Tornado S- So it begins

Tornado S got Angry Birds Star Wars Darth Vader’s Lightsaber Battle Game.

Tornado A fell in love with the stormtrooper pig and lost it within days.  I feel guilty because Tornado A was under my watch when he lost it at Walmart.


Me: Tornado S, do you want to go buy a new Angry Birds Star Wars game?

Tornado S: Nay.  How about you buy me a phone?

2:14 pm Arizona time

March 16, 2013

Tornado S asked for a smart phone.


The frightening part is Tornado E asked nearly at the same stage of kindergarten.

A Tornado S Story

We had Tornado S’s Parent-Teacher conference last week.  The teachers gushed over how sweet and loving and bright and funny and smart Tornado S was.  Of course, he’s Tornado S.  He’s one of the brightest in the class.  He’s tender-hearted and doesn’t compete.  He cries when he’s frustrated or when another friend is hurt.  He thinks outside the box, and his sense of humor is well-developed for his age.  The only downer is that his speech and fine motor skills are behind, and I have to try to get him into a program to help him or he will have to repeat kindergarten because he can’t move on without writing legibly.  We’ll work on it.

I love that boy.  I love these teachers.

Teacher: I have to tell you this.  If it was my child, I would want to know this.  (She turned to the other teachers.)  Do you mind?  I have to tell my Tornado S story.  (She called him Tornado S-y, like we do!)

The two other teachers: “Oh please do.”  “I love this story.” “He’s so cute.”  “This is really cute.”

Teacher: So the other day I was talking with the class.  And I said, “Oh, I couldn’t have 16 kindergarteners at my house.  That would be too many!  I used to have a kindergartener and a baby.  But that was a long time ago.  My kindergartener is now 15.”  And then Tornado S threw his hands in the air and yelled, “SO THAT’S WHY YOU LOOK SO OLD!”  It was like this ah-ha moment, this epiphany.  It was like he was trying to figure it out, and I finally gave him the key to do so.

We laughed.

Me: The boy doesn’t have much tact.

Teacher: No.  But he’s honest and sweet and oh-so-funny.

Me: That he is.

The Last Day of School

Tornado E “graduated” kindergarten.  (Am I the only mom who smirks when she says that? {Note to self: Post on why I’m a bad mom})  The ceremony was cute, just like the other millions of kindergarten graduation ceremonies are.  I did have a tearing moment as I watched my boy present facts on eels (They grow to 11 feet long.  They have nostrils.  They have two pairs of jaws.),  realizing I was his biggest fan and always would be.  Though I did learn a lesson, never make faces at the performers.

Afterwards one of the moms hosted an End of the Year party at the closest park.  She originally planned to have it at her community pool.  I had suggested we pool our money together and hire a lifeguard because I’m all about safety.  Some of the moms weren’t into it because their kids could swim, but I’m a big fan of covering bases and believed there were too many kids not to have a designated watcher, swimmers or not.  One mom was enthusiastic about the idea because she didn’t want to wear a swimsuit (Roll eyes now) and was willing to pay more to get out of wearing one.

Sunday, my friend messaged me in a panic because the community pool was shut down for health code violations.  She was livid because she had told her HOA two weeks ago about the pool being weird and that she was throwing a party there.  She was freaking out because the party was Tuesday.  After a quick debate on Facebook for all to see, we decided on the park with squirt guns, buckets, and those squishy balls that soak up water.

While commenting back and forth with my friend, it occurred to me that the mom who didn’t want to wear the swimsuit was able to read the comments.  I HAD to make the suggestion of dumbing a bucket of water on said mom.  My friend just HAPPENED to respond with “She could always pay us off not to throw a bucket of water on her.”  So the banter went on all the way through Tuesday.

At the party, I casually dropped hints of the imminent bucket dropping, and my friend dropped hints on the monetary value of said bucket dropping and how we needed to fund the next Mom’s Night Out or, better still, Mom’s Weekend.

As we were packing up, I dumbed out the ice and snagged a piece.  Of course, the mom in question saw me so I held onto the ice as I put away my ice chest, letting the cool water drip out of my hands.  As I returned back to the ramada, I noticed that she had her back to me as she was cleaning up one of the tables.  I stalked through the gravel, placing my feet for maximum silence, placing my feet in the way that my sandals wouldn’t flip or flop.  I snuck up and slid the ice down her shirt.  I jumped away as she shrieked and turned around.

I made a miscalculation.  Because she turned with a glass in each hand.  I saw her look down as I turned to run.  I didn’t run fast enough as I was coated with ice water.  Crap.

