[The third part in a seemingly interminable series.]
‘Did you make a poster for January?’ the preschool teacher kindly asked me when I reported for volunteering duty last Monday. ‘Ah, no,’ I replied in a voice that tried to pretend I’d been working at the computer on just such a poster the night before.
And then another week went by and I realized, much as I’d love to devote my evening to reading a book or wasting time on the internet, it was time to pay the preschool piper. I had to make another poster.
So I went downstairs to the basement and pored over the images I’d collected from my various volunteering stints. And I tried to come up with something that represented what they’d been doing in the classroom. And I kept having flashbacks to the Land of Nod alphabet prints I’d seen on Pinterest.
I would make a preschool alphabet poster, I concluded. And began the arduous process of sorting through all my not-terrible images looking for something that started with an A, B, C etcetera.
And then I cross-referenced my would-be poster with a list of student names to confirm all students were represented on the poster. Because who knows, there might be other petty parents like me who actually look at the poster to see if their kid is on there. And also, after omitting one of the teachers in my very first poster, I’m slightly paranoid about forgetting someone.
But, all of this was easy compared to my final task: asking, nay – begging – the professor to help me. Though he’d told me in no uncertain terms that he was done with preschool posters after the Canada Leaf debacle, though our marriage had very nearly imploded, though it was almost 11pm, still there was no way around it: I needed his help.
One cannot make an alphabet poster using Microsoft Word, after all.
It was a pitiful sight. Grown woman, standing nervously by the stairs, too afraid to speak. I tried pictionary: drawing a rectangle in the air, mimicking preschoolers learning their letters. It did not work. ‘I have no idea what you’re trying to say, but the answer is probably no,’ my Illustrator-savvy husband advised. ‘Willyouhelpmemakeanotherpreschoolposter’ I finally spit it out.
A second of silence, followed by ‘No, definitely not, I told you after the last one that I was done.’ But this was, of course, a half-truth. The man is not unkind, he would not allow me to humiliate myself by cutting out pictures and glueing them onto poster board; becoming the laughing stock of the preschool in the process. No, he simply needed the opportunity to voice his displeasure and, with enough begging on my part, he would eventually relent.
Minutes later I handed him my curated memory stick with 23 carefully selected images. [Sorry preschool, but you managed to do nothing that could be described in any way with an X, Y, or Z.]
After an hour of sitting on the couch beside the professor, feigning interest and commitment in the process and watching the last half of Cedar Rapids [which I quite liked] I hinted that I was tired and would it be okay if I went to bed. My better half grunted in the affirmative and I bolted down the hall before he could change his mind.
Seven hours later, when it was time to get up, he grunted again: ‘your turn’. As if to say ‘don’t even think that I’m going to make you an alphabet poster and take your kid to school.’