Sunday, July 24, 2016

Beginning or the School Year Vs. End of the School Year

Last night began my yearly back-to-school nightmares, I mean dreams. In the most recent one, I was three hours late to school and all of my past principals, some student teachers, the superintendent and the guy who is in charge of the North Dakota Educator Licensing were there to observe how I use ENVOY, a nonverbal classroom management technique. Obviously arriving 3 hours late is not part of the program. I was teaching kindergarten again, like in ALL of my back to school nightmares, even though it's been ten years since I taught kindergarten. I had 25 kindergartners, and three did not know their names. None of them would listen and they kept running away from me while I was focusing attention to how I stood and used hand gestures (a big part of ENVOY). I didn't have a class list to take attendance. When I started taking attendance, a former principal yelled at me saying, "We don't waste time taking attendance anymore. You're worthless." Then the guy from the licencing department told me I should hand over my licence because I suck at ENVOY... Then I woke up. I really don't feel like I am bad at ENVOY, nor do I need to worry about what a former principal says, nor do I teach kindergarten, so I'm not sure what this last dream meant, but all of the back to school dreams are the same; a disaster. Sometimes kids are standing on the tables, sometimes they don't even belong in my class, one night I even yelled out, "STOP EATING THE MARKERS!" Maybe it's the anxiety and unknown of the beginning of the year. This made me think of how I am at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the school year, so I made a list:

Beginning of the year (BOY)- "I can't believe that teacher is yelling at her students to stop running down the hall. They're just little kids."
End of the year (EOY) - "I shall destroy all running second graders! They better get that out of their system before next fall!"

BOY- "You forgot your homework again? That's fine. Bring it in whenever you can."
EOY- "You forgot your homework again? That's fine. You can do it during lunch with me while I eat and pretend to laugh at imaginary things on my computer to create a facade that I have a life."

BOY- "I'm going to make 30 cupcakes for each child's birthday."
EOY- "A pencil, birthday sticker and a high five is celebration enough."

BOY- "I'm going to write out detailed lesson plans including thought provoking learning targets, and keep a running list of the standards I am teaching, as well as an "Essential Big Question" for the children to ponder while learning with each subject I teach."
EOY- "I'll glance at the resource 10 minutes before teaching it."

BOY- "I am going to buy all of the new cute decorations ever!"        
EOY-  "I am going to laminate the heck out of every poster I use so I'll never have to buy another decoration."

BOY-"I have organization under control. Everything is even color coded using my theme colors."
EOY- "I'll just put it in a pile in my hoarder cupboard (my coat closet)."                                


BOY- "Teaching supply stores are the BEST!"                                  
EOV-  "I hate teaching supply stores. They make my paycheck disappear."

BOY-  "Teaching is like Mr. Holland's Opus, Freedom Writers and Dead Poets Society."                       EOY-  "Teaching is a mix of Children of the Corn, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Snakes on a Plane."

BOY- "Look how clean my car is."                                                      
EOY-  "I have 21 empty cans of Dt. Mt. Dew, 18 food containers, and a box of 'school stuff'' I've been meaning to go through one weekend in my car..."

BOY- "I can't believe that news story about the teacher who started his day with a mug full of vodka."
EOY- "I totally get why that guy started his day with vodka... Yet I would not emulate because then the kids would win the battle AND the war..."                                

BOY- "Thanks, but I don't need any construction paper. I don't  think we'll be using it anytime soon." EOY- "Sure. I'll take that construction paper. I don't know when we'll use it, but I can put it in my hoarder cupboard (AKA My Coat Closet)."

BOY- "Oh no! A scary parent meeting WITH THE PRINCIPAL How am I not meeting all of his/her needs. Initiate sweat mode, death take me quick. Hopefully they won't show up.
EOY- "Yawn. A scary parent meeting. Hope they show up on time."

BOY- "I only need one stapler in my room."                                        
EOY-  "NO you can't borrow my stapler! I only have eight!"