As funny as that was, that wasn’t the best part.  Maybe it was when one of the dads, a firefighter, called his brother, another firefighter, who sent down a truck to spray the kids.  Or maybe it was when one of my friends made a squiter out of a two-liter and tried to get her husband.  Or maybe it was when he grabbed the squirter and twisted it as she squeezed, soaking herself.  Or when the husband ran and grabbed Tornado A as a human shield.  Or when she used me as a distraction and got him in the back.  Or when one of the moms covered my boys in sunscreen because they looked like they were getting red.  Or one of the many times a parent would hold on to Tornado A as he walked around.  Or it might have surrounded the yummy pasta salad.  Or when one of the moms suggested we all go camping and everyone looked at me and I shrugged and said why not.

But I think the best part was as each mom left, we parted like we were in high school separating for summer and then college. “Call me!”  “I’m going to miss you!” “We have to stay in touch!”  “We have to do something soon!”  “We have to get together sometime this summer!”  “We should go to the movies!”  “I don’t know what I’ll do being with the kids (of course in high school it was parents) all day!”  “Let’s make plans!”  “Everyone should come to my house sometime!”

If we had yearbooks, we totally would have been in high school.  (Hmmm, not a bad idea.  A year book for the moms . . . .  I wonder how much they would pay NOT to have certain photos in there.)

As one of my friends left with her family, I yelled her name and then made a motion of typing on a phone with my thumbs.

Friend: OK!

Me: Wait!  What is the universal sign for texting?!

Friend: I think you just did it!

Me: Well, that’s lame!  We need a new one!

Friend: We’ll figure it out next time we’re together!

Me: Thursday?!



See, the summer is shaping up nicely.

Of course this was her text sent last night at 11pm.  “Then I think ‘the kids are home from school.. I don’t have to take them to school in the morning.. yeay!’.. Then I also realize no more 2 hours alone by myself for the rest of the summer.. (I weep silently into my pillow..)”

It’s a going to be a great summer.

What a minute?!  You get two hours to yourself every day!?  WTH?!

Check please

Tornado E had his first field trip this year.  The kindergartners went to the sheriff department station, a grocery store, and a pizza joint, where each child got to make his or her own pizza to eat.

Since Tornado A is still attached at the breast, I had to sit this one out.  I know, bummer.  So one of the mom’s related this story to me.

She was supervising the kids in washing their hands, thinking Wow, what a cute place; I should bring the family here.

Tornado E: Hey!  Look at that bug!

Heads is . . . .

I think I’ve mentioned my sons’ obsession with “Zombies vs Plants” and their desperate need to watch their dad play the game.  So after dinner, the boys started begging their dad to play.

Tornado E: Let’s play zombies!

Tornado S: Come on!  It’ll be fun!

The Husband: Daddy has to work.

Tornado S: Peeeeeaaaaaasssssssssse!

Tornado E: Let’s play “Head’s and Memorials!”  Heads will be we will play Zombies.  Memorials will be you go to work.

The Husband: Ok.

Tornado E flipped a penny.  It came up tails.

Tornado E: That didn’t work.  Let’s do it again.

Tornado E flipped the coin again, and it landed on tails.L

Tornado E: Let me do it again.

This time Tornado E held the coin a foot above the floor, head side up.  Then he dropped it. I saw the tails.  Tornado E scooped it up.

Me: Tornado E what did it land on?

Tornado E: The floor!

Me: (laughing) No.  What side landed up?

Tornado E: Heads!  Let’s play Zombies!

The Husband: Let’s play then.

I laughed harder.

Me: Tornado E.

Tornado E: (sighed) Let’s switch.  Heads will be Daddy goes to work, and memorials will be Zombies.

Tornado E dropped the coin.

Tornado E: MEMORIALS!  Let’s go!


For weeks I’ve been on the verge of tears or having an anxiety attack or both because My Baby is going to Kindergarten.  MY BABY IS GOING TO KINDERGARTEN!

Tornado E: Mommy, I’m not a baby!  I’m a big boy!

Me: Shhh!  Mommy’s freaking out right now.  Please don’t interrupt.

I didn’t have to go shopping because his backpack from last year was hardly touched and someone bought him a really cool pirate lunchbox.  Sure, I had to buy containers, and I’ve been scouring the web for excellent lunch ideas.  (Any one have any?)

I didn’t have tons of questions at the kindergarten orientation.  Tornado E has talked of nothing else since last week.

I borrowed from the Supernanny and made a morning chart with Velcro so that I didn’t have to use stickers and forgetting to put said stickers on the chart.  Of course, I couldn’t lay out a plan of which should be done first because that just seemed to anal.  I let them put Velcro pirate coins under each chore.

