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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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!