Smashing Pumpkins Or Confessions Of A Mother Bear - They Blog at - 313561


Smashing Pumpkins or Confessions of a Mother Bear 
Oct. 23, 2013 6:46 pm 
Updated: Oct. 26, 2013 9:48 pm

Smashing Pumpkins or Confessions of a Mother Bear

(From the blog: They Are the Apples of My Pie)


          Coming from a long line of mother bears, I can be a teacher’s best friend or worst nightmare.  Being a teacher of teachers I often am a teacher’s worst nightmare.  Having my son start Jr. Kindergarten with an educated obsessive compulsive mother bear is a recipe for disaster.  Fortunately, my son’s teacher is not only very patient  and a bit of a mother bear herself, she knows how to handle me. 

In the first fifteen minutes of meeting Mrs. H  I became her head room mom, her snack person, the band aid mom, the Monday center helper,  the holiday party planner and  the field trip mom.  I then offered to knit Santa hats for all the children for Christmas (I have just completed #3-  15 more to go!).  I realized on the way home that I might have been a little too enthusiastic.  My mother bear was head room mom until I was in college, so it runs in the family.  She has also been room mom in each of her grandchildren’s classrooms.  I learned from the best.

Things have been going relatively well.  I have not completely embarrassed my son, became fast friends with the parents of his two best buddies and have not driven Mrs. H completely out of her mind.Then came the field trip to the pumpkin patch.  Mrs. H asked me if I would like to bring the snacks for the class.  I answered with the only word I know, “Yes!”  and off to Target I went.

I have a confession to make: I adore anything thematic, and if there isn’t a theme I make one.   My 17 year old asked me if I could buy her some thank you notes so that she could thank a few teachers who have been especially kind.  This should have been a straightforward, simple task.  Not for me. Not only did I buy the thank you notes, I found some that matched her school’s color, took pictures of their classrooms and had them placed on the front of each note with her name engraved underneath them.  Yes I am that nightmare and no she has not asked me to help her with anything since.  The pumpkin patch snack had my name written all over it and my son, being  5, was too young to be horrified.       

Target is not a good place for me to be when I have a project.  I have too much to choose from so I tend to choose everything.  First came the snack.  What would appeal to all the children?  Do any of them have food allergies that I don’t know about?  Can I have a Halloween theme or will I offend a parent?  Are sugary foods a no-no? Should I pack juice, water, or punch?  Decisions, decisions.  I decided to purchase goldfish crackers, raisins, fruit roll ups and m&ms  for the snack-  that should cover every base.  For the drink I purchased  punch that was actually fruit juice with a serving of vegetables in it (all disguised in a flurry of sugar water).  I then purchased little gliders, pumpkin glasses, and pumpkin pins. Being a private Christian school I found pumpkin pins with Jesus on them.  Pumpkin Jesus- it was all coming into place.  Now, for some orange paper bags.  Yes they needed to be orange because we were going to the pumpkin patch.  Target did not carry any.  I was deeply disappointed because it affected my Jr. Kindergarten pumpkin patch snack vision.  Then I saw them on the back wall- glowing spherical orange perfection!.  I would use plastic jack-o-lanterns instead of bags.  I would be snack mother of the year!  I purchased 24 (just in case baby brothers and sisters came) and dragged them to the cash register.  Luckily I have a Ford Flex and with a little finagling and the ability to push the third row of seats flat, I was able to put them all in the car.

The day of the pumpkin patch came.  With my own mother bear being out of town I enlisted the help of my best friend to set up the tables and help with the children.  I met the owners and their son was gracious enough to set up two tables for me, cleaned them and helped me set the Jack o lantern’s up for the children.  This gave me time to take pictures of the parents and children which I offered to turn into a class commemorative book (I know-  I have issues).  When it came time for the snack I realized that the entire Jr. K- three classes-  had gone on the field trip, not just my son’s class.  All the little ones came to my pumpkin table, where the other teacher’s  and room mothers  explained that the pumpkins were not theirs  and their snack was going to be on the bench nearby.  There, the room mother handed out cookies and punch.  There was some crying from a few of the children and some major dirty looks from the other room mothers as well as some worried glances from the other teachers.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I had no idea that there would be other classes and that my over achieving ways would lead to tears and anger.  I went home with a heavy heart and an empty pumpkin bucket. 

Mrs. H and I had a long conversation the next morning.  I now know when our class will be celebrating by themselves and when they will be celebrating with the other classes.  When we are by ourselves I can be the over achieving mother bear with homemade goodies, match box cars and princess wands.   When we are with the other classes, I am the store bought  cookies and warm juice room mom.  Maybe homemade cookies,  finger sandwiches ,  and chilled juice room mom.  Maybe I can by matchbox cars and wands for the entire Jr. K.  No matter what, the next time I will tone it down a bit.

