Phone Calls, Missing Places, Cold Kitty Noses, and Odd Dream Statements

(Writing from September 26, 2011.)

I got a call from my son’s teacher this morning.

I had just sent him off to school in the big yellow bus. Walked back home. The phone was ringing when I opened the front door.

It’s always a little scary, getting a call about your child.

One time, it was because he’d hit his head and I had to come decide if he needed to go to the hospital. (He didn’t.)

One time, it was because he was crying inconsolably and telling the teachers that his stomach was hurting really badly, prompting me to make the 10 minute drive to his school in about 5, followed by a race to the Urgent Care clinic. The x-ray showed that he was in pain because he was full of shit. I gave him a laxative and vowed to not be so neurotic next time. (And then I opened a window. Seriously. It was impressive.)

The last time I got a call about my son, it was a few weeks ago, from a neighborhood mother. She was letting me know that her daughter told her my son was pulling down his pants on the bus, and flashing his ass at the kids in the back.

I was mortified.

She was extremely cool about it. She did it the nicest way anyone could ever tell another parent that their child is acting like an absolute hooligan, but still. She told me she thought it was funny, but that the bus driver is kind of a tough cookie, and my kid would get suspended if caught. I really appreciated the call, as I do not want to have to drive my son to school and sit in the Drop Off Line of Doom every morning for an hour. We are also a one-car family, so that would be a pretty major inconvenience.

I let my husband talk to my son about the incident. We take turns with discipline so the boy doesn’t feel like he’s being ganged up on every time we have an issue. My husband definitely scares him more than I do, so I figured he should handle this one.

But today, the phone call from authority carried good news. His teacher said that they were able to do aptitude testing on all of the kids last week, and my son tested well into second grade levels. (He’s in kindergarten.)

Rather than pull him out of class to go read with the second graders, they are going to instead pull him out of class every day until lunch to go learn English with the smartest group of first graders — the ones who tested at second grade levels like him. She said she had to consult with the principal on this decision, and explained it to her by saying: “The other kids are learning the letter sounds, and he’s signing his name in cursive.”

I’ve been worried that he might start acting out and misbehaving because he isn’t being challenged or stimulated enough, so I was thrilled to hear about the plan from his teacher today. His teacher is awesome, too. She’s young, fresh, and childless, and in it for the right reasons. I have adored her since the first parent-teacher orientation.

Unlike his math-challenged mommy, he also tested at second grade levels in math, so rather than taking him away from his kindergarten friends for the second half of the day for math, they are going to supplement him with extra work during the math his classmates are doing. I am pleased that his teacher is looking out for his interests this way. Really pleased.

So that’s cool.


I spent last weekend with my parents in Lawrence, Kansas. If you’re one of my Lawrence pals reading this, don’t get mad at me for not calling to let you know. It was just two days of total family time… no going out to bars drinking and carousing and such for me.

My parents got a big hotel suite on Friday, and we hung out together there all weekend. One of my sisters lives in Lawrence with her husband and two kids, so they came over to the hotel (and we also descended upon their house one evening). I had a great time. I cried like a baby as we drove out of the city on Sunday afternoon. I miss my family. I miss Lawrence. If I have to be back in the Midwest, I want it to be Lawrence, damn it. It’s an amazing city.

I miss California too. Basically, I just don’t really like it here in Tulsa very much.

But maybe I haven’t given it a fair chance. I moved here when my son was two months old, and I was exhausted from a C-section recovery period and new parenthood. It’s not like I ever got to really explore the city and see what it has to offer. I’m not really being objective.

So, okay. That’s enough. Enough whining.


On an adorable note, my newly adopted cat is sleeping on a blanket I put on the file cabinet in front of the office window. Her name is Cali, short for California. Whenever I write at the desk, she comes in here and sleeps next to me, or watches birds eating at the feeder I’ve placed outside the window. It’s an idyllic scene, and it makes me feel really happy and peaceful, writing while my cat hangs out nearby. I can feel my blood pressure dropping whenever I look at her. Visual Valium.

Behold The Cute:

When she puts the kitten mittens over her face, I die a little inside.


Before I go, I want to share a weird statement that floated through my thoughts right before I woke up today. It was announced, like it was being broadcast over a loudspeaker in my brain. It was the last thing that went through my head before the cat woke me up, purring and rubbing her cold nose on my face like she does, so maybe that’s why I remembered it.

The loud voice announced: If you spend your life intellectually beating people down, you will eventually join them.

I don’t recall seeing that sentence anywhere, so it was really weird. I scribbled it down on a piece of scrap paper while stumbling on my way to the coffee this morning. I don’t really know what to make of it, but I’m trying to listen, in case the universe is talking to me.

I hope I’m not intellectually beating anyone down.

I also hope you’re having a good week, my friends.