BOY- I'll miss summer, but I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE POSSIBILITIES OF A NEW YEAR!"  
EOY- "I'll miss these kids, but BRING ON SUMMER!"                                    

BOY-"I am going to wear the cutest teacher outfits ever!"                  
EOY- "Orthopedic shoes are my best friend. Is today the day for my GOOD sweatpants?"

BOY- "I'm going to use a whole sheet of paper for a five  question quiz and make 24 copies."               EOY- "I'm going to fit FOUR  five- question quizzes on one piece of paper and only have to copy 6. Then I get to use the GUILLOTINE!- I mean paper cutter.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Blame Canada

I love summer. I love summer partly because I don't have to try to convince 8 and 9-year-olds that it really is in their best interest to learn to understand what they read, and the importance of being able to multiply. It's partly because I get to spend it with my children, and partly because I loathe cold weather. I LOVE sunshiny days spent in the pool. The sunnier the better. For a week now, I have not seen the sun. The weather channel, and the weather app on my phone tells me it is sunny, but I can't see it. Why? The Canadian haze. There are wild fires in Canada and the smoke is drifting south to my backyard, more accurately, the tri-state area. It's like a really thick fog that doesn't go away, smells like a campfire, and burns your eyes and throat. It's so bad that our area has been the winner of  the Worst Air Quality in America for the past week. One of my facebook friends posted a photo of her parents lake view. It is a rectangular image that is light grey with a shadow that resembles a tree off to the side. She had the caption, "Canadian smoke effect on the view of my parents' lake place".  I said, "When will the Canadian wild fire burn out, or at least keep the smoke to its self?" Am I blaming Canadians? No. I don't blame them because they don't have Smoky the Bear telling them only they can prevent a forest fire. Them and God since the fire started during a lightning storm. One of her friends responded, (please note I have corrected the misspellings and grammar) "Just for the record the smoke is coming from Northern Saskatchewan where they are having trouble containing fires that have been started by lightning. There are thousands of people out of their homes and will not be going back to. As a Canadian I find it rather upsetting that you Americans think we are trying to smoke you out."  Huh. As an American I find it upsetting you don't have a sense of humor. I understand that the fires are upsetting, but now that you mention it, I do feel like I'm being smoked out. I did not mean to offend anyone, I simply want mother nature to rain or change wind directions. I even Googled, "why don't Canadians have a sense of humor?" and MANY, MANY articles turned up. It's not that they don't have a sense of humor. They think Jim Carey is hilarious... So, that means their sense of humor includes a lot of reference to the words "poop" and "under ware". Their sense of humor is equal to a room full of second-grade boys. To be fair, I've also Googled, "why are so many Americans ignorant?" The first reason is because we believe in the Bible.  Not very valid. But the Canadian one probably is. I've met probably five Canadians. One was in Hawaii while we were on a snorkeling tour. When they found out we were from Fargo, they felt the need to one-up us because it's actually colder there. Really? That's like trying to argue with someone that your farts smell worse. Who would want to be the winner in either category? Another time I met Canadians was when I worked at the local grocery store in college. Being close to Canada, we used to have the Canadians come down to shop in the '90s. I sold a lady a pound of deli ham that cost (we'll say) $3.00.  She said, "I'll give you $2.25". Ummm. NO! This is not a flea market. It is the SUPER market. She told me to keep my *&^% ham. I worked with a Canadian once. She thought all Americans were beneath her, and we are raising generation after generation of idiots (this was before we started to). She also said "again" really weird, and I couldn't stop giggling every time she said it. I used to ask her questions which I knew the response would include "a-gane'. I always wondered how she could think Canadians were so superior. Canadians didn't land on the moon, invent Microsoft, or had a vice president who invented the Internet. So I will sit here in my backyard with my eyes and throat burning, believing in the Bible, and thinking up a whole bunch of ironic things about Canada and their fires so I can take that show on the road. Preferably in Minnesota, where the USA has that square shaped bump that goes into Canada.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

