Friday, October 10, 2008

Because You Asked For It (and You know who "you" are)

Now, that we've been home from Dauphin Island for a couple of weeks, I'm ready to talk about it:)  And having been asked to regale a certain story, that in retrospect I'm not 100% proud of, I'm going to relive this story, but only this once!  

We literally stayed in army barracks with the girls/moms on one floor and the dads/boys on the 2nd floor.  There were 2 moms per room, 2 girls per room, the teachers each had their own room, most of the dads had their own room, and 2 boys per room.  On the 1st floor there were 21 girls, 9 moms, 2 teachers, and the principal.  On the 2nd floor, there were 13 boys and 20 dads.  You would have thought there would have been some sort of control and discipline going on up there.  I'll just leave it at that.  

Down on the 1st floor, there was also a fire alarm system that was malfunctioning, which meant that that "beep, beep" went off about every 30 seconds until someone manually reset it.  This went on all day and ALL night and could be heard all over the 1st floor, but not by the dads on the 2nd floor.  Can anyone see where this story is going?  Not yet?  Allow me to continue...

After arriving on the island at about 8:00 pm, settling in, getting our roommates and the rules it's lights out around 10:00.  Until about 12:00 the boys run up and down the halls, which sounds like a herd of elephants from the 1st floor.  Finally, our principal goes up and brings down the hammer.  Where is the supervision?  I still don't know.  By now, it's too late to take my Ambien because we are taking a sunrise walk at 6:00 on the beach.  For all of you that know me, I am not a morning person.  Not even close.  My own children barely talk to me until 8:00 and they know not to wake me until 7:00.  But for Annie I will try to be pleasant or at least not ugly in the morning on our walk.  I also have alot of trouble sleeping at night.  Don't judge me, it's just where this story is going.  I don't sleep well, hence the Ambien.

I digress.  I can't fall asleep and as I do around 1:00 am, my roommate begins to snore.  It's not heavy breathing, it's snoring.  Not to be ugly or nasty, but it's freight train snoring.  I put in my earplugs from my ipod with the pillow over my head, but I can still hear it.  Finally, I turn my ipod on, which drowns out the noise enough that I can fall asleep.  And being that my roommate was not a member of my family or a very close friend, I couldn't exactly throw a shoe at her.  Don't think I didn't think about it:)  Only for a second!  I felt like I was asleep for about a minute when the herd of elephants begin to run again upstairs.  Thinking it's time to get up because why else would the boys be awake, I sit up to find my roomie (let's call her Jane) also sitting up in her bed, trying to figure out what time it is.  I find the's 4:00 am.  What the @!#!@#?  I'll take care of it, I tell her.  Now, keep in mind we've also been up and down all night turning off the damn alarm, as well.

On my way upstairs, I turn the alarm off again.  Now, I'm real cute in my scrubs and t-shirt with my hair sticking up (lots of humidity on the island).  I don't even announce myself on the boy's floor as stated in the "rules" to find about 8 boys playing football in the hall.  No dads, just boys.  With the element of surprise, I pounce and catch them all, explaining to them that it's 4 in the morning and if they don't go back to bed, I'm going to rip their heads off.  Apparently, none of their mothers had ever said this to them because they went running scared.  Later, Cam tells me maybe I should have used my filter.  I thought I did.  I didn't kill anyone or use any really bad language!!!!  I'm feeling pretty good about myself as I crawl back in bed and tell Jane "I took care of it".

45 minutes later the fire alarm is going off and the boys are playing football again in the halls.  I think this time I did swear as I got out of bed to "take care of it", again.  I get up there, but this time they see me and scatter, except one.  When I got to him, I told him to take me to the others.  "Yes, m'am", he says.  They are waiting for me in one room where I turn off the lights and tell them to get back in their beds.  Now, I am begging.  A grown 32 year old woman begging 10 year old boys to go to sleep!  Finally, a dad takes them out to play football at 5:00, but now I'm up and can't go back to sleep.

A dad approaches me at breakfast about threatening his son, Annie is mortified that I've shown myself to her boy "friends" in my jammies and threatened to rip their heads off, and the last night we are there, one of the dads does a skit pretending to be me at 4:00 in the morning.  Not pretty!  By the way, the boys were punished by the principal.  She took their candy and wouldn't let them have caffeine at dinner.  My question was why weren't the dads punished and how did they sleep through it?  Come to find out, they weren't asleep, they just didn't want to deal with it.  Apparently, they were on vacation...go figure!  All in good fun.  

I did apologize to one of the boys for really scaring him.  Turns out, he's still scared of me However, I didn't scare all of them because rumor has it, they can do some really great impressions of me.  Wouldn't have missed it for the world, but I would have liked more sleep.  I did remedy the snoring situation by sleeping with Annie in her twin bed with her roomie for the rest of our stay at camp.  And the fire alarm, well let's just say, a couple of dads "fixed" the problem, but no one knows who it was and I'll never tell:)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Priceless Joys of Dauphin Island

Annie and I have just returned from Sea Lab at Dauphin Island with her 5th grade class.  Without going into too much detail because I believe I've diagnosed myself with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since getting back and it's hard to concentrate for long periods of time.  

These were the moments of our memories:

1.  Cost of Sea Lab: $280
     Cost of Gas to get there and back:  $50 (split w/another mom)
     21 5th grade girls, 9 moms, 13 boys, 20 dads, 2 teachers, and 1 principal: priceless

2.  Dinner on the way down to Mobile:  $20
      Snacks and entertainment for 5 hours (one way trip):  $20
      An insanely, sleep deprived mom trying not to rip some heads off of some very obnoxious 
      10 year old boys:  priceless

...watching a family of 5 dolphins play off the shore as the sun rose:  priceless
...watching your 10 year old little girl be one of the first kids across the salt marsh:  priceless
...watching Annie dissect a squid and plankton, well that's just gross, no:  priceless

One more thing, having been exposed to and given an opportunity to observe this aged children in motion:  I'll take a stinky 10 year old boy who hasn't showered for 3 days or brushed his teeth than to the emotional roller coaster of hormones that almost every 5th grade girl was experiencing on this trip.  Love them all and had a great time.  Pictures to follow when I actually unpack the right bag that has the camera in it:)