The Day That Was

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 8:32 PM


Are you friends with me on Facebook? Then this makes sense.

If you're not, I suggest moving along.

For anyone who is really curious, I think it will be therapeutic for me to type it out, and then I will strive to move on. 

Basically, there's a "variety show" at my kids' elementary school. Dev has performed in it the last two years and really looks forward to it. He's a born public speaker and he always does a great job, very well prepared, etc. It's important to him, and it's initiated by him so all I have to do is facilitate and make sure he has what he needs, etc. I knew it was coming up pretty soon, but hadn't seen anything come home for it yet.

This year, he intercepted the take-home form for the auditions, filled it all out himself, and I am sure in his mind he had everything all planned and taken care of. (This is a recurring theme with him: he makes playdates, etc, without consulting me, and while I admire his initiative, I really need to be kept in the loop until he is driving himself and paying his own way, etc etc etc).

So last night he tells me "Mom, could you please call the school office tomorrow and set up a time for me to audition for the variety show"? Immediately alarm bells go off in my head, since in addition to thinking he has Everything Completely Under Control he is basically King Slob and papers frequently get lost in the bottom of his backpack. I ask him to go produce any paperwork he might be hoarding on said auditions and he comes back with his form, all filled out with his act of choice...and it says auditions are for the next two days after school and need to have been scheduled by no later than 4 days ago.  

I tell him I will call the office in the morning and see what I can do, given his positive history in this area, but no guarantees, and it's his own fault.

I call this morning after Dev leaves for school, explain the situation, and ask if it is possible for him to audition, understanding it may not be. Secretary says there was one cancellation and he can have that spot...the VERY FIRST spot, that afternoon at 2:30. School lets out at 2:15.

And, while he knows his song extremely well, he has never sung it with a recorded accompaniment and it is HARD. No way I could do it, myself.


(Did I mention it's Eve's birthday TODAY? So I get to magically make all this happen while I'm buying and wrapping birthday gifts, and cooking special Favorite Foods etc? No? Well, it is. And I do.)

The audition paper said that any recorded accompaniment needed to be provided at the time of the audition, but it did not specify in what format that accompaniment should be (CD, MP3, whatever). I call my husband at work, which I really can't do, and he helps me over the phone to get speakers hooked up to my phone so I can bring that down there this afternoon and the child can have music everyone can hear. For those of you who know me, having to manage this fickle technology alone is a harrowing prospect, but I love my son and my son loves the variety show and I will do it.

I get the audio ready, test it in my kitchen, seems like it will work great. I get his costume ready (mercifully he already had everything he needed, and MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, literally, you have NO IDEA, it is hanging clean in his closet), I type him up an introduction to his song after some quick Google Fu (because of course the act he has chosen has basically no relation to the variety show theme, SAME AS HE DID LAST YEAR, and he sees no problem with that, but I suspect the judges might, so I gently massage the introductory language so he gets to do what he wants and it has a tenuous tie to the theme, because massaging language is kind of what I do.)

So, that's audition time arranged, accompaniment sorted, costume assembled, and introduction paragraph researched and written. By 10 am.

Shower. No makeup or deodorant. Whoops.

Drive through Taco Bell and bring lunch to Eve at school so I can eat with her, because remember it's her birthday?

As Eve's lunch is ending, Dev's is just starting, so I run to meet him at the door of his classroom. I quickly explain the situation to him, hand him the paper with the introduction, tell him it has to be memorized by the time school is out (which he is perfectly capable of, luckily for both of us), and pull him aside so he can sing the song a couple of times along with the accompaniment track, which is just sliiiiiiightly different than the one he is familiar with. When I link the song at the end here, you will see why this is A Huge Deal.

He does pretty well, better than I expect, and I send him off to eat his lunch and tell him I will be at his classroom door when school is out, holding his costume, and he better be Johnny On The Spot or we might as well save each other all this bother.

I just tell Iris at this point she's playing hooky from preschool, since she's late anyway because I had to stay and meet with Dev, and I need her to come birthday present shopping with me so she can tell me what My Little Pony figurines we do and do not already own, because I have no %#(*@ clue and can't keep them straight. This 90-minute window is my only chance to shop without the birthday girl herself in tow, so away we go.

Presents acquired. Whew. At least something went smoothly.

Back at Dev's classroom door for the final bell. We head straight to the gym, where the auditions will be held, where we meet Eve and she wants to tell me everything about her Magical Birthday Day At School and I get to tell her I love her but can it wait and Iris five thousand times to just sit and CHILL while I get Dev set up. 

(Because the only thing that could possibly make this situation more stressful is having to manage it with two talkative, squabbling girls in tow.)

I sign Devlin in to the auditions while he is changing into his costume in the bathroom. The sign-in lady is nice, although I see on the blue sign-in form (for the first time, might I add, it was NOT on the take-home paperwork) that "all recorded music must be on a CD", which I do not have. I explain the deal, "you know how kids are, sometimes every bit of paperwork doesn't exactly make it to its intended target", I assure her that if he is selected I will get the music to them in every format from laser disc to the present day, whatever they want, and she says that's fine, they'll just make a note of it and we can use what we have today.


I go set up my audio equipment, it WORKS, another miracle, Dev has memorized his intro like a boss and we run through his song one more time and it's spot on perfect. Tom Lehrer doesn't do it better.