10 Times It Has Been Worse

Every year around this time, I get what's known as the "fall panic". I panic that the kids aren't learning, I'm not reaching them, or they think I'm a witch.
Starting at a new school, and being able to leave the place that will be the setting of my future book titled, The Place Where My Soul Went to Die: My Bitter Memoirs, has been nothing short of amazing. Working at a place that is so positive and professional, along with getting a pat on your back instead of stabbed in the back after working so hard, and coupled with the wonderful people I work with; I truly feel blessed. I didn't realize how miserable, or how toxic my old school was until I came here. My teaching partner is not only a phenomenal teacher, but a good person. She shares ideas and is not in constant competition of who's-the-most-popular-teacher-and-can-get-the -PTA-to-give-them-gifts-on-the-side. The strategist is my best cheerleader, and a riot to be around. The staff truly assumes everyone always has good intentions, rather than assuming the worst in everyone. My new school is refreshing. That being said, it is late in the fall, and my students have just recently mastered walking down the hallway like humans. If you are a teacher, you know the secret. If you are not, I'll let you in on it. Teachers, well, I myself, feel a little bi-polar at the beginning of the year. Sure you are hopeful for what the new year might bring. The smell of fresh waxed floors, and shiny new notebooks, and fresh pencils are enough to raise my serotonin so I don't think I need my bitch-be-gone pills. However. The younger the grade, the HARDER it is at the beginning. You are responsible for 21 other people for a full 8 hours. Please note- each class has different extremes, but it's rare to get a class that doesn't follow this pattern. At the beginning of the year, you can't turn your back once. You can't assume they know how to walk down the hallway, you have to schedule bathroom breaks for yourself, and actually eating lunch is a silly idea that really won't happen until around Christmas. You have to teach the kids EVERYTHING about "doing school". You are an entertainer, an actress, a mom, nurse ("you are FINE!"), a counselor, a judge, and a mentor. You teach them morals, how to treat each other, social skills, manners and hopefully reading, writing and math. It's a lot of pressure. I'm proud to say, my students mostly know when to sharpen their pencils (not when I'm talking), ask to use the the bathroom (not when I'm teaching a new concept), hand in classwork, and homework, and finally how to walk down the hallway like a human. It's the beginning of the year when a teacher really has to be on their game. You may tell them 176 times that they write on their paper, not in Mrs. Fairfield's books, but the 177th time, they might get away with  doing it, so they try. This, my friends, is why I can't ever be gone. If I am gone one day, the sub will let them get away with everything. Then I am back to the first day of school; teaching when/where to use the bathroom, hand in papers, walk down the hall, and in the classroom. Because of this, even when I am sick, I go to school. Teaching is exhausting. Teachers know there is no exhaustion like September exhaustion. This year mine went into October and November. It's times like this, when my car is the last one in the lot, when I go home and I think "I know I'm going home a lot more tired than those kids. I wonder if they even learned anything today". These days is when I have to remember there were 10 times it was worse:
1) The time I forgot to wear my shirt to school. I was teaching at an older school and my room was freezing. I was going to wear a cuddle-dud, (basically long a underwear shirt), and a wool sweater. The problem was I didn't put on the sweater. I was on the phone with my friend when I left the house, got to school, walked to my classroom, took off my jacket and said, "Oh Sh!T! I forgot my shirt!"
2) 99% of the 2012-13 school year was way, WAY worse.
3) 79% of the 2011-12 school year was way worse.
4) The time I thought a kindergarten parent was going to reach over the table and punch me in the face when I had to break bad news to him.- Also known as "the reason I can't teach kindergarten is because I don't like breaking parents' hearts".
5) The time I had a newborn, a toddler, and traveled to two schools to teach Kindergarten, and I was so tired that I burst into tears when a parent asked me to use unscented whiteboard markers.
6) The time I used to let a student sleep, just so I can get some peace.
7) The time someone pulled the fire alarm and I was shocked it wasn't one of my students, - Wait, that was a good time.
8) the time I drove to work and saw two students fake hitch-hiking and flipping off the cars on a very busy street.
9) The time I had a man student teacher and he was more work than the third graders.
10) The last day of school each year. The kids leave me after I have spent 9 months declaring them "my kids". They hold a special place in my heart, yet they just leave as if they are all happy for summer break, after I've just spent so much time, energy and worry on all of them. It's like having empty nest every year...

