Back in business, baby.

“I’m back in business” Mark said the night before school started.  You know how sometimes, just sometimes, you get a feeling about what your child will be when he grows up?  I feel quite sure that Mark is going to be an engineer.  If you know any engineers, or if you are an engineer yourself, then you know that there is a certain “engineer personality type” and Mark fits that type exactly. 

It’s funny, isn’t it, how people like to speculate what children’s lives will be like when they are adults.  It’s amusing.  A kid plays with blocks, and we think “architect”, or they play with cars and they think “mechanic”.  Personally, I thought I was going to grow up to be a concert pianist, which is funny, considering I became an economist.  When Jake was a baby, my husband turned to me and said “I think Jake’s going to grow up to be an investment banker.  Because he’s kind of a dick.”  That makes me smile every time.  Jake is kind of a dick, but in a good way. 

I know I’m supposed to say that I just want my kids to be happy, and of course I do, but I kind of feel like nurturing the attitude that it’s easier to be happy when pursuing a career with good financial returns.   

The kids were very excited to go back to school.  The first day was kind of chaotic, what with confusion about last minute out-of-area enrollments, ensuing large class sizes, and the specter of another class being formed to take the pressure off of said large classes.  Things will settle down later this week, but for right now things are all up in the air.  I’m feeling fairly calm about it, with the attitude that things are going to work out fine.

I was less calm yesterday after school when I went to pick the boys up.  I shielded my eyes against the sun, looking for them.  Yes, there was Jake’s bright orange hat, and yes, that’s Jake, but what is he wearing?  He had a different shirt on.  When asked, he told me cheerfully that a classmate had barfed all over the back of his shirt, and that shirt was wrapped up in a plastic bag, in his backpack.  OH. 

You know when you hear the word “barf” and you get that feeling like “maybe I should strip the child down and burn all his clothes right there in the playground”?  I had that feeling.  I kind of froze, then started asking leading questions about where he was sitting and how much contact had he had with the barfer, and how often he had washed his hands.  I asked the questions carefully, trying not to seem crazy, and then I vigorously rubbed hand sanitizer into his and Mark’s hands, and my own.  I thought about the shirt, and I thought that I had probably got my money’s worth from it, as I dropped it in the garbage.  Of course, this led to sadness later – “I loved that shirt!” – but yet, I could not fathom washing someone else’s kid’s barf.

There was also an unpleasant story from the boys about the children finding a dead cat in the field at recess time, which became more dramatic when it was discovered that the dead cat belonged to a friend.  There were other dramatic events, which I won’t relate here, but suffice it to say it was a very exciting first day of school.  I’m looking forward to less excitement, and hopefully less barf, for the second day.


  1. I have read no less than 5 blogs by parents detailing how their kids are already sick, and it’s only the first week of school. DIDN’T PLAGUE SEASON JUST END?!?! Ugh. It’s funny, though- I ask Andrew the same series of questions whenever I find out he was around someone who was sick (which is most of the time- he plays rec hockey, most of his teammates have kids, and all the guys share water bottles. It’s communicable-disease heaven, I’m telling you). Gross. Hopefully it was just first-day jitters and a too-big breakfast, and not an actual illness.

    I may have to go back to school as well, judging from the number of red-squiggly-underlined words that peppered the first draft of this comment (which I originally spelled “comen”. Good job, me)

    • Share water bottles? We are reading the Little House books and every time there is a reference to a “water dipper” everyone gets all grossed out. Especially when they go to town for the 4th of July and the whole town shares a water dipper for the barrel of lemonade.

  2. Goodness, that WAS an exciting day!

    I immediately thought I’d throw the shirt away, but then I saw it was a favorite and so I changed to “Oh, no, don’t throw away the shirt, it can be saved!” and then I imagined opening the bag, and what the next step would be, and I was like “THROW IT AWAY AND DON’T LOOK BACK.”

  3. Oh ew. I hate dealing with barf. I seriously almost barf myself.

  4. Am never going to get over the barf story. How is it that Jake is so casual about it? That kid is made of stronger stuff than I am.

    Must go shower now. SHUDDER.

    • I saw the teacher and she said the same thing, how calm Jake was and if it was her, she would have wanted to go home. But Jake was all, whatever, can I have a different shirt? IS HE ACTUALLY MY CHILD?

  5. Ugh. That was quite the exciting first day. Hopefully the rest of the week was quieter and less barfy!

  6. Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says

    Wow! That was quite a day. My goodness. At least it would have kept them excited to go back the 2nd day to see what happens.
    I absolutely agree with not washing the barf shirt. In fact I probably would have stopped on the way home and pitched it at Tim Horton’s or something for fear that the barfy germs got into my house!


  7. What a busy day. Beautiful boys. Have a great week.

  8. My first reaction to the barf story was “oh for heaven’s sake, it could have been washed”. But then I imagined myself opening the plastic bag… after it had been sitting for who knows how long… and it being ANOTHER PERSON’S KID… and nope. Not if it was the best most favourite shirt ever. Can’t be doing it.

    • No no, Hannah, it could not be washed, because that would involve touching it somehow, and getting it out of the bag, and it would always be the shirt that got barfed on by someone else.

  9. I know from sad experience that turning the water nozzle on the garden hose to “jet” removes all manner of human waste from fabric. On a related note: I’m so glad I’m not in university any longer.

    I hope the dead cat isn’t Beeps!

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