From Preschool to Kindergarten Cop: What I Got Out of Subbing

funny teacher gift

I don’t get gifts because I’m the sub.  Yet there are days when I would have said this. (Though I DO think a monogram out of crayons would be cool.)

I’m winding down my sub job this week-two more days and I’m a free woman again.  It’s been good for me, but I must admit I’m ready for some time back home.  You know, being a horrible manager of my time, bored and broke again…

This whole job thing was much more challenging than I thought it would have been.  This didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the job itself.  This is because some other things happened.  First of all, about a month in, Evil Genius embarked upon a project at work that will probably last at least 4 more weeks and makes him work 500 hour weeks.  I know there aren’t 500 hours in a week, but to him (and me) it really feels like it.  He leaves long before most humans even think about getting up to go pee, and returns home at night with enough time to eat supper and go to bed. Naturally, my reaction to all of this is to tell him I’ll write a song about it, make him coffee when I remember, and kill him with kindness when he is in SUCH a good mood (I love you honey…)

Then the poor girl I was working with had a family tragedy and had to take some much needed time off.  With both of the regular classroom teachers having to be gone, I had to step up quickly and do stuff that I’m well capable of but just wasn’t expecting to have to do.  It made things very interesting, to say the least!  On the other hand, I think it worked out pretty well that I had been the one that was there instead of several people trying to fill in the hours.

Other things happened too, I’ll get to those in a minute…

Anyway, as I was working these last two months I definitely had some moments and I learned some things too:

Anyone who says that they are going to quit drinking diet pop upon returning to work are setting themselves up for epic failure.

Never hesitate to ask for help from your fellow bloggers.  They will RUN to your aid!

Don’t ask your husband to do anything non work related because you can’t.  He won’t remember.

Having your own child in your classroom means you are basically working two full-time jobs, teacher AND Mommy.

Oh she's cute, but it was a challenge having her in the same classroom sometimes!

Oh she’s cute, but it was a challenge having her in the same classroom sometimes!

Upon deciding to work a job in another town, you are guaranteeing there will be at least one winter storm per week, and one to two snow days per pay period.

Anyone who says they are going to quit eating sugar when they go back to work are setting themselves up for epic failure.  Especially when Valentines and Easter are in that time frame.

Guest bloggers are the way to go when you need to be busy doing something, or are tired, or just don’t want to blog.  I just wish I had done that sooner!

When things change, your ADD son will miss getting off the bus at the right place at least once.

No matter how good your dog seems, when he’s left to his own devices for days on end, he will poop on your floor.  AND tear stuff up.  AND be a general pain in your rear.  It’s a good thing he’s cute.

This didn't happen-but other messes were made.

This didn’t actually happen-but other messes were made.

Anyone who says they are going to quit taking Ambien to help them sleep when they go back to work are setting themselves up for epic failure.

Apple Jacks are never a good idea for breakfast when you have to last from 5:30 am until lunch.

If glasses are to be broken with no hope of repair, it will be the expensive ones, not the free ones.

No matter how nice the weather is, if you choose to leave your dog outside all day (because he poops on the floor and tears stuff up) the temperature will drop to negative numbers and there will be a blizzard.

Never in my life have I wanted to quote Kindergarten Cop so much.  You don’t know how many times I wanted to yell “There is no BATHROOM!”  I can even think of a couple of Arnold moments that I had.  But what happens in preschool stays in preschool.



Certain little girls who hold in their poop will find new ways to keep it in.  No matter how much fiber you give her.  Add to the fact that you don’t really know when the last time she actually went was, it’s kind of a “poop roulette”.

It’s nice to have an excuse to be on Pinterest-I have to find art ideas for work!

Never ever make plans when you are a substitute teacher.

Things usually work out-you just have to give them time.  This has nothing to do with the noncompliant pooper, it has everything to do with life in general.

Sleep.  I knew it well once.  And I’m an insomniac-that’s not saying much.

I’ll be back with actual posts hopefully later this week.  In the meantime… tomorrow:  toodle on over to Go Cheap or Go Home to visit me.  I’m posting an oldie but a goodie-the poor girl wanted some time off! 

I really won't be a pah-ty poop-ah.  I will be baaaack!

I really won’t be a pah-ty poop-ah. I will be baaaack!

My Life of Crime: Subliminal Criminal

It wasn't anything like this.

It wasn’t anything like this.

Part 1:  The Day I Went To Jail, Briefly

One of the requirements to work with children in the particular state I live in is that you have to be fingerprinted.

I vaguely remember this being discussed about the time I left the childcare business.  You have to jump through a lot of hoops to be certified in this state.  You have to be current in CPR and First Aid-which is easy for me, as I’m a certified instructor.  You have to have a ton of training.  You have to fill out so much paperwork.  I suppose it SHOULD be that way-you can never be too careful with children.