 I have many, many good memories. I guess the feeling of accomplishment doesn't come without a lot of hard work. Like a wise man told me once- nothing worth having is easy.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why I Don't Like Halloween

If you are a "regular reader"- (both of you), you may have been wondering where did she go? What's with the hiatus? Well, the day before school started I was sitting in a "teach kids to write" Proffesional Development and a hater from another school said, "I hate it when people have blogs, but they don't have a theme." I decided then and there that my blog is annoying others because I have no theme, so I must stop. It was much like the time a facebook friend said, "I can't stand when people post cat photos." I posted facbook cat photos each day until Mr. Husband would let me have a cat, so I stopped posting cat photos. Then I unfriended her, and now glare at her with my cat-eyes during church. Now I'm taking the advice of a brilliant friend, Stephanie Schuster, "You are not the jerk whisperer, Don't listen to 'em." So I'M BACK!!

Yesterday was Halloween. I used to like Halloween. From Kindergarten through Second grade, I got to trick-or-treat. When I turned nine, the "Poisoned Laced Tylonal" killed some people and my mom was certain all of our neighbors- living in the middle of no where- were lacing their candy with poison and putting razor blades in the candied apples. Which is weird on three levels. 1)We knew our neighbors well, 50% of them were my dad's brothers, and the rest had "card parties" and celebrated all of their children's milestones together. I don't think they'd try to kill me. They'd get caught. 2) If you were crazy and wanted to put razors in the candy, you would probably be living out in the middle of no where. 3) I really think the REAL reason I couldn't go trick-or-treating past second grade is because none of my siblings lived at home anymore and couldn't take me. Walking a mile and a half- one way- for a candy bar is just not realistic. Therefore, a bit of bitterness toward Halloween started at the ripe old age of the third grade. All of my "town" friends had many years of candy ahead of them, but not me. My mom tried to smooth over my feelings by letting me pick out my "own bag" of candy at the store. It wasn't the same. It wasn't dressing up like a princess, going to the neighbor's/aunts and uncles and being told you are "so cute", and getting a candy bag full of surprises. It might be dumb candy, like a handful of circus peanuts, but it was still a surprise. You can't sit on the living room floor and sort your "own bag of candy". It's all the same. There is nothing to sort. From then on, I've hated Halloween. it could be my intense fear of  clowns, mascots, mimes, and well anything in a mask. I don't like not being able to see the person's expression, Then the year came when Noah was one and a half. We took him to both grandparent's houses, a great aunts, and the next door neighbors. It was a blast. Fast forward to the year Ethan was three. He didn't know what to expect, and he was typically a little shy, but on that night he FLEW from house to house while combining two of his top five favorite things- dressing up like Spider-man and candy. I liked Halloween until about two years ago because I was experiencing it through their eyes. Now I'm back to hiding from the scary people with masks. Couple that with teaching children on Halloween, it makes for a less-than-festive holiday. During the eleven years of liking Halloween, I had the pleasure of teaching Kindergarten and the excitement of Halloween through their innocent eyes. I want it to be as much fun with the third graders, but it just isn't. In third grade, it's more about getting as  much candy as possible and eating as much as possible in one sitting. It doesn't seem magical like it is in Kindergarten,it's just... not. Maybe that's the REAL reason my mom cut off Halloween in third grade.
If you know me well, you know I make it my life mission, and spend 73% of my energy trying to keep my children from growing up too fast. I, unlike my mom, have not cut off Halloween. Noah tried cutting himself off two years ago, but caved and went this year. Secretly I think, "Are you kidding? You are taller than me. You have no business dressing up for Halloween." Well, I had nothing to worry about with him dressing up, because he went as a Basketball Player. So he dressed like it was a random Tuesday. I opened my mouth to tell him that's not appropriate anymore, but as I looked at him to say it, I didn't see my ninth- grader stressing out while writing the perfect essay about the Bubonic Plague and the Political Effect on the World, but I saw my little boy dressed like a lion saying "Tricker-Treat. Smell My Peet", and I just couldn't tell him no. Maybe a bit of him wants to hold onto his childhood as much as I do.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My First Official Day Thoughts

