Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hup, hup. Hup to three four.....or maybe it's Left, left. Left, right, left

It's that time of year when the Norwalk High School marching band begins their travels.  Although travels are limited due to school funding, meaning only one bus instead of 3 is paid for, and a tonnage of fund raisers in an attempt to raise money to pay for transportation.  I'm sitting here feeling a little disappointed that I won't be able to chaperon much this year due to my work schedule while last year I was able to take days off to attend.

This Wednesday they'll be competing at the L.A. County Fair.  I was right there with them last year struggling to get through the crowd as the parents march alongside the band (ok...we run at a rediculous pace while stepping over people, squeeze between people, stumble around carts, bump into poles, fall off curbs, dodge balloons and step on sticky gooey who knows what) while trying to maintain some dignity as a parent who just wants to make sure your child and all the others get a measly little drink of water when and if they need it.  It's a blast!

I remember last year quite well because it was dripping wet hot and as a band parent you quickly learn that it's much better to volunteer during the winter parades then Summer.  Not so much for the obvious reasons but for reasons you must experience first hand to truly understand.

Last year, for instance, we arrived at the Fair at approximately 9:30 a.m.  The kids took off until their call time, 3 p.m.  Of course they've been out in the sun all day and wait until the last minute to return so they show up at the truck ..... hmmmm .... damp?  wet?  Sweaty.  That's it.  Plain and simple.  They're sticky, sweaty and ..... yes, smelly (not all, but many).  There were 130 kids or so and each one must find their uniform, change out of their regular clothes, and fix their hair.

Being I was a "new parent" or better worded "stupid and inexperienced parent" ---- (I know what those other parents were really thinking), they gave me the honor of helping the kids to put their hair up.  See for competition not one single wisp of hair can show from under the hat.  The judges can and will mark them off for such a crime.  So there I am with bobby pins, hair nets, hair spray and comb in hand waiting for the little buggers.

We have guys with long matted hair, guys with fro's (in this day of age you've gotta be kidding) and guys with long straight hair stuck to the back of their necks with pure down home sweat.  YUUUUCK!  Of course guys have absolutley no idea, nor do they care to know how to put their hair up.  They simply walk up to you and stare into your eyes waiting for the magic quesion "would you like me to help you?".  Sometimes they actually mouth the word "yes".  Mostly they just shake their heads and wait for you to perform some kind of magic on them.  You somehow have to get yourself beyond the sweat and stanky and just do it.

I had one kid, who actually turned out to be one of my favorites, who's hair was straight and somewhat matted.  He spoke very little but sweated enough to make up for it.  He had the most uncooperative hair I've ever seen and it did not like hairnets.  No matter how much spray or little poneytails I made on his head, his hair always managed to come lose.  I often thought he did it purposely to test my mommyship.  He wanted to know if I would mother him even if he did have wild hair.

Another kid who although born in the 90's had hair that was stuck in a 70's timewarp because he had such a big fro I had to put two hairnets on him.  He looked like Mickey Mouse from the front angle the nets split his hair right down the middle.  But I got it all in the hat, and that's really all I cared about.  That he looked like an overgrown mouse was of little concern to me.  He wasn't my kid.

Then there was the kid with no forehead and long straight stubborn hair.  I put more rubber bands on his head in one parade than I've used in a lifetime on mine.  Didn't matter, his hair came out anyway.  I wanted to take a pair of scissors to him but didn't for fear of not being asked to walk the next parade.  To this day, I think he trained his hair to go limp whenever I was around.

Where were these kids mothers?  Why the heck was I putting their hair up instead of the women that bore them?  Why?  I'll tell you why, those women were smart.  They let some other fool do it.  They said "I can't I have to work", "I can't my dog is sick", "I can't, my kids too sweaty".

It's ok.  I had a good time with those kids and this Wednesday while I'm at work and they're out there marching in the hot sun, sweating like pigs......oops!  I really didn't mean pig, pigs....I meant....I don't know what I meant.  But I will tell you this, I'm gonna miss those sweat heads.  They're a good bunch.


Bunny Missbrenner said...

I know what you mean. Raquel's 2 best friends are in marching band and it gets pretty intense. We volunteer because we love our kids,we have/had the time, but mostly because we want to be involved and see what they are involved in. Kinda get a feel for what they're doing and you know what...they like it. They like the fact they we are there together enjoying whats going on..just don't get to close and clingy....lol

Debbie said...

Very funny, but girl, I couldn't do it! UGH!!!