Anyhoo, since I am subbing I am therefore working with kids, thus needing to get my fingerprints done to be put in some sort of database.  You need to go to either the police station or the county sheriff to get yourself “printed”.  I opted for the sheriff since you don’t necessarily need to make an appointment.  I called and they said come on over.

The woman I talked to said, “Oh and by the way you have to go to the jail to do that.”

Weird, but ok.  So off I went, four year old in tow.

As it turns out you can’t take a four year old into the jail.  I guess that makes sense.  So they set her up with some books in the front area.  There was a woman behind the desk who said she would be happy to keep an eye on her.

The sheriff took me back to the jail area.  It was a bit disappointing.  There was nothing there but an area where they must check people in.  No shady people behind bars, no people sitting around asking “Hey, whatcha in for?” No one singing “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen…”

I was expecting the classic inking of the fingers.  At least here they no longer do.  This was actually the cool part.  They scan your fingers now.  There is a pad that they put your fingers on that scans and shows the image of your fingerprints.  When you get done, they print it out and you take it with you.  I’m also assuming that it sends the prints to some sort of national registry.  I thought it was the neatest thing I had seen in a long time.  I was disappointed there was no retinal scan to go along with it, you know, just because.

So I was in and out of jail in less than ten minutes.  Meanwhile, The Princess was up front charming everyone in sight.  When I came out of jail to get her, she was sitting with one of the other sheriffs, playing Angry Birds on an Ipad with him.  They also gave her a stuffed animal.  Now she wants to go to jail every week.

Yes, jail is a terrible, terrible place.  I should have stayed there.

That afternoon I endured broken glasses, a crabby daughter, a food stealing dog, a horrible day at school for my son, and NO NAP!

Yes, I definitely should have stayed in jail.


I assure you this is not true in my case.

Part 2:  Smooth Criminal?

In addition to filling out a gazillion forms and getting fingerprinted, working with kids also requires a criminal record check.  This is whether you work in the public schools or a private preschool.  This is a good thing-you don’t want creepos working with your children.  They need to make sure you are not a child abuser!

As it turns out “something” showed up in the check.  They don’t know what.  Apparently they are not informed exactly what turns up.

But I was, of course, freaking out.  Of course this happens to the person with severe anxiety.

My first question  was this “Do unpaid bills count as a criminal act?”  I was quickly assured me they did not.  Phew!  The most likely scenario-someone else with the same name as me in a faraway state was a bad person who robbed a bank.  Or perhaps I had an old parking ticket?  If so I wouldn’t know when that happened.  To be safe, I texted Evil Genius and asked if he had paid all of the parking tickets he got at school-in MY car.  Of course, he couldn’t graduate until he paid them.  I got a speeding ticket awhile back when Satan’s truck was still running.  That had to be quite a while ago, since that truck hasn’t run for over a year.  Basically I wasn’t paying attention and got caught.  I paid it right away.

Then I started wondering-did someone steal my identity?  Evil Genius got a huge kick out of this “Who would want to be you?”  HA HA-you’re very funny.

If I had been part of a criminal act and convicted as so, don’t you think I would know about it??????  I’m ready for my polygraph.  Go ahead, ask me to tell a bunch of lies!

Maybe I did something terrible in my sleep.  I am on Ambien after all.  Maybe I got in my car, went to town, stole a whole bunch of stuff from Wal-Mart, then drove home and went back to bed.  Makes perfect sense!

So I must be a criminal and I didn’t even know it.  A subliminal criminal…

I have never even actually been to a real jail until I had to get fingerprinted.  I’ve never been to a courtroom.  The closest I have ever come has been being able to quote episodes of Night Court.  I lead a VERY uninteresting life.  Needless to say, I was horrified that anyone would even imply that I had any kind of record!


And of course, please vote if you’re not totally sick of the contest!  Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms.

Pajamas and Somewhat Unrelated News

Trying to exercise in her pjs.

Trying to exercise in her pjs.

We are finally having a real Iowa winter this year.  We haven’t had a winter that has been typical in years.  We had several years where we were buried under snow all winter long with many no school days.  Someday I will share my story of Evil Genius and the blizzard.  Last year it was warm with only one snowfall.  I enjoyed the warmer weather but it was weird.  This year has had cold and snow, but not too much of each.

This week we had a Winter storm Tuesday night into Wednesday.  It came up rather suddenly-the winter storm watch popped up in the morning (which I didn’t know until afternoon) and then it turned into a warning by afternoon.  The snow was bad enough that school was first delayed and then cancelled.  Yet Evil Genius made it to work, and was the first one there, beating people that live right there in town.  We live an hour south of where he works.  Impressive, very impressive.