  •       6:00 alarm, you are my EVEREST.
  •       Snooze.
  •       Snooze.
  •       FINE. But only for the children.
  •       At least I can finally take this mountain of school stuff that’s been sitting in my bedroom all summer.
  •       Okay, what to wear... Betting my summer uniform would be frowned upon, as it does not involve pants.
  •       Should I even try to look somewhat decent, or stick with comfy-casual?

Arguments for looking decent
Arguments for comfy-casual
-There might be new people whom you don’t want to think you’re a slovenly old bag
-Comfortable. So, so comfortable.
-Takes almost zero time.
-You can dress up one day, take a picture of yourself, make copies of it, and distribute to the new people that serve both as gifts and proof that sometimes you don’t look like a slovenly old bag.
  • Comfy-casual it is!
  • Should I wear my ID? 
  • District policy says yes, but is that even for in-service? 
  • What if I’m the only one wearing one? 
  • Will people think I’m a suck-up if I’m wearing it? 
  • Or what if I’m the only one NOT wearing it? 
  • I’ll bring it.
  • Oh well, can’t find it anyway, so that idea’s out.
  • I wonder if anyone got plastic surgery over the summer.
  • What? Why is there traffic?
  • Oh, because it’s in-service and I’m going to work at a normal human time instead of negative fifty o’clock.
  • I wonder what they will have for breakfast.
  • I hope banana bread.
  • I hope Dt. Mt. Dew.
  • I hope a gourmet omelet station.
  • I hope a crown royal and keg of beer.
  • Hahaha.
  • But seriously, I hope there’s banana bread.
  • Please, God, if you love me at all, make this a classroom workday.
  • YES. KATY PERRY. This is my JAM.
  • Aaaand I’m behind that one math teacher I don’t know at a red light. 
  • Did he see me singing ultra-seriously by myself in my car as I was pulling up?
  • Awkward. Don’t make eye contact. Play it cool. Drink your pop.
  • Where are we even supposed to be meeting?
  • I’m just going to follow the herd.
  • AHHHH SO MANY PEOPLE.
  • And they’re all wearing their IDs. Perfect.
  • Would it be weird to feign illness and hide in my car?
  • I bet I could do a reasonably believable impression of fainting.
  • Okay, it’s fun to see people again. Good job, self. You’re being normal.
  • Uh-oh. All this interaction with people is making me sweaty.
  • Hello, nice to meet you, my name is Ms Clammyhands.
  • Banana Bread!!!!!
  • Just realized that all my conversations with people sound like this: “HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!” “It’s so good to see you!” “How was your summer?!” “Do you know if we get to work in our rooms today or not?”
  • Oh, dear. The Back-to-School speeches/PowerPoints have begun.
  • Time for me to pretend like I’m taking notes on this legal pad.
  • What should I get at the grocery store?
  • What do I need to buy at Home Depot to be able to fix that broken metal bookshelf in my classroom that is waiting to give me tetanus?
  • What do I want to name my children if I were to have one more boy, or a girl?
  • What will I name my future pets?
  • Where will we eat lunch today?
  • I seriously can not name a single one of my own children's teachers. 
  • Oh well, middle school and high school don't count that much. 
  • Let’s doodle a crossbow-wielding panda.
  • Geez, who is talking behind me? That’s so rude to talk when someone’s presenting.
  • It’s also probably rude to be doodling crossbow-wielding pandas.
  • Oh, an inspirational video!
  • I AM TOTALLY READY TO TEACH THIS YEAR!!!!!
  • I think I’m easily inspired.
  • I think that means I would make a good cult member.
  • Drink the kool-aid.
  • I better make sure my principal sees me here so I get credit for being here.
  • I don't want to make a scene, but how do I get her attention?
  • YES! Classroom workday! Thank you, teaching gods!
  • I’m taking another banana bread on my way out
There you have it. My first day...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I'm Living With a Stranger