I just received a call from the lady who heads up Teacher Appreciation Day.  It is next Monday.  They asked if I would bring a salad.  I am going to make an antipasto salad with homemade parmesan rolls and homemade garlic butter.   I took out my crystal bowls I received for my wedding, then thought better of it.  I went to Smart and Final and purchased a large faux crystal bowl (in other words plastic) and some cute floral trays.  I am going to behave if it kills me!

          Now, just because I am behaving does not mean that my salad has to be short on taste.  If you want a yummy antipasto salad, this is what you will need:

1 ½ heads of Romaine lettuce chopped

2 medium avocados

3 roma tomatoes

4 oz dry Italian salami

4 oz. pepperoni

8 oz. prosciutto chopped finely and cooked until crisp

8 ounces soft mozzarella cheese cut into small bite size chunks (feel free to  substitute any other cheese you would like such as monterey jack, cheddar, etc.)

¼ cup chopped pepperoncini peppers  (drained of liquid)

¼ to ½ cup pitted kalamata olives

½ cup garbanzo beans (optional)

¼ cup  freshly grated romano-pecorino cheese.

Combine all ingredients and dress with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon, ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar and greek seasoning  to taste (most supermarkets carry this).  Toss and enjoy with warm crusty bread.  Enjoy!

Oct. 24, 2013 3:30 am
I always enjoy your blogs. This was no exception. I totally understand the over achieving things. Good luck on toning things down.
They are the apples of my pie 
Oct. 24, 2013 4:30 am
Thank you goodeats. I am going to try. I wish they had a support group or something!
Oct. 24, 2013 11:35 am
Oh my gosh, you had me laughing so hard at your escapades, I'm almost in tears! Pumpkin Jesus, lol. You obviously have a very big heart, my dear. Don't change one bit of your ways :) This world needs more of enthusiasm like yours, not less.
They are the apples of my pie 
Oct. 24, 2013 5:39 pm
Thank you for your kind words Colleen
Oct. 25, 2013 6:44 am
Well, I didn't see how you could possibly keep telling these hilarious stories, but you do...and I'm so glad! The thing I love about your blog posts is that you are able to see the humor in real, every day living. Can't wait for the next one!
They are the apples of my pie 
Oct. 25, 2013 8:58 am
Thank you Paula- you made my day!
Oct. 25, 2013 7:45 pm
Now that I am able to once again breathe normally (couldn't because of laughing so hard), I enjoy your writing. I, too, am a mother bear and my daughter is the MOTHER of all mother bears. Do not despair - there is ample time before the school year ends for you to redeem yourself and win the coveted title of Snack Mother of the Year! I believe in you and will be cheering you on :)
They are the apples of my pie 
Oct. 25, 2013 11:51 pm
Ha ha Thanks Shearone!
Oct. 26, 2013 5:53 am
Too funny! Love your writing style. Reminds me of the narrator from the movie "Christmas Story." Anyway... I know about your kind. LOL! As a former teacher( over 20 years ago) we teachers would talk about YOU in the Teacher's Lounge, in a good way, and wishing you were ours! Trust me, parents like you make life so much easier for teachers. It's wonderful knowing parents care about the quality of life, both educationally and extra curricularly of their children at school. I applaud you. And, maybe, just maybe, you've risen the bar for the other parents. Mother Bear on...
They are the apples of my pie 
Oct. 26, 2013 7:11 am
Thank you Candice. I was a public school teacher for 12 years and a curriculum program specialist for another 5. I swore that I would be the room mom that got things done but didn't get in the way. Mrs. H is happy with me and more important my little guy loves having me there. I am going to keep helping until he pleads that I stay away. Thank you for your service to our children and for your kind words!
Oct. 26, 2013 10:40 am
Such a great blog. I raised, or attempted to raise, five children...never making it to "bear" level...always admiring the "bears" however. I was an English major, yrs. and yrs. ago and will have to tell you to fire your editor...has to do with "8 oz. prosciutto chopped finally and cooked until crisp". Did you mean you "finally" got around to chopping the prosciutto...or that it should be "chopped finely"?,,,Just asking.
They are the apples of my pie 
Oct. 26, 2013 11:59 am
Being my own editor I need to fire myself! I definitely meant finely! Sorry about that!
Oct. 26, 2013 9:48 pm
Hehe, I can just picture you taking Target by storm. Clean up in aisle 3!
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They are the apples of my pie

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