Yesterday was Monkey Man's first PTA-sponsored "enrichment event" - and when I say sponsored, I really mean "cough up $49 in addition to the other $100 in fees you've already paid the PTA so your kid can stay after school for a total of 4 hours and maybe get something out of it."
The thing was supposed to be over at 4:45 and I was picking up Monkey Man and his friend Josh. I was already a little bit of a basketcase because while Monkey Man is a fairly docile child (or at least he was until recently, which is a whole other post) his friend Josh is, well, totally off the hook. Crazy. Nuts. Bouncing off the walls. So I was already pretty anxious when I was waiting outside of the classroom for them to finish up for the day.
The boys had signed up for Mad Science, which was billed as being scientific experiments that the leader would teach the kids to do. And of course, in my never-ending effort to raise the next Albert Einstein, I was all over that like a duck on a junebug. (Or, in homage to GMan, stripper juice on a pole.)
The mothers were all gathering outside, some of us were chatting quietly when this woman with a Mad Science laboratory coat and this wiry grey hair stuck her head out of the door...
"Are Alexander's parents here?" We all looked around, no one seemed to acknowledge that they knew Alexander or belonged to him.
"Weeeeellll," she sighed, slipping out the door and shutting it behind her, "It seems we've had a little incident. Nothing too serious - I had the kids make these little exploding canisters and I told them NOT to hold them close to their faces...but little Alexander didn't follow directions so he got some chemicals in his eye. But don't worry, we've washed his eye out the best that he'd let us and we went on with the class. But we're running a few minutes late, so please be patient with us," she wheezed in a sing-songy voice. And then she disappeared back into the room.
Every mother rushed over to the door and the slender window so we could check on our little darlings. Everyone was unblemished, however Alexander was fairly easy to pick out. He would be the kid that looked like he was punched in the eye.
"Well," gasped the mother next to me, "I thought this was supposed to be a safe activity!"
"Honestly, I'm just glad it wasn't my son or his friend that it happened to," I told her. "I can't imagine anything worse than having to call my friend and say that he ate all of his chicken nuggets, oh, and by the way, he lost his eye - but don't worry, they washed it out the best they could!"
Gah. So much for enrichment activities. Next thing you know I'll sign him up for chess next month and I'll have to provide him with a mouthguard and a cup.