So we were up at our regular 6am.  I fed Tornado A as the boys watched cartoons.  They ate as I did as I emptied the dishwasher.  Tornado E and Tornado S made their beds, got dressed, brushed their teeth, combed their teeth, and washed their faces with minimal prodding.  We even picked up toys.  I got to shower and dress; while, the boys watched more cartoons.  The Husband even got into the shower.

We arrived a little early for pictures and all the fanfare.

As I signed Tornado E in, I caught him walking into the classroom.

Me: Tornado E.  Go hug and kiss your daddy goodbye.

He turned around.  I finished signing Tornado E in, just to see him sneak into the classroom.

Me: Tornado E.  Come give me a kiss and a hug goodbye.

He dutifully came up to me and hugged and kissed me.  Then he ran off into the classroom without a look backwards.

My baby.

In kindergarten.

Tornado S: Mommy!  I want to go to school!  I want to go to preschool!

Sshh.  Mommy is freaking out.  Please be quiet.  And come home with me.

This is Mama Bird. The eggs are safely in the nest. Over.

Yesterday I went to an open house for the pre-kindergarten at the school I spent ten years attending.  While my brothers, and even I, think it’s a little scary to incarcerate my boys at the same school we went to, but I must say that the education was excellent.  I’m hoping my kids do not repeat the same horrific bullying experiences I had, but they’re boys, so that’ll help tons.  Plus we plan to send them martial arts, so the bullies have one chance before my kids kick butt.


As I sat there, with my mom, whose Council of Women decreed she should attend to find out what was happening in their school, I thought about what I could write about as my eyes glazed over from the information overload about how it had been 21 years since they had a pre-kindergarten class and the qualifications they had to meet.  I thought about sharing that information, and then I could watch my numbers plummet.  I thought I could write about how my mom and I kept staring at the young woman sitting two seats down from us who looked terribly like my elementary school best friend (before middle school turned me into a walking pariah) but how she just looked too young.  It turned out it was her, but how amusing can I make my weird staring become?  Then they talked about security, and I thought of Bad Mommy Moments and The World According to Me.


Apparently parents are WAY more concerned with safety then when I went to school.  First off, at my Brownie induction, my mom, being the leader, decided to have it at night, so that all the parents would be there.  With the gate open and the ceremony taking place in the first room inside the gate, some guy broke into the office down the hall and stole all the petty cash.  My dad secured the scene like the cop he was, and my mom alerted the priests, called 911, telling the operator she didn’t know if the robber was still in the area.  Minutes later, the children were thrilled to watch the SWAT helicopter search the school grounds and the neighborhood.  Way to go, Mom.


Second, my school is two blocks from a mall.  The junior highers would try to ditch and walk over but were always caught.  Though as a big junior high kid, many of us asked our parents to let us go over there for a few hours before they picked us up.  One year, a store or two was robbed by a man with a gun, and he took off into the neighborhood near our school.  Word on the street was that some of the kids saw him running with the gun in view, and we were forced to abandon our lunch hour for the safety of the classrooms.  I put as much stock in the gun rumor as I did about the rumor of two sixth graders having sex in one of the tunnels in the playground.  The kids just kissed.


Granted there were two bomb threats when I was an eighth grader, which turned out to be a classmate’s boyfriend calling to get her out of school early.  But then there were several bomb threats at my public high school for the same reason.  (And the time a bunch of the students kickedtheassesofsomeneo-nazikids.)


Instead of keeping the gates open, an adult has to be buzzed into the office.  In the office, the adult has to sign in and show id, which is checked against the list of adults allowed to enter the school and take home students.  The adult is given a sticker, which all the kids demand to see.  At the pre-kindergarten, the adult’s id is check again before the child is allowed to leave.  Pretty standard stuff, right?


Then the parents asked about child safety and where the bathrooms are.  The parents were assured no child is ever, ever left alone.  I started to think they had added a whole lot more bars than I was a kid.  Where could a kid go?  It’s a tiny school.


Then the punch line was thrown in.  Someone wanted to donate a whole security system with cameras, which were being installed this summer throughout the school and church.  Um, what?  There was already two cameras outside the office, so the secretary could see the person to buss them in or not.  My mom and I exchanged looks.  Most parents breathed a sigh of relief.


Wouldn’t it just be easier to add a retina scanner?


I bit my tongue before I could mention it.  My mom whispered, asking me what I thought.  I smiled.  I think this will make a great post, especially when I mention the guard towers and the SWAT team.  My mom rolled her eyes.


I wonder if I could be a guard with a uniform.  I look pretty tough in sunglasses.  Or I could wear a suit like the the Secret Service with a radio ear piece and all!



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