The Tard Blog

1/25: Tards go to play, all hell breaks loose:

A few weeks ago I received an invitation from the local Children's Theater inviting my class and me to a performance of Hansel and Gretel.


For taking tards out in public, there is almost nothing worse than a play. Whenever there is a calm moment in my class, I say this: "If I wanted to be busy I'd go see a play." But the kids were excited, so I decided to go ahead and get my yearly play punishment out of the way.


I send home permission slips two weeks prior to the play date. [FYI: Normal classroom teachers send home permission slips ONE week prior. Plus I realize that acquiring the entire $5.50 to cover the cost of the trip may require some serious re-budgeting.] The day prior to the play I only have 3 slips turned in. 


Being a good little Riti Sped, I call the homes of the 10+ kids that had not turned theirs in. Amongst the litany of unbelievable conversations I have with whoever answers on the other line, my favorite is this:


An answering machine that says "You have reached the Mercer family. We are unable to come to the phone at this time because Lola is shopping, Mark is watching football, Antoni is nowhere to be found and Tom is picking his nose."


The above is a true, unabridged greeting on the voicemail of one of my tard families. Normally I would have thought this was lame, but that my tard Tom does constantly pick his nose, so this is funny.


Surprisingly, all but 2 of my tards get their permission slips on the morning of the trip. The other two will have to spend the day in the preschool tard class. Nice.


The bus ride there was actually quite calm. I think that adjusting to the size of a regular school bus was a bit much for them. I can only imagine the thought processing in their little heads, something like, "Wow. A long bus and seats without restraint equipment--what is this strange new world??"


Our bus arrives at the auditorium, and there are tons of kids all over the place. At least a couple thousand. If one of my tards gets loose, the shit will hit the fan. This worries me, so I assign each tard a buddy to hold hands with and to be "in charge of." This proves to be a good idea, as they argue with each other over who is actually in charge, squeeze the crap out of each others hands, and kick at each other.


The best part are the other kids. Imagine being a normal kid, say sixth grade or so, and seeing a line-up of tards holding hands, stomping through the crowds. The kids were snickering, joking, I heard "look at that" plenty of times. Tons of kids are staring, but my tards are LOVING IT!! They are waving and smiling, still holding hands, basking in the attention. 


Since my group is disabled, I am able to reap the rewards of "special needs check in." We are all escorted in, and given the front row of seats to the left of the stage, next to the crying room, coincidentally.


All of the ruckus of the crowds coming in, the noise, etc. causes Lindsay to cry. She wants to sit on my lap. I let her. Soon after this, she has to go to the bathroom, and one of my aides takes her. Things seem to be going smoothly, so I pull out The Tucker Max Saga Continues...E-mail #20 from my purse and begin to read it. 


I am about one minute into it, laughing hysterically, when I realize that there are a bunch of kids behind me, peering over my shoulder. I put the papers back in the purse, and hear one kid tell another one that the paper I had said "vagina." Immediately they begin to laugh. I chuckle to myself, as it is kind of funny.


While waiting for the production to begin, nothing that great happens, although Tyler does say "Let's get this bitch on the road."


In preparation for the story of Hansel and Gretel, I read the story to the kids nine times prior to the play. NINE TIMES. We also talked about how it is only a story, and that witches who eat kids are not real, parents don't really lose their kids in the woods, etc.


I am confident that nine times had been enough, and that the kids will understand the play. I was wrong. The witch scares all of the little kids. 


Emmy and Brian are crying and screaming. Now I realize the strategic seating arrangement. I take them both to the crying room. But they can still hear the play through speakers in the crying room. So we sing songs and look away from the stage.


Then they fight over who will sit on my lap. Then, and this fucking kills me, they want to hear the story if Hansel and Gretel. I had not of course brought the book with me. But I did have Email #20. I quickly stop this line of thought. 


We remain in the crying room for the entire duration of the play. The rest of the tards did such a good job of watching and tying in the ideas from the book to the play. I was so proud of them!! I almost cried on the bus when they told me how much they loved it.


We got back to school, and, aside from Tyler repeatedly telling everyone that he "Would of schooled that witch bitch," all goes well. I give them all granola dipp bars. They fight over who gets rocky road and who gets peanut butter.











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