Both kids slept in quite late that morning.  I was not looking forward to another day stuck in the house.  We had to do something different.  As they got up, I had a bright idea.  I informed them “We’re going to have pajama day.”

The Professor yelled “THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!”

These are the pjs The Professor wore.  None of the pics I took today turned out.

These are the pjs The Professor wore. None of the pics I took today turned out.

The Princess scrambled to find different pajamas.

It was all good.  After breakfast we brought blankets into the living room, laid on the floor, and watched “The Greatest American Hero”.

Yes we have episodes of The Greatest American Hero on DVD.  Guess who wanted to watch it?

Yes we have episodes of The Greatest American Hero on DVD. Guess who wanted to watch it?

Late in the morning I remembered that Evil Genius had given Princess Difficult instructions to clear a path through her room the night before.  You couldn’t even walk through it.  She threw a fit.  “This is supposed to be a FUN day.  This is NOT fun!”  When she realized that her video game privileges would be revoked, she complied.

We had breakfast for lunch-pancakes, eggs, and bananas.  The pancakes were good, even though I had to scramble after I started the first batch-I realized I had forgotten the egg.  My house still smells like syrup.  The magic sort of faded after lunch, since they got their video game time.  A couple of weeks ago they pooled their Christmas money to buy Skylanders for the Xbox.  They enjoy it, and it’s incentive for good behavior.

More TV, and eating popcorn and drinking juice on the floor during snack time while watching PBS Kids.  The Professor said “This day just keeps getting better and better!”

And then it was over.  Dad was coming home, and everything was picked up and put away.  The Professor decided to put on regular clothes, for some reason he thought his dad wouldn’t like him wearing pjs.  Princess Difficult was the only hold out.  She changed, into yet a different set of pajamas.

Even the dog got into it.  Look how relaxed he is.

Even the dog got into it. Look how relaxed he is.

These days are coming to an end, at least for awhile.  That pajama day morning I received a message from a friend, and upon answering it have opened up a whole new can of worms in my life.  I have taken a substitute position at the preschool I used to work for, starting Monday. I’m stepping in for a friend who has to have surgery.  Good pay, and childcare taken directly out of my check.

So I have a job for awhile, 6-8 weeks.  Remember that I have severe anxiety.  Even though I have been looking for a job for quite some time, I am freaking out.  On one hand, Princess Difficult will get to be with me.  She needs to be around other children, and be on a schedule.  This is very good for her.  On the other, I worry myself sick.  Will The Professor be ok going someplace else before and after school?  Will the kids be able to get up and get ready early?  Will I have enough energy to make supper and do laundry, because working with kids can be very exhausting.  Will we have enough money for gas so I can get there every day?  Will we be able to pay the sitter?  Will I be able to be on my feet for that much time without my back killing me?

Maybe I'm just overthinking this...

Maybe I’m just overthinking this…

Last night I told them all about what was probably going to happen.  At first The Princess, who is dead set against me working, was upset.  “But Mommy, I will miss you!”  When I told her she was going to come with me, she started to warm to the idea.

“Do they have a playground there?” she asked.
“Yes.”  I replied.
“Do they have ponies there?”  she queried.
“I don’t really remember, but I think so.”  I answered.

That was it, she was sold.  Now both kids were very excited.  Not me, I was sick with anxiety.  I was almost crying.

Evil Genius was no help. “Do you want the job or not?”
My answer “We need the money.”
His response “That’s not very convincing.”

He wants me to believe in myself.  love him for seeing me as someone who still has potential and is worth something, even though he isn’t always so tactful about telling me so.  My former coworkers seem very excited that I am coming back, if even for a few weeks.  So much has gone wrong for so long, it’s hard for me to believe that something good is happening.  What a gift this is-to be able to try this and see if I can really do it.  Last night after he went to bed I called my Mom in a panic. She calmed me down, reminding me that it will all work out.  I also talked to a very good friend, who was so supportive and understanding of why I feel like this!

Today everything fell into place as far as The Professor’s before and after school care.  I went in to fill out paperwork, Princess Difficult saw the classroom and the kids she would be with, and it all seemed right.  I’m now looking at it as all a great experiment.  By the time I am done it will be Spring.  The weather will get nicer, and we can get out and enjoy it again.  Right now this may be just what we need to get through the doldrums of winter.

Today I filled out a zillion forms.  Tomorrow I go get fingerprinted.  More on that soon to follow…

So followers, don’t worry-I’ll still be blogging, I just may not post every day.  This is still my dream-the writing.  I am to the point where I need new inspiration, and need to not be on the computer all the time.  I won’t let people down.  I bet I will have lots of wonderful stories to share too!  Preschoolers are wonderful in that respect-they are never boring!

Never boring...

Never boring…

And of course, don’t forget to vote!  Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms Contest.  I’m hanging out in the top 120.  It’s all right.  It’s comfortable there.