I turned off the shower in time to hear a cabinet shutting on the other side of the door.
"Don't come out yet Mom," called my almost-2nd-grader Ryan from our sink area. As he left my room he yelled "OK, it's safe." FINALLY the kid is at the point where he is grossed out by seeing me naked.
I opened up the door to become temporarily bewildered by a waft of perfumy manliness that I don't typically smell at 1 in the afternoon. I looked at the counter and saw my husband's deodorant sitting out among the items that I lovingly leave strewn there each day.
We were now late to leave to meet his 2nd grade teacher at Open House. When he came back in I asked the question I already knew the answer to: "Did you put on deodorant Ryan?" Instead of a verbal answer, I got The Dork Look: a combination of a scrunched up nose and a smirk topped off with a beet red face. No, this kid wasn't going to ruin his opportunity to make a stellar first impression in the unlikely event that his teacher smelled his non-existent stench. I mean, what if she lifted up his arm to smell his pits? He was prepared.
2nd grade is gonna be a good year for my man.
I, on the other hand, hated 2nd grade. It was by far the worst of 17 utterly lack-luster years of the catastrophe that was my educational career. I perfected my half-assery in 2nd grade. It is because of 2nd grade that I'm completely convinced that I should have been diagnosed with ADD.
2nd grade stunk. And so did my teacher whose breath wreaked of cigarettes and coffee, a smell I can still remember nearly 30 years later. She was a witch. A wrinkled 40-something-year-old who hated me to the core. A hag of a woman who tried to FAIL me despite my high-achieving test scores (proven, by the way) because in all honesty, I was a lazy student with the attention span of a newborn whose mother smoked crack while pregnant. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration.
When my parents asked me why I wasn't paying attention in class I told them it was because looking out the window at the birds was more interesting than school - a valid point that I still stand by to this day. It was a huge picture window backing up to the woods. In my defense, there was a BIRD FEEDER for Heaven's sake! What kid wouldn't find that more interesting?
2nd grade was the year of the Wagon Wheel School Photo. I love how my necklace is pulled out and carefully arranged on the outside of my western shirt. I owned this shirt. And I lived in South Florida. And I owned a WESTERN SHIRT!?!? And the wisps of hair giving me the look of a young Medusa? Yes, I still have those. My hair is and always has been a mess.
And most importantly 2nd grade was my inspiration for the term "2nd Grade Hungry." You know when you're REALLY starved? So starved that you're in physical pain? So famished that you think you might die sitting there at your desk contemplating gnawing on your #2 pencil or at least sucking on the eraser, completely salivating thinking of the crappy non-Fruit Rollup items your mom put in your ugly Farmhouse lunchbox that you had to get because we always waited 'till the last day before school started to go to Kmart to buy lunch boxes and by then they were already picked through (yes, 2nd grade)? THAT, my friend, is what I call "2nd Grade Hungry." Feel free to use it.
And when 2nd grade ended I switched schools. Spoiler Alert: I went to 3rd grade and went on to hate school for another 10 years and then 4 more years of self-inflicted agony I fondly call "college."
I hope that the application of deodorant yesterday works as 2nd Grade Stinks Replant for Ryan. Perhaps the literal application of anti-stink will serve as the antidote he needs to come out smelling like a rose. Or at least Speed Stick.
HEY, GO OVER THERE ON THE RIGHT AND CLICK THAT PINK BUTTON TO VOTE TOO.