A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All
If you understand any of those words, congratulations… you speak Spider-Man (formerly known as Bucket Head).
If not, allow me to translate:
gool bus = school bus
tute titty = cute kitty
I regot = I forgot
no-ball = snow ball
nack = snack
woperate = cooperate
yater = later
nuggle = snuggle
wack = black
For those of you not playing along at home, I’ll summarize: he can’t really pronounce beginning blends, the letter “L,” or the hard “C” sound. I think it’s pretty cute. The kid is not even four years old yet, so I really hadn’t given it a second thought.
As if I didn’t have enough on my mind; particularly after realizing, at church, while in the midst of my assigned shift of Eucharistic Adoration, that the semi-clean jeans blindly retrieved from my bedroom floor that morning included a stow-away pair of dirty panties nestled in one of the pant legs. Apparently even Jesus needs a good laugh now and then.
Needless to say, after church I was not my usual confident self when I arrived at preschool to pick up Spider-Man. After a quick pat down in the parking lot to make sure there were no other sundry items hitchin’ a ride, I made my way through the throngs of noisy nannies, grannies, and professional SAHMs, to Ms. Evelyn’s classroom door. Cue unpleasant surprise number two…
Preschool Teacher: “Did you happen to sign Spider-Man up for the speech screenings next week?”
Me: “Noooooo. (perplexed look and tilt of head) Do you think I should????”
Preschool Teacher: “Well, yes.” (facial express: DUH.)
Me: “Oh my God, are you serious?” (a little slow on the uptake, as usual)
Preschool Teacher: “It’s just that I noticed he struggles with several different sounds and it would really help him to be ready for kindergarten if he could work on that.”
Me: (dry mouth, gulp, followed by disbelieving head shake) “I remember the flyer coming home in his backpack a few weeks ago, but I tossed it in the recycling bin thinking it didn’t apply to him. I mean, he’s only three. Surely this is just a developmental thing. Right?” (another painful dry gulp)
Preschool Teacher: (nervous smile and eye twitch)
Me: (rapidly and a little too close) “I mean, how bad is it?… compared to the other kids in your class.”
Preschool Teacher: (stepping back a bit and placing hands in the self-defense-ready position) “Well, I can’t discuss other students, but it couldn’t hurt to get the screening.”
Me: (suddenly realizing that I’ve frightened her) “Oh. Okay. I guess I’ll stop by the office and see if they have an extra flyer.” (big sigh)
Spider-Man: “See you yater, ayyigator!” (to Teacher, big smile and wave)
Perhaps a woman of greater poise could have managed this information better, but unpleasant surprises aren’t really my thing. And two in one day? And immediately following an hour of alone time with The Blessed Sacrament? What… did I not pray hard enough? Did I pray for the wrong things? Is God punishing me for my slovenly ways and clingy panties? Or is this all just a coincidence…
I just don’t know.
But I can tell you this: it never feels good to hear “there’s something wrong with your child.” After three kids and several high-maintenance pets, you’d think I’d be used to it by now, but no… it is always a shot to the heart. Granted, I realize there are many many worse things a parent can hear, and I’m grateful that whatever this is or isn’t, it’s probably fixable. My heart and prayers go out to all the parents out there who are facing much scarier battles.
So today, in addition to vowing that I will put my skivvies in the hamper from now on, I give thanks to God for not giving me more than I can ever handle. Clearly he/she knows me all too well. To Ms. Evelyn and all the teachers of the world who deliver difficult news to freaky parents, I salute you. Thank you for all the love and care you give to our children every day. And Jesus, you are welcome for the slapstick yesterday. Try the veal (just not on Friday). I’ll be here all week.
In prayerful thanksgiving and praise,
© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris