Friday, December 18, 2009

A miraculous gate and the joys of locating my desk

Today was my last day of school before our winter break. I feel free! Nick looks excited, too, doesn't he? The stress of the last few months has been getting to me, and I am totally ready for a break. I felt great when I left work today, and I fully intend to savor every last one of my 16 days without work. The last day before a holiday is always funny; some teachers really try to keep their lessons going, but by around eleven a.m., most of them have given in to the chaos. Movies are being shown, coloring is widespread, and chatting is constant. It's nice to see the kids playing and talking for a change. The teacher's lounge was very festive this week, too. Any excuse for a party. They set up a tv with Christmas DVDs playing all day, so that if you had a few minutes, you could sit down and eat some cookies while watching something festive. Oh, and the treats. . . usually we have a Friday Morning Feast, but in honor of this last week, we all picked a day and had treats EVERY day. If you've ever worked in a school, you know that the teacher's lounge is a very dangerous place for calorie counters. Between that and the seven (yes, seven) boxes of candy given to me by various students, it is like the fates are conspiring against me.
All of this partying in the classrooms led to teachers keeping their kids, and this meant that I finally had time to tackle the mess that is my desk. Me? Clean my desk? Nick thought this was so funny he laughed until he had to rest his head. (Really. He laughed so hard he nearly fell over.) This year, my desk/mess has spread from the actual teacher desk onto four file cabinets and three bookshelves. Since I share my classroom with two teachers and an assistant, we often will have to move one another's piles of stuff. Therefore, as of this morning, every conceivable surface was covered with student files, sometimes up to two feet deep. I was determined to find the actual surface of my desk, which I believe I haven't seen since perhaps October. I triumphed just in time, and it will be so nice coming back in January to a neat, tidy desk. Of course, I'm sure it will be covered in piles within about two days, but it's still great to have a fresh start.

Oh yes, onward to the gate. It is indeed miraculous, for it is gate number five. My dear, beloved husband is incredibly brilliant and a wonderful father, but tasks that involve screwdrivers and instructions are a challenge for him. Since this summer, Greg has been trying to get working gates on the top and bottom of the stairs. First, we tried a simple pressure gate (take 1). This gave easily under pressure and didn't seem very safe. So we decided that something stronger was necessary. Greg bought a more expensive gate (take 2) with many parts, and that gate turned out to be broken. So it was returned and another model chosen (take 3). Thank goodness this gate worked at the top of the stairs, because Nick was really moving by this point. (Although, I might add, that gate is slightly crooked and you have to wiggle it around and then push down with all of your body weight in order to get it to click closed.)
The gate at the bottom presented an additional challenge. First, the studs were crooked, meaning that you couldn't screw the gate into the wall on both sides evenly. So chunks of wood and a saw had to be involved. Apparently, this still did not work, because there is wood trim that makes the edges uneven. I'm probably not explaining this very well, because my understanding of all things tool is even less precise than that of my husband. Let's just say that several more trips to the baby store were involved, and there are now multiple holes in the wall around where the gate is installed. But it is installed, and I am overjoyed. Nick seems to like hanging off of the gate, for some reason. In the picture above you can see him holding it while chewing on one of my hair bands. It's funny how the cats and the kid both think plain hair bands are wonderful toys. Forget the expensive developmentally appropriate toys--give them a hair band or a cardboard clothing tag, and they are thrilled.

1 comment:

  1. we never did do an actual screwed-in gate. we moved before ben got too mobile, and then lived in apartments while he was toddling. So, we skipped that part. I still worry about him falling down stairs though, but now from going to fast and not paying attention. I am going to tackle my home desk this weekend. Ought to be interesting. I am going to have to do something with all the seed cataglogs and garden magazines that I don't want to get rid of...