A Messy Lesson

Friday was a bad day.

For starters, this kid

started Middle School.

As a 5th Grader.

A few years back a neighboring elementary school closed. The Board of Education in our county made the ridiculous decision to send ALL of the kids from the closing school to “our” school. Consequently, there wasn’t enough room in “our” school to accommodate all of the kids from the “other” school.


Instead of agreeing to any one of our solutions, the Board “proposed” and then “passed” their own solution. Their solution was to send all of the fifth graders from “our” school, the “closing” school, and the third elementary school in our area to our Middle School.

Did you follow that?

Basically, before we knew what hit us, we were told by board members in our county that moving our ten-year-old babies to a Middle School environment was a perfect solution for THEIR overcrowding problem.

That was four years ago.

I am still bitter.

After dropping Alex off for his first day of school, McDaddy and I dropped Stevie off at his school.

As I watched him walk into the school, tears welled up in my eyes and I told McDaddy “I feel like we just sent him into a lion’s den.” Of course McDaddy (the brains of this operation) said, “It’s a public school,” he’ll be fine. And I knew he was probably right. Still, it was tough. I cried the rest of the way home.

(That’s my sweet boy stepping on the red line.)

Thankfully, I had coordinated a first-day-of-school-breakfast with other 5th grade mommies. In the invite, I suggested that we each bring baby pictures and a crying towel. McDaddy dropped me off at the house and headed to work. I headed off to breakfast with my friends – where the four of us sat for five hours commiserating about our babies growing up, among other things. What better way to forget your troubles than to sit and laugh with good friends for hours on end? Except I’m pretty sure our waitress would have other ideas in mind – any idea that included us leaving the table for four that we occupied in her area from breakfast until well after lunch.

I returned home late afternoon with time to empty the dishwasher and change clothes. I headed to the Elementary School to pick Alex up. The only positive thing about the boys being in different schools and needing dropped off and picked up at different times is that [sometimes] I can drive this

to do it.

Unfortunately, some genius scheduled an ear appointment for both boys on the first day of school. Not only that, but the genius – who had no idea what time Middle School ended when she scheduled the appointment six months ago – only left herself seven minutes to make it to the ear Doctor.

Earlier in the day my friend Missy texted to ask if we’d like to meet her and Big Daddy for dinner at Chilis. I texted her back saying we would love to and then texted McDaddy to ask him to meet us there. It was so much fun listening to Stevie and his friend Levi (Missy and Big Daddy’s son)talk about their first day in Middle School, especially after worrying all friggin’ day that he would be miserable there.

Stevie quickly decided that Health was his favorite subject. When I asked him why he enjoyed health so much, he said, “Because my health teacher said we can talk about ANYTHING in there!” 

“Anything?” I asked. “What do you mean anything?”

“Farting! We can talk about farting in health, mom. Can you believe, it?”

I was never so glad to hear the word farting in all my life.

Phew! (Still, I know it’s only a matter of time until they discuss other things.)

As we sat and listened to the boys talk, we munched on chips and salsa. We sat there for what seemed like forever waiting on our food. While I sat there, it dawned on me that I hadn’t eaten anything since eating breakfast. We probably should’ve ordered lunch during the five-hour breakfast meeting, too.

After what seemed like forever, the waitress brought our food. As she handed out the different dishes, I suddenly felt something cold running down my back and then heard something hit the floor. It took a few seconds to figure out what hit me. I had honey mustard running down my back.

And it was COLD.

What the heck?

I asked my friend Missy to come to the bathroom with me so that she could wash whatever was running down my back – off.

Y’all, that is the sign of a true friend.

Missy and I went to the bathroom, and she used a piece of sandpaper wet brown paper towel to wash my back off. Then we discovered that my hair was drenched in it, too.

And I stunk.

Missy and I returned to the table. Within minutes, the manager approached our table. He offered an apology, said he would take care of our dinner, offered us a dessert, and said he would take care of any dry-cleaning bills I incurred as a result of the incident. Then, the fumble-fingered waitress returned to our table and said, “If it’s any consolation, I haven’t done this for ten years.” As if that was supposed to make my honey-mustard covered self feel better.

After all was said and done, fumble fingers comped $8.50 off of our bill.

Then she turned around and added an 18% gratuity to the tune of $6.47.

Because he is a great guy, McDaddy left a small tip. It wasn’t quite the 18% she was looking for, but at least he was kind.

We laughed about it all weekend.

And in case you’re wondering, it took three washings to get the honey mustard out of my hair.

And that’s what I learned this week.


To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!


  1. Teresa Reed-Shaffer says

    I know that it was hard dropping your 5th grader off at Middle School, I just had to do the same last year. Believe it or not, I didn’t worry too much about Jameson. Just a few years before that, I had to drop my 14 year old daughter off for her first day of High School. Talk about upset stomach, headache and swollen eyes. It’s a whole different ballgame when you are dealing with 14 year old girls and 18 and 19 year old men in the same hallways and gym classes. BryAnn survived, Jameson survived and so did I. Lesson learned….our children are able to overcome situations a lot quicker than us mothers.

  2. says

    Being from the UK I don’t understand the lower, middle, higher school thing when it comes to ages. Here our kids are in primary school from 5 to 11 and then go to high school from 11 to 16. I remember Beautiful B going to high school and I worried for her but she loved it. In fact, the first day of both schools she strolled in without a care in the world while I cried a little.

    Arranging a meeting with your friends is a fantastic idea. As for should have ordered lunch – if you are anything like me what feels like an hour with friends is actually about 4 or 5 hours so lunch wouldn’t have entered my head either.

    As for the honey episode she is lucky she got anything – had that happened to me I would have insisted the whole meal was free – but then I can be a bit stubborn…..

  3. Missy says

    The boys are handling the middle school gig with no problems. I am so glad. However, dropping my baby at Pre-K today was killer. I am still trying not to cry.
    And as our friend Christa said…I will always have your honey mustard back.

  4. Shari says

    Oh, my GOSH! I would have probably not been quite as nice with you had I been involved in Mustardgate!

    Hubs & I test drove a Wrangler tonight and all I could say was, “I’ve gotta tell Julie!” And he’s all, “Um, Julie?” And I’m all, “Yes! This milspouse I know from online” and he’s all, “Um, she’s your friend but you’ve never met her??” Then I tried explaining, “But I feel like I know her! And I’ve seen his pics of him in his uniform so I know she’s legit!” ROFL

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