we read "Goodnight Moon," "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See," "Cat," and "Hop on Pop" a lot because he follows along looking from one page to the other and turns the page without me having to instruct him to do so. However, with other books, he'll turn the pages well before I've finished reading, or I'll have to say "Turn the page" at the appropriate time. Regardless, it's perhaps THE cutest thing I've ever seen. Yes, I say that about everything he does, but this is seriously adorable. This new marvel in Jude's life makes this English professor quite proud!I have to say, Jude has come a long way from just a few months ago when he preferred to chew the books. He had me worried there for a time. I have hoped Jude would like reading as much as I do. I really hope he uses his time better than I do and sets aside time to read every day. (I guess I do read every day, but not always for pleasure--the downside of teaching college English.) Of course, at thirteen months, he has no clue about the importance of reading; all he knows is, "When I turn a page, I see something entirely different. Cool!" Sometimes, he'll even go back and forth between pages as if to make sure that other picture is still there. Anyway, since we brought Jude home thirteen months ago, we have not had a day where we didn't read something to him. Heck, we started on some "light" Faulkner when he turned a week old! Admittedly, when in his more passive days, I would read aloud student essays to him and revel in my supermomdom. Believe me, I'm no multi-tasker, so the fact that I could grade papers and bond with my child at the same time made me feel like I really could do it all. However, as Jude grew more mobile and attentive, students' writing proved less and less interesting to him, and I certainly can't blame him there! I always appreciate when people get Jude books, though. He seems to love them, and every single book gets put to good use at our house. I try to introduce a different book per week just to expose him to new stories, pictures, and whatnot. Plus, each book presents to him a new challenge of when to turn the page! I don't know what I will do in the upcoming school year when I have grading overload to bring home with me--just slap some C's down for all of 'em, maybe? I'll worry about that when the time comes. What I do know is that I will spend every day, school in session or not, reading to Jude and giving him that opportunity to explore the world as only books can do. I will not, however, give society another reason to think that a Mississippi boy cannot read!