I'm living with a stranger. I'm fairly certain it happened overnight. My little boy has turned into a full fledged teenager. I still know a lot about Noah. I know his favorite color is blue, he's a handsome boy, and a kind big brother. I know his passion is basketball, and he's smart and wants to go to a "good college"- in his mind means "out of state". I know all of his friends, and their parents. I know he eats and sleeps A LOT, and wants to have bigger biceps. I'm finding out he believes I know very little about everything- because I am always wrong, and he is always right. It's so hard to believe that only five years ago he told me everything that popped into his mind, and now... nothing, except his need for new basketball/football/running shoes and random sports equipment.
Just a few years ago he used to argue with his brother about who got to sit closer to me on the couch. In fact, I bought a bigger couch so they wouldn't have to share me. Now he uses that same couch to sit as far away from me as possible. I miss him, and he is sitting in the same room as me. When he walks up the steps in the morning I don't see the tired 14-year-old that he is. I see the 4-year-old that he was stomping up the steps demanding to know where Kitty is, and why he pooped in his room. As we are sitting at the supper table and he informs us that we need to pay for basketball, and he's going to start driver's training, all I see is a kindergartner telling us he has to stay away from the licker (Abby) at supper. I know growing up and detaching from mom is totally normal, and if I was his best friend (like he promised me I ALWAYS would be when he was 5) I'd be worried. I never went through this "my life is my own and my parents are only in it because they have more money", mostly because I always felt like my parents' love for me was a flip of the coin. I do one thing wrong, and it was gone. Therefore I have to admit what Noah and I are going through means I did a mostly good job raising him and it's perfectly healthy. I also know it's normal that teenage boys will eventually come back and need their mom, but what if he doesn't? I told him I'd move to wherever he goes to college, then he told me he wasn't going to tell me where he is going. What if he moves far away to college, meets a girl and marries her, and she doesn't want him to have anything to do with his family? He's a people pleaser. It will probably happen.
Last night I as I laid in bed tears started streaming down my face because he grew up too fast. What was I doing when it all happened? I know I didn't pay enough attention to him when Ethan was a baby. I have the video tapes to prove it. How could I have missed it? I'm a teacher, I get home early and I have summers off. Was I blind to his getting older? Did I spend too much time working on my masters, reading, laying in the pool, or away from home? How can someone who lived in me for 9 months be a stranger? Everyone says "It goes so fast" when it comes to raising kids. That is an understatement. I spend so much of my life wishing away time; I wish it was Christmas break, I wish it was summer, I wish it was 5:00 so I can drink a beer. Is that how I missed Noah growing up? I think for the rest of the summer I'm going to spend hours staring at both Noah and Ethan. I don't care how creepy it seems, I know they will thank me later.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Keep The Riff-Raff Out!

