Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Battered and Bleeding and Slightly Sleep-Deprived

Here I sit, bleeding and sore and slightly on edge.  Were first day classes so terrible, you ask?  No, I just live with a ten week old kitten.

When Kiddo was a toddler, I carefully avoided terms like "Terrible Twos" when referring to the challenges of parenting/disciplining a small, strong-willed person.  Kids are what you tell them they are, I said.  Don't label them, I said.  Well, you know what? When it comes to cats, I say, label away, because if there is a kitten version of the Terrible Twos," Margot is the poster child, er, kitten.  Much like a kid who will nuzzle into your neck and say, "I wuv you," only to hold their breath and scream minutes later, Margot, or Kitten Murderface, (as she will henceforth be known) has brief moments of cuddles and purrs and closed eyes and adoring licks surrounded by a full day (and night!) of insanity. I have been stalked, bitten, clawed, attacked, and climbed.  At this exact moment, I am sitting in front of my laptop covered in a thick, doubled over blanket to protect my legs and mid-section from her claws.  (She attempted earlier to climb onto the chair/desk using only my flesh for purchase.)  I know that much like with children this stage shall pass, but meanwhile my extremities are starting to look like a crowded road atlas, and I'm considering purchasing stock in Band-Aids and Neosporin.  Good times.

On a less painful note, the first day of classes was terrific! Well, mostly.  Any of the parts that weren't were my mostly own fault at least.  The week got off to a rocky start, though.  On Thursday last week, my husband was rear-ended on his way home from work, and we realized that we would need a rental car this week when our brake lights suddenly stopped working.  So of course, Sunday night, K.M. (short for Kitten Murderface, of course) decided to get her wild on from about midnight on, and when we shut her out of the bedroom, she aired her grievances by rattling the door and howling ALL NIGHT LONG.  Because nothing improves a long, stressful day quite like having endured a night of no sleep.  So yesterday morning found me, chauffeuring both Kiddo and Hubby and trying desperately to maintain consciousness.

So you know what wakes you up and gets you moving on a morning like that?  Hash browns.  It's true! Hash browns and caffeine-laced tea from my favorite fast food chain.  Really, it's a little known scientific fact that grease and salt and sugar and caffeine mix together perfectly in those flaky, little briquettes to make the ideal formula for alertness and clarity.  Or at least that was my excuse.  My delicious excuse.

Fast forward to my first class, Freshman Comp!  It was a full-house of ladies on their very first day of college.  They were sweet and nervous and over-confident in turn, but mostly charming and engaged. I held their collective hands, and the endured their sleep-deprived instructor.

For when we go over the grading portion of the syllabus.

The hours in between classes were filled with a desperate search for a spray bottle.  Our household spray bottle of nearly twenty years (a real family heirloom), spritzer of misbehaving cats and little girl bedhead alike broke under suspicious circumstances over the weekend, and who knew finding a replacement for our old friend would be so challenging.  Seriously,  I went from one end of town to the other and back again (it's not a very big town, at least) before finding what I needed (three spray bottles, so I can spray KM in every room in the house.)

By the time I returned to school for my other class the loss of sleep was starting to catch up with me.  Also, this was the new class, the one I'd never taught before.  So, very uncharacteristically for me, I was a little jittery, dare I say, nervous.  My slight edginess was not improved by the appearance of two adult students (one of whom was much older than I.)  No idea why that rattled me, but it did.  The good/awesome/excellent/so-cool news is that I have two students from my Young Writers' Workshop days!  I had no idea that these two ladies had decided to attend my school, and it was so lovely and rewarding to see them as mature sophomores ready to work hard.  Unfortunately, this was the class where I struggled a bit.  I felt scattered and unfocused, and I'm pretty sure half the stuff I said didn't make sense.  Everybody nodded when I made eye-contact, though, so we're going to pretend that they weren't just humoring me.  But I'm pretty sure they were humoring me.

Of course, the best part of my day (aside from all the extra-podcast listening time I got with so much driving) was coming home to dinner, made and ready to eat courtesy of SuperDad/Husband.  It was Taco Night, despite not being a Tuesday, and I scarfed everything down in between grunts of gratitude.  Best of all, SuperHusband sensed that what I really needed after Kiddo was down was to hide alone in our room with my book, tv, and smartphone.  It was a good way to end the day.  Last night there was more sleeping and less kitten mayhem.  Fingers crossed that it happens again tonight, and that tomorrow I will be able to speak in complete sentences during creative writing.

So that was first day of Fall 2015 (for me).  Kiddo is a full-on pro at the whole kindergarten thing now, and I plan to follow her example of nonchalance.  (Like when I nonchalantly tried to walk into the wrong classroom on my way back from the bathroom.  I totally meant to do that.)  On an unrelated note, I'm telling myself that I scored cool-points with a creative writing student because I knew about Wattpad.  Never heard of it?  Well, you can't all be as cool and smooth as me.


  1. I know about Wattpad through my 14 yr old. She doesn't think I'm cool, but I can pretend. 😎

  2. Yeah, I can't imagine that the girl was impressed. Though she may have been surprised that someone of my advanced years knew what it was.