Go time.

We head in to the audition, which is mostly full of judges I know (one lives on our street and is just as sweet as honey, one is Eve's first grade teacher) and one I don't. The Judge I Don't Know asks me very brusquely where Devlin's blue sign-in form is, and I realize that I have left it on the floor at the back of the room - you know, what with my arms full of speakers and costumes and my purse and two chatty girls and all. 

I apologize and ask if she needs it before his audition or should I let him audition first and then retrieve it and bring it to her. She looks at me like I just told her I have genital herpes and says in a tone of voice I'm not sure how to convey in print "Well, yes, I need it. It's his audition form".

Ooooooookay. So, I'll get it now, then? Instead of two minutes from now? You kind of still didn't answer my question, and I think even kindergarteners are learning to do that, but ooooooookay. Probably just me projecting my stress onto her and imagining grouchitude,

So then she says "where is his CD"? And I quickly explain the whole thing one more time, and she says "well, the sign-in person was supposed to tell you you couldn't audition without a CD" and I'm like BUMMER, but SHE SAID, and the form DIDN'T SAY, I promise I'll do whatever you need in the future, I'm not a deadbeat parent, don't crush my kid's dream at this point, please? 

She lets him audition, but my herpes seems to have progressed to the Ebola virus in her estimation.

Everything works perfectly, except that Dev flubs up one verse, but does a great job on everything else. I know he will be prepared if they give him a spot, because it's very important to him and he will work hard. Hopefully the judges will take his history as a performer into account and give him a little slack.

(For the record: I am NOT a stage mom, this is all HIS idea and I know it's important to him so I am just trying to support him as much as I can. Eve didn't want to audition and believe me that is JUST FINE.)

So as I'm leaving, I thank the judges at the table for accommodating us, and for their work on the show, and this lady (who I am standing right next to) shoves Devlin's blue form across the table and says to the judge immediately on her other side, "Well, if we're just going to let people do whatever they want then I don't know why we even bother having the forms. I'm not even going to use this".

So, like, I'm not sure if she heard me? Because that sounds like what you would say about someone if you DIDN'T know they were standing right next to you, and you were rude. If you know the person is standing right next to you, and they have been polite and considerate and apologetic, and that's what you say, then I think that makes you very very rude indeed.

So I congratulated Dev, and walked straight to the office, and looked on the wall at all the staff photos, and saw she was pictured as a kindergarten teacher. I asked the secretary what her name was, and now I know it, and it sounds like I didn't just catch her on a bad day, or misinterpret her tone (the nastiness of which I have not been able to convey here, no, not even with this absolute novel that surely NO ONE will read), and I am absolutely letting the office know in writing that I will not accept her as a kindergarten teacher for Iris next year, if she ends up going next year, and why.

Then I came home, wrapped presents, oversaw homework and piano practice, made dinner, remembered to bring yellow candles, because Eve's favorite color is yellow and it's her birthday, remember? and drove to my parents' house, where at least I did not have to do the dishes.

And Eve had a great birthday, and Devlin (hopefully) learned a couple of life lessons, and maybe will still even get into the variety show if he's lucky.

And reading it here, it really doesn't even sound that bad, but I'm telling you it was BAD, because what KINDERGARTEN TEACHER is rude to a mom who is doing her best and trying to be nice and polite and supportive, when she doesn't even know me, for no reason?! That's just a mean person, and I don't like mean people, and mean people should work in sewers underground, or in dungeons, or at the North Pole, where they can't poison other people with their meanness. Not even plants deserve to be talked to like that, and certainly not kindergarteners, and definitely not me.

That time I was giving her the benefit of the doubt. Next time, she's getting an earful of Sassy Redhead Mama Bear With A Big Vocabulary.

The End.

Comments (6)

You are such a wonderful Mom. I wish you could see what the day that you just described would have looked like from my child-eyes. I had good parents, but my Mom didn't go the extra mile to do the things that you did for Devlin. Even in elementary school, we were expected to get ourselves up, ready and out the door. If we didn't do everything to be in the variety show for ourselves, then it didn't happen. I am sorry that the teacher was nasty. I hope that karma pays her a visit.

Let me get this straight...your son sang THAT?! Blessed beef!

Now, that I have that off my poor, poor thing. :( You were much nicer than I would have been. I sincerely hope Dev makes it into the variety show and that this woman gets her can kicked (in a nice way, of course).

Like i said, you are supermom. And your kids are awesomely rad and talented. And some people just should not be in jobs where they interact with people. Robots. Yes, they should only interact with robots.

Aw haaayyll no! That's quite the story. I think the Big Vocabulary may need to come out and play.

Oh. My. Gosh. What a crazy horrible amazing outstanding disappointing exhilarating exhausting day! I've always been impressed with your kids, but hearing the song that he sang for the talent show really blew me away, and anyone whose heart was not melted by it most certainly should not be in early childhood education. I've never heard of a kindergarten teacher being so uptight! BTW I totally relate to needing one of the kids with you to figure out which of the bazillion little toys of a collection have not yet been acquired.

i'm a little late to the party, but WOW. Props to you, and props to Devlin, and I really hope he made the show, and just WOW. I saw someone perform that at a high school variety show a few weeks ago and she brought down the house. I can imagine Dev doing the same.