Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brain Cupcakes and Blade

At the beginning of the school year, Blade's teacher sent out an email recruiting Mystery Readers.  A Mystery Reader's duties included but were not limited to, showing up on a Friday afternoon to read a couple of stories to the class.  I was ALL OVER THAT.  Mainly because it was a one parent gig.  Meaning, there were no other classroom moms to coordinate with, no who's bringing what and who wants to plan what games emails back and forth, and no PTA politics (VMPEC as it's called in our school).  None of which I am fond of, by the way. It was just me, a book, and a room full of 4th graders, one of which happens to be my Blade.  I emailed her back and told her I was in and she gave me a date of Friday, October 7th and then asked me to send her 4 clues about myself that she would read to the class to see if they could guess before I made my grand entrance.  After much deliberation and thought, I sent the following clues: 
1) I love to read and usually read at least one book a week.  It's an addiction. 
2) I love pink, shooting stuff (just not hunting, gross), riding 4 wheelers, playing with my animals, cooking, shopping, blogging, going to concerts, travelling, oh yeah and my family. 
3) I have met and had my picture taken with 12 country and pop stars.  If you want your picture taken with me because that kind of makes me a celebrity, please stay after class. 
4) I graduated from this very school in 1996, which may seem like a very long time ago but it really wasn't THAT long ago. 
And then I asked the teacher if I could bring cupcakes because "baking is my love language." 

She responded and said never mind she didn't think I was cut out for the Mystery Reader program because they are trying to encourage the kids to say NO to drugs and it probably wouldn't be appropriate to have someone who is so obviously on drugs read to the class.   
Just kidding.  She loved my clues and gave me the go ahead to bring treats.  Keep in mind that this is a new to us teacher as none our kids have had her before.  In the few times I've interacted with her I've liked her but we didn't really know each other much.  I think that's changed now and I wouldn't be surprised if she calls and wants to do lunch.  Except I'll probably have to pass on lunch because 15 minutes in the teacher's lounge @ 10:45 a.m.?  Ummm, nothing personal but no thanks.  ;)

Once the details were squared away, I began the search for the perfect book to read to the class since the Mystery Reader was to bring their own choice of books.  TALK ABOUT PRESSURE!  I wanted something quirky, something funny, something cutting edge.  Something the kids would associate with me and forever think of me as THE COOLEST MYSTERY READER/MOM EVER.  I ordered this book.  Listen, any book whose complete title is "Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Other Stories You're Sure to Like Because They're All About Monsters and Some of Them Are Also About Food.  You Like Food Don't You?  Well, Alright Then," is speaking my language and a winner in my book. 

Then began the painstaking process of deciding which cupcakes to bake for the occasion. MORE PRESSURE!  I'd seen a recipe awhile back for Brain Blood Clot Cupcakes and thought they fit the bill perfectly, to go along with our monsters/food/creepy theme.  And I felt with a degree of certainty that no other Mystery Reader had ever or will ever bring BRAIN BLOOD CLOT CUPCAKES when they read so...SOLD.  My goal was to be the best Mystery Reader ever, the Mystery Reader Mom that made all other MR Moms or Dads past and present pale in comparison. 


Sorry other Mystery Reader Moms and Dads, you don't have a prayer going up against this killer combo. 

I wasn't supposed to tell Blade when I was doing it so that he would be just as surprised as everyone else. And I didn't.  I wrote it on the calendar in the kitchen that no one but me ever looks at.  Or at least they have never looked at until Tuesday night before when Dakota loudly asked, "WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY READER THING ON THE CALENDAR FOR ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 7TH?"  Really Dakota, REALLY?  Did the "Mystery" part of that not make you stop and think that maybe it's supposed to be, oh I don't know, a MYSTERY?!?  Of course, Blade heard her and came over to inspect the calendar and then grinned because it was no mystery to him.  No amount of back peddling I did convinced him otherwise, not even when the next day I told him I had switched with another mom so he wouldn't know which day I was coming.  He didn't buy it at all, he's a smart one, that kid.  But he promised to play along and not ruin it for the other kids in his class.  I had my doubts. 
Finally, Friday arrived and I went into work at SUPER EARLY THIRTY, so early Starbucks wasn't even open yet, so that I would be off work in time to head to the school for my very important gig.  The things we do for our kids. 