It is impossibly cold outside. This winter has been horrible. We've had a range of 20 degrees to -60  since the day after Thanksgiving. On the rare days we have 20 degree weather, we have a 80 mile per hour wind with a -700 wind chill, so why bother having 20 degrees ABOVE? The big saying around here, mostly made by people who don't need to leave their houses on a daily basis is, "It's good. It keeps the riff-raff out." What is riff-raff you ask? Well, it's "ghetto folk", hobos, meth heads, and such. But the thing is, it doesn't get rid of the riff-raf. It just drives them indoors where everyone else is. I know this because I experienced it first hand during my last trip to Walmart. It all began on Sunday morning. I woke up with a pain in my stomach on the right, and it seemed right under my ribs. So, I did what every red-blooded American who understands technology does. I looked my malfunction on-line, where you should go for all medical advice. I self-diagnosed myself with gall stones. The remedy for gall stones is drink six ounces of apple juice for five days, because the apple juice makes the stones soft. On the sixth day, drink the apple juice, and don't eat after 6:00 pm. At 8:00 drink four ounces of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of Epson Salt, and repeat at 10:00. At 10:30 drink 4 ounces of olive oil mixed with two ounces of lemon juice. The Epson salt acts as a laxative and the olive oil makes it more slippery I guess. I think the Epson salt must give the concotion the explosive effect to help rid your body of the gall stones. I had everything except the Epson salt, which I didn't need until the following Saturday anyway. Yesterday it was only -16 degrees with a -25 wind chill and it was supposed to be the warmest day of the week, so I declared it my "Walmart/Target/Grocery" day. I typically don't go to Walmart, but the one by my school is a little classier Walmart. Even that sentence makes me giggle. Classy Walmart is an oxymoron, like non-dairy cream. Anyway, I needed more "Walmart" specific stuff than Target or Grocery store, so when it is this cold I only pick one store, and Walmart won. I parked my car at Walmart, making certain to look at which lane I parked in, because when the wind chill is -25, you don't have time to gallivant around the parking lot looking for your car. I walked into Walmart and immediately felt like I was in the ghetto. Yes. The ghetto of Fargo. I saw a 24-year-old mom with at least five kids I think. It was hard to count because they were all running so fast, but I know the two IN the cart were trying to get OUT, and at least three others were fighting to get in, and there were a few more climbing the shelves as she looked at Monistat. I wanted to grab a package of condoms off the shelf and throw them in her cart while she wasn't looking, but I knew one of the kids would tell on me and cause a bigger scene. I also wanted to assist the kids trying to get out of the cart before they fell, but then I thought 'oh well. Everyone needs a childhood scar story to tell. It would be unfair to rob these children of that.' I knew this woman was ghetto before she opened her mouth. Just because it's the frozen tundra of the north and she was wearing her WARM pajama bottoms and slippers doesn't make it any less of the fact that she is shopping while wearing pajamas. It could have been that, or her many screaming children, or the fact that she had dread locks, and the children looked like they haven't bathed in 2014, but it was probably the tank top that was too small and rode up, so it showed both her tramp stamp on the back, and her rolls on top of her rolls in the front. I wondered, 'where is her coat? It's fricken -25 out!' then I found it. Her five-year-old was wearing the hood of the mom's coat over her face and spinning around with her arms straight out. Hey- at least she was smart enough to try to keep her balance while knocking things out of the way with her arms instead of her head. Maybe she got the smarts in the family. After my entertainment went around the corner to terrorize an elderly couple in the next aisle, I went to work looking for Epson salt. I found it. It's also called bath salts. I read the package and in big letters it says DO NOT INJEST. How am I suppose to mix it with water so I can drink it up? I asked the pharmasist if they had Epson salt that can be injested. She looked at me funny and said, "No. They are BATH salts. Not salt, salt". Now I felt like the ghetto mom who had kids running around with my coat covering their face. I instantly remembered the situation in New York when the guy who injested bath salts ate off the hobo's face in the subway. Great. Now she thinks I'm that person. So I left Walmart thinking sure, leave it to Walmart to have the non-edible Epson salts. Target would have the right kind. Not regular Target, but Super Target would because if you want to injest bath salts and eat off someone's face, you wouldn't be shopping at Target. You'd go to Walmart. I paid for my extreamly cheep cleaning products and left to wander the parking lot looking for my car.