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photo (41)C and I are class moms for T2’s third grade class.

This means that we, in conjunction with one other mother, are in charge of the various parties that happen at school intermittently throughout the year.  Yesterday was the “Fall Party” which just so happened to take place on Halloween.

We had three stations.  First there was the food station, which featured ice cream and a variety of toppings to dump on it.  Then there was the crafts station, where the kids could decorate masks or bats (their choice) using a variety of feathers, pipe cleaners, glitter and whatnot.  The third was the game station, where they could play Hot Pumpkin, a Hot Potato derivative.

The third mother was in charge of the food, C handled the crafts and I was in charge of the game. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food immensely.  C did an excellent job on the craft side of things.  The kids liked making the masks and some of them were legitimately cool.  I was pretty sure the Hot Pumpkin game was going to be lame.

Third graders, as it turns out, are nuts about games where you sit in a circle and frantically pass a plastic gourd around while Norwegian electronica plays.  The kids were separated into three big groups, one at each station.  Mine was the only station that featured yelling.  We would do three rounds and then the winners of each round would go against each other in a championship type situation.  Once eliminated, the kids would stand around the edges of the game, cheering and screaming for their friends.  They were betting.  They were loudly complaining about the referring.  Had there been two chickens with razor blades strapped to their feet in the middle of all these third graders I don’t think the scene would have been much different.  There were three fights and two kids, separate from the scuffles, crying.

A funny thing happened.  Parenst were allowed to come to the party and a dozen or so did.  I was running my game all by myself.  I’d have to work the music and, as soon as it stopped, try to determine who was eliminated.  Some dad was standing there during the whole first session.  A couple of times he was helping out, letting me know who had ended up with the pumpkin when “What Does the Fox Say” stopped playing.  It took me a bit to realize he was completely cheating.  His kid was in the circle and, if ever there was a close call involving his spawn, his call would go the other way.  I was amused, because cause it was just a game of Hot Potato and annoyed, because it was just a game of Hot Potato.  It’s possible that as soon as I caught on to what he was doing, his progeny ended up with the pumpkin when the music stopped.

It was a good party and everyone had fun and afterward C and I had lunch in the cafeteria with T2.

The second coolest thing was all of the third graders singing happy birthday to me.  A few of the girls followed it up with their own rendition that featured interpretive dance.  Then some of the boys followed it up by suggesting that I live in a zoo, look like a primate and also have to odor of one.   So that was nice.

The absolute coolest thing was when T2 gave me my card.

He made it that morning.

The front says:

To: Patick

From: T2

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

It has a picture of some stars and a sword and Oogy Boogy from Nightmare before Christmas on it.  Additionally, there is a ghast from Minecraft and a ghost from Pac-Man.  The best is the inside.

It says, in remarkably neat handwriting:

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!  What ever you get from me, I hope you like my present.  Have a snaketastic birthday!

The “whatever you get from me” part breaks me up.  He “got” me a Batman shirt, which I was actually wearing to the party, but I liked that he made no pretext about the fact he is eight, has no real buying power and thus never has any idea what present he is getting anyone.

Snaketastic was my other favorite part.  He’s really into snakes right now.  We are constantly regaled with snake facts, gleaned from the Encyclopedia of Snakes he keeps in his desk at school and which he has memorized.  We play the guessing game a lot, where one person thinks of a thing and everyone else has to ask questions in order to figure out what it is.  We had to disallow him from using snakes as his thing because he would pick some obscure reptile he knew everything about and that no one else had ever heard of.  For T2, snaketastic , a word he made up for the card, is as good as it can get.

I had a pretty damned snaketastic birthday.

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