While living in Branson, MO I exhausted a lot of research and effort in finding the best Santa in town and eventually settled on the one at Bass Pro Shops. He was always wonderful and appeared to be the most authentic. Not to mention they have an entire Wonderland display complete with a FREE photo, craft tables, and almost all of the toys they’re peddling for the holiday season are available for test runs.
As a side note: if you see a Santa on the side of the road standing next to a red garden shed on wheels, he’s probably not worth stopping for.
So of course I assumed that Bass Pro Shops across the country held the same Santa standards and we took Rinn to see the one here in Myrtle Beach. We weren’t terribly wrong. He was a just a little on the thin side; looking more like the skinny Santa from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation than the one in the Coca-Cola advertisements. Rinn left satisfied but starving.
Hooters was the closest thing. I wasn’t too concerned and if I’m being honest, I'm not opposed to trying to desensitize Rinn to the female form so we got a table for three.
Rinn stared. A lot.
You really can’t blame him. It’s hard not too.
But I wasn’t exactly worried…
until he leaned over and whispered:
“Mom. You should work here.”
*Face palm emoji
We quickly got our check and left.
Back in October, I think, we attended our first parent teacher conference. Knowing the person Rinn is at home and the stories he comes home with it’s safe to say that I was a little nervous. I was expecting comments similar to those that my parents got when I was in school: “she never sits still”, “she draws the attention of the classroom”, “she talks...a lot”. They just didn’t understand I wasn’t destined to sit still. I sometimes wonder if they see me now and think “well damn, looks like tap dancing under her desk worked out alright.”
Rinn must be a lot more charming than I am because his teacher gave us a glowing review.
“He is so kind.”
“He just loves to learn.”
“He loves to help around the classroom.”
His only flaw being that he will sometimes get distracted by his classmates and caught up in their shenanigans. I’m not quite convinced he isn’t the instigator but is so covert in his efforts that his classmates are taking the blame. You know, perhaps the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Anyway, just as we were about to wrap up our little pow-wow Rinn’s teacher asked:
“So, is there another Elvis in town?”
Travis and I exchanged puzzling glances. I couldn’t help but think it’s not as if the Elvi get together for weekly meetings. Me and my cynicism. Travis assured her that he didn’t know.
She followed up with:
“Well a teacher at River Oaks said she has an Elvis dad and I told her, ‘I don’t think so, I have the Elvis dad in my classroom.’”
In case you were wondering what was discussed at teacher in-service days.
BAD EYE WITNESS
Knowing the passion that Rinn’s teacher has for maintaining her Elvis-Dad status, what to get her for Christmas was a no-brainer. I presented her with tickets to see us in the show and she was beyond thrilled. Travis and I are killing this letting our kid go to real-school thing. The day came when his teacher and her husband would come to the show and I think Rinn might’ve been just as excited as she was. He came home from school that day and animatedly told us how we needed to be on the lookout for her.
Rinn: My teacher is coming to your show tonight! You have to look for her!
Rinn: She has hair like mine. Not my haircut, the color. Like brown-ish.
Me: (Looking amused, obviously we have met this woman a dozen times.)
Rinn: She might have it in one of those buns.
Me: (playing along…) Oh okay.
Rinn: (so frantic) But she wears it on her shoulders sometimes too!
Me: So we’re looking for a woman with brown-ish hair that’s up or down. These are really good clues Rinn (forgetting sarcasm isn’t one of his languages yet.) Do you know what is she wearing?
Rinn: (shear panic) OH MY GOSH, I DON’T!
He might’ve wept in defeat if I hadn’t dropped the ignorance act and promised him I knew exactly what his teacher looked like and I would definitely find her.
NURSING HOME PERSON
In recent weeks we had the pleasure of attending our first public school music and art show: “The Grumps of Ring-a-Ding Town”. It was animated, comical and well-rehearsed. Travis and I were impressed and I’m not so sure Rinn’s music teacher shouldn’t be producing more professional productions. The following Monday the first grade took a quick field trip to present their performance for a local nursing home. When Rinn returned home from school that day I eagerly asked about his show.
Me: How was your show today? Did they love it?
Me: That’s awesome. I’m sure you were a star.
Rinn: Yeah yeah.
(He then turns his attention to my mom. Who insisted when I was pregnant that my unborn child called her Lolo instead of Grandma. Fine.)
Rinn: But Lolo, why weren’t you there?
Lolo: (Puzzled) What do you mean? Why would I be there?
Rinn: Well it was a nursing home. And you’re a nursing home person.
(Lolo is still confused. Travis and I and choking on laughter.)
Lolo: Well Rinn, what is a nursing home person?
Rinn: You know….OLD.