Fire Drills, Computer Glitches and Plumbing Woes, Oh, My!


*names have been changed!

I had plans to meet some friends for dinner this afternoon after school. I was the first one there so I ordered a Passion Fruit Martini and downed it. I don’t drink often, but I know when I need one, and today was one of those days.

Amazing what kind of havoc a simple thing like a fire drill can wreak. They did warn us in advance a few days ago, but I, being the age I am, promptly forgot, and we had about two minutes to prep the kids before the thing went off. Off we went in our line, out the coat room door, Abner and Horace still holding toys because there was no time to wrestle them out of their hands. The class did quite well, but the drill ended at the recess bell, and my poor line got bombarded by the big kids who’d long since gone back into the school and then poured out the doors and barreled out to the equipment for their recess. By the time my charges were settled in their chairs to eat, we were ten minutes behind schedule. I had them on my own a few minutes later (the fire drill erased ten minutes of my twenty minute break) for Quiet Time. Some glitch in the system rendered my smart board computer unusable all day, so there was no calm-down show available for the children to enjoy while they relaxed on the carpet. I got them settled as well as I could with some gentle music, but a lot of the kids were still eating, due to the late start of their lunch. There was still quite a mess from centre time (we had to abandon tidy-up for the fire alarm). Then, the plumbing system went down. Our classroom, the one backing up to ours, and the staff washroom toilets–all not flushing. We got tidied up for outdoor play, got all the kids into their outside shoes and helped them pack their backpacks, finally got out there, and then it started to rain, so we had to herd them all back in. Horace had one crying jag/tantrum after the next, and by the time his mother was there to pick him up, I had to carry him out the door, wailing, because he refused to go out. Finally, all the kids were gone except for Abner. I took him to the office ten minutes later, as his mother had still not materialized, where I left him screaming at the top of his lungs because the dinosaur book he’d read there once was nowhere to be seen. My thought was that the office needed to hear one of his “scream-like-it’s-a-murder-in-progress” rages and get a little taste of what we go through numerous times in the course of a typical day.
I’m wishing I had the ingredients for another one of those martinis, but the sad news is, I don’t. There is one piece of good news. No one filled their drawers today, which was fortunate, due to the state of the plumbing in our little corner of Paradise.