Timing was crucial because at exactly 2:45 Blade's teacher would read the 4 clues and then open the door to the classroom and I would sashay walk into the classroom amid cheering, applause, and paparazzi.  Blade told me that when she read the clues some kids guessed "Lady Gaga" as their Mystery Reader so when I walked in I heard, "That's NOT Lady Gaga that's Blade's mom!" Darn it, I KNEW I should've worn my meatsuit! 

I sat down in the MR chair at the front of the room and before I could open the book, I was bombarded with 563 questions. "Tell us about your animals", "Have you MET Lady Gaga?" (NO), "My sister says she's been past your farm and you have some PREHISTORIC BIRDS is that true?" (EMUS?), "Do you know who my brother is?  Blade's dad helped him join the Army remember?" (YES).  They had lots of questions about the Koons Zoo and many invited themselves over saying, "I want to come to your house, you have so many animals AND Blade says you make cupcakes!" I told them the story about how I was a city girl but then married Blade's dad who was a farm boy who said he could never live in the city and so I moved to the country and decided all this wide open space needed animals to fill it and thus began the Koons Zoo.  "You were a...CITY GIRL?!?"  Gasp. That took my credibility to a whole other level.  To convert from urban, city girl to a country girl with a farm full of animals?  I am an inspiration.  :)

After an intense Q & A session, the teacher told them it was time for the story with the promise that they could ask me more questions once we were done reading. 
Then I read Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich to them and they laughed at the silliness of the book and the awesome illustrations and my occasional commentary.  They were especially enthralled by the last short story in the book titled, "Godzilla Pooped on My Honda."  Perhaps I should've read the book entirely through before reading it to the class and maybe censored some, but no, that's not how I roll. 

Then it was CUPCAKE TIME. 

I solemnly announced to the class that I had brought treats but I didn't know if all of them would be able to stomach them since they were made of BRAINS and BLOOD CLOTS.  Eyes got wide all around the classroom and they waited with bated breath as Blade proudly distributed the cupcakes.  Then we got to answer the question, "Are these real brains/blood?" approximately 30 times.  Rest assured the answer was no, they were not real, the brains were just frosting and the blood clots were just cherry pie filling.
The consensus of the class?  MOST AWESOME CUPCAKES EVER. 

I would love to be a fly on the wall when they went home to their parents and told them they read a story about Godzilla pooping on their Honda and then ate brain cupcakes with blood in them.  Or when Susie's mom asks her what kind of cake she wants for her birthday and she replies with, "BRAIN CUPCAKES WITH BLOOD CLOTS IN THEM!"

While the kids were eating their brains cupcakes, I had a chance to chat with Blade's teacher.  She gushed, "I love having Blade in my class, he's just such a cool kid.  He seems so old in his mannerisms and how he talks and just everything about him, that I forget he's only a 4th grader.  And he's SO smart.  It's just really enjoyable to have him in my class."  It could've been the cupcakes talking or the fact that she had just gotten a 30 minute reprieve while I read to the kids but either way that was the icing on the cake of my great day. 

Then the sound of 18 kids clamoring around me wanting to play the "Do you know my name?" game brought me back from cloud 9. 

The good news is that I now know by sight the names of every kid in Blade's class.  Also, which of the 18 to avoid if possible because holy cow at the annoying.

The bad news is they're demanding a class field trip to the Koons Zoo and they want to see PREHISTORIC BIRDS and EAT MORE CUPCAKES and can I call LADY GAGA and make sure she's there too?!? 

I asked Blade on our way home from school, "So was I like, the BEST mystery reader EVER?" 
"Umm, well, we've only had one other one so I can't really say. But the cupcakes were good."

Who taught this kid to be so matter of fact and honest?   It was kinda like Godzilla had just pooped on my Honda. 

Pooping on my Honda aside, I had a blast and I still have hopes that I will go down in 4th grade history as the Greatest Mystery Reader of all time.  Hey, if Frankenstein can make a sandwich, I can aim high too. 


1 comment:

  1. that was a hilarious and awesome account of your visit! I truly did LOL