Someone flipped the switch on the summer temperatures, the apple orchards are open for business, and I just voluntarily filled out a volunteer form for the elementary school (Yes, I checked the box next to "I am not a registered child abuser," but no, I did not check the box next to "I want to be a worker bee"). Individually, none of these things is very significant, but when combined together, it makes me extremely grateful for one thing: Zoe is not in kindergarten anymore, which means that I won't be volunteering for apple cooking day.
(originally posted on October 19, 2009)
When I notice that the number on Caller ID is from the elementary school, I always hesitate to answer because it's most likely the Volunteer Coordinator catching me at a time when I don't have a credible excuse ready. Then I think, "What if one of the kids is really sick?" or "Maybe the school is on fire!" only to hear the VC say: "Hello Mrs. Adkins! I'm glad I caught you at home! We're looking for a couple mommies who want to come in and bake apple goodies with the kindergartners!" Shit.
"Um, I don't think I can make it that day. I see on my calendar that I have 'snort large amounts of cocaine' penciled in. I'm pretty sure I can't reschedule that." See what I mean by the lack of credible excuse thing?
"But, Mrs. Adkins. The kids are so excited about peeling their own apples and making apple crisp!"
"I was recently listed on the child abuse registry. Pretty sure I can't hang out with a bunch of kids that need a good spanking."
"Oh, but Mrs. Adkins! When you listed yourself as a child abuser, you checked the box next to 'willing to volunteer in messy classroom activities'! See you on Wednesday!"
So, two days later I'm in the hallway, watching a bunch of kids with no fine motor skills clutching a sharp peeler in one hand and an unwashed granny smith apple in the other. I stood behind them, mortified, wondering how many fingernails and skin shards were going to be sacrificed for this educational experience.
After retrieving more than a dozen hacked up apples out of the garbage can, and dispensing more than a few band-aids, the other volunteer and I decided to let each kid take two swipes at their apple, and then we would let them watch us do the peeling. I know, I know, they were supposed to be much more involved... measure the flour, understand how ingredients come together, and boy oh boy that cinnamon sure does smell good! However, after seeing the snot hanging out of so many nostrils and the grime under their fingernails, not to mention the fact that they were all making me resentful of the fact that I was missing cocaine day, I wanted to get the hell out of there. So peel, peel, watch, sniff the cinnamon, and now go back to the classroom.
I brought the apple/skin crisp home to bake it and noticed that some of the apple chunks had an odd tint. Some were purple, some orange and a couple were definitely blue. Turns out that while the kids were waiting for their turn, they were in the classroom coloring...with markers. Tells you how good those hand washing skills are.
The next morning I popped that sucker in the oven and informed the 11-year-old that unless he wanted to eat Crayola for breakfast and be known as a cannibal, he should probably resist the temptation to pick at the pan while it was cooling. And I've never been so happy about the fact that the kindergartner won't eat fruit that's been cooked. Or, as I discovered, colored on.
Zoe came home from school that day with a sheet of red paper that read: "Your child celebrated Fall today by making apple crisp! He/She learned about measuring ingredients, fractions, and working as a team." Yeah, sounds pretty accurate. And I'm glad they left out the part about the weird control freak mom that kept sniffling and wiping her nose.