I guess I'm working too hard at too many things. Right now, I am putting together a web site to accept donations for my kids' school. The PTA has to fund the arts (Art, Music, Computer Lab and P.E.) because the state budget doesn't pay for these things any more. Our PTA fundraises for about $100,000 each year. It's like squeezing blood from turnips to get all the families to just contribute a lump sum for each kid, so we are left to fundraise in ways such as the upcoming "Walk and Roll-a-Thon", where kids get pledges to run.
I keep telling the PTA we have to use the internet to fundraise but nobody will take on the job. Wimps. After three years of talking about it, I just up and did it myself. It was so easy. You should try it. One problem is that I really needed some pictures to put on the site to make it more compelling. Kind of like yelling, "hey, it's me, your friend/family member! I need your ten dollars to get to do the stuff I really enjoy!" So, today, as I was serving as noon aide during the upper grader's lunch, I snapped a few pictures. The kids were so cute, they all wanted me to photograph their feet. I took advantage of a primo photo-op when the band came out of lunchtime practice to take their yearbook photos. I ran right up the little grass hill, about 20 feet from the lunch tables, to snap some shots. It was a sweet moment. Kieran looked (and sounded) so COOL with her beautiful sax. My baby, the band geek. I was in heaven.
I returned to the lunch tables and was asked by the nearest group of kids if they could please be excused. Their table was tidy, the compost sorting line was short, so I let them go. Then, one of the other lunch ladies yelled at me "SHELLEY! What are you doing! I thought we had a system and you just disappeared!" Uggggghhhh. So I went back to the group of boys I had excused and told them to sit back down because Mrs. ____ was excusing. Then as each table asked to be excused I told them the same thing, "sorry, Mrs. ____ is excusing". So stupid.
Up I went to the playground to do yard duty when Mrs. ____ approached me. I got pissed off and LOST IT on the playground, in front of all the kids.
I felt the need to defend my ways, which are kind of fly by the seat of your pants style. This other woman is a scientist and obviously prefers order and discipline to my free and easy way of doing things. We got into a heated discussion in front of the handball court about her need to yell at me and my need to multitask. I was still within visual and auditory range when I stepped away to photograph the band, and the kids at lunch were fourth, fifth and sixth graders, who are pretty darned easy to wrangle (for me).
I got all teary eyed in my heated debate when I exclaimed that I care about all the kids and that I am trying to do this other thing (the web site) to help them all out. Geees.
So what's the learning experience here? The kids at school got to see a lunch lady "fight" which could be pretty cool if you like that sort of thing. It didn't come to blows but I may have secretly flicked a spoon full of peas and corn if I knew I could have gotten away with it. Hey, I'm the first to admit that I'm not perfect. I have flaws, I make mistakes, I do my best and sometimes I make up my own rules. No wonder the kids like me better.