Damara Hutchins

School shops and whistle stops

The second week of the new school year is officially over and, catching me by surprise, my son actually had the nerve to say, "I can't believe how fast this year is going by!" "Excuse me?" I asked. "This year literally just began. We can't even see your grades online yet!" I'm not even sure if I should be congratulating the boy or grounding him before Labor Day! My daughter, on the other hand, has a more straight-forward approach to her scholastic activities with her color-coded behavior chart that gets reported to us on a daily basis. She's been on green, which is good, and yellow, which is not very good, almost evenly across the board. Red is the very worst. Knowing her, red is always a possibility. The kids and their performances in class haven't been my biggest issue so far. My first problem was the completion of the supply lists for both children and how I thought I'd never finish checking off each item. Unfortunately, I was in no mood to shop after finalizing their first pre-orientation trip to the major "everything" store in town for paper, folders, binders, pencils and other staples.
After orientation, I discovered that I had gotten the wrong types and colors of folders and the wrong size binders. Go figure. They also needed things like headphones and manila envelopes along with tissue boxes, Ziploc bags and hand sanitizer. Back in my youth, we sneezed on our desk to mark it as our territory. We also had really good immune systems. Through all this madness (I say "madness" because I actually did get mad at a certain point when I couldn't find the right color duo tang folder before rationally checking an office supply store), my other problem has been a background annoyance that was unrelenting and still continues. It originates from the mouth of my son in the form of whistling. I'll interject here that whistling is one of my biggest pet peeves and it is not because I can't whistle myself. I think I can't whistle due to the fact that it always got on my nerves and I couldn't stand when other people did it. Even people who do it well bother me when they do it all the time. It is like the bagpipes of mouth noises. My son is the worst because he has no creativity with his whistles. He just makes the same noise over and over. It makes me want to throw things at his face to make him stop. His sister is a better whistler than him, but that may be due to the fact that she is missing two of her front teeth. My husband is the whistle master and he does it just to get under my skin. I wonder if birds hear my son and what they think about his out-of-tune wallowing or if a bird of prey heard him, would it would assume that it was picking up the cry of an injured bird and swoop in for an attack? By stopping him from whistling, maybe I'm actually saving his face from the talons of an opportunistic osprey. I'm trying to lighten up. The school shopping is done and the children seem like they want to do well. We'll see. As for the mouth noise producer, I've set my "No Whistle Zones" to include anything within my earshot. That leaves his room and the neighborhood to enjoy the wonders of whistling. Don't worry, neighbors, he won't stay 13 for very long. damarainsebring@hotmail.com