Thursday, October 1, 2009

To Trader Joe's I Goes

She goes? I goed?

I had a hankerin' for almond butter earlier today, and nothing on the agenda this afternoon, so I decided to take an impromptu trip to Trader Joe's. TJ's is in a kind of inconvenient location with a crazy parking lot and an annoying traffic pattern, so I don't go often. However, their almond butter isn't nearly as pricey as the stuff in the regular grocery store. On a day when the a.b. craving is hovering in the highest range, it was definitely worth the trip. I also bought some pumpkin butter and chocolate syrup that doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup. I'm not a nazi about HFCS, but, as you could easily imagine, I do carry around a wee bit of HFCS guilt. Caroline generally eats a healthy diet, but highly processed, funky ingredient laden foods sneak their way in quite often. We strive for balance but it's hard to not get caught up in the healthy food/mommy guilt frenzy. So Caroline may eat artificially colored and flavored fruit snacks in her lunch, but at least the chocolate syrup is organic. I'm a walking oxy moron.

After fulfilling my Thursday Folder stuffing duties, I joined Caroline in the lunchroom today. I sat with a table full of girls and one sad looking boy who, by the pitiful grimace on his face, looked less than thrilled to be dining with eight chatty girls. The cafeteria is noisy, but it's still quite fun to catch up on all the second grade gossip. The lunch topic today centered around how Caroline and her friends could get the boys to play tag fairly at recess. Evidently those rowdy boys don't play by the rules; even when they claim they'll be nice to the girls, they aren't. Once they tag the girls, they hold them for more than the allotted 7 seconds, more like a "million seconds", according to Mandy, and are in general just being dumb boys. The girls were huddled together when I arrived at the lunch table and asked me to help them devise a plan. I told them to just run faster, but the four girls with the perplexing problem are all tall, athletic and good runners. My only advice was to come to school smelling overly girly, which might act as boy repellent. Let's face it, second grade boys aren't enamored by those things yet; they're far more attracted to dirt, bugs and noisy bodily functions. The girls seemed to be receptive to my advice. My only other suggestion was for them to form an alliance with a few nice boys who will help them out and not cave to pressure and defect to the boys team. By the end of lunch they had indeed secured some help from a few boys. We'll see how things pan out at recess tomorrow.

Obviously life is never dull in the second grade.

I'm not sure that my life was that interesting in second grade; quite honestly, I don't remember much. Mrs. Mott was my teacher and she taught us a hula dance. We sang a song about the pilgrims and Jamestown, Virginia and I wrote a story about going to space where we shopped at the space mall and played space Monopoly. Ooh, and there was a mean girl named Rachel, who wore her hair in two pigtails every day. She succeeded Annie, who was my first grade bully. Rachel picked on me for months, calling me fat (I was chunky!) when she wasn't exactly slim and trim herself. She was a classic bully; picked on others to make herself feel better. My mom encouraged me to be nice to her regardless of her nastiness, which was HARD, but Rachel eventually stopped. We didn't get into any pig tail pulling, slapping girl fights, so I guess it was wise instruction on my mom's part. Loving your enemies and turning the other cheek are hard lessons to put into practice when you're eight. Or 32.

Now that I think about it, I don't remember enjoying much about second grade.

Oh well, at least Caroline is enjoying herself. I guess all parents hope and pray that their kids will have an easier time growing up than they did.

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