Another Great Lesson Learned

Another Great Lesson Learned

We walked into school today and Ryan was greeted by one of her favorite teachers.  She left the school last year and is subbing this week.  Ryan ran in with a big hug for the teacher and then started talking about pumpkins.

“Mom, Momma, Mommy, Mom, Ma (that’s my full name) can we pick the pumpkins?”

Now of course I am in Florida and it is May. We all know that there are no pumpkins, yet that weird connection we have with our children, quickly translated for me.

“OH, you mean the orange berries growing on the shrubs outside of school.”

I love when I’m right about these things.  It makes me feel oddly clairvoyant.  If only I had a similar connection with the stock market.

We found these “pumpkinish” berries yesterday.  They sparked an important discussion about not eating random fruits we see on trees, unless an adult i.e. parent, worker at grove or orchard, teacher on field trip, gives their permission.

Ryan explained that Miss Substitute, (I will not write her name because I truly enjoy her, when she is not teaching my daughter terrible terrible things.) ate one yesterday.

Miss Sub:  “Oh, I told her she could have one… if Mommy said it was okay.”

Really?  Really, Miss Substitute?  You had to pick and eat a berry from a random shrub, like Gretel, in front of my child?  Oh, and then you went on to tell her it was okay if I gave permission?

“What are they?”  I asked, just curious, not because I was even considering giving in.

Miss Sub:  “I don’t know.”

Oh, well, what a great lesson.  Were you that hungry?  You couldn’t have waited for snack time?  That tiny berry looked so filling that you risked poisoning yourself and making a hazardous impression on a class of 4 year olds, to taste one?

Why didn’t you just say, “I will try one of these berries because I am excruciatingly hungry and they look sooo good.  If  I do not die, children,  you should ask your parents if you too could eat some random, nameless fruit that grows near on a bush near a swamp.

In fact children, it is a fabulous idea to eat anything you find growing outdoors, it’s natural and hence, good for you.  If you take anything from the 2 days I am subbing, let it be that lesson.  The next time I sub, I will teach you all how to properly light your house on fire, and we’ll even play a traffic game called chicken.”

Can’t wait.

17 thoughts on “Another Great Lesson Learned

  1. Alison

    Love it! Jenny, unfortunately, I am not at all surprised by the lack of “smarts” Miss Sub has. I think she is a model case of where our education is leading! Good Luck, and I send you all of my wisdom, patience, and love to get you through this stage in Ryan’s life! P.S. I used to eat berries off of the bushes and trees too, so unfortunately I am not the sharpest tool in the shed either!

  2. Cherie

    Very funny!! I can’t imagine this woman would ever speak to you again if she read this blog. But, I guess she has been watching Survivor or what was that show where they drop this guy in some remote place in the world and he makes do on whatever there is around him, because he has nothing but a knife.

  3. The Business Coach for Moms

    Jenny, you can reverse the lesson: eat a pumpkin off the berry bush in front of your child then start moaning and groaning of a tummy ache. After 20 min of that, when she’s REALLY scared, buck your eyes and cry out, “MY DAUGHTER NEVER EAT PUMPKINS OR BERRIES FROM BUSHES!!! UUUHHHGGG!!!!” then die. That will completely wipe out all desires to pick pumpkins. You “come back to life” only when she has fallen asleep from crying her heart out. Then pretend like nothing ever happened. I guess a mother only acquires this type of special knowledge when she has 5 or more children. Let me know if you need any more motherly advice.

  4. admin Post author

    Okay coach… you had ME laughing out loud. I will consider your idea, because of it’s sheer brilliance. You are too smart for this blog. You should be off solving the worlds problems.


  5. The Business Coach for Moms

    “You should be off solving the worlds problems.”
    That’s what I keep telling the world! I use to spend many hours yelling at the anchor people, cursing at the president and magazines…but no one would listen. So I’m relugated to just helping my clients…definiately less stress then solving the world’s problems

  6. Leah O.

    That’s so funny. I actually will eat berries off bushes, but only if I am mostly sure I know what it is. I never have done it in front of a kid though, and now I will be extra careful not to.

    Ah substitute teachers, aren’t they wonderful.

  7. Bari

    My daughter and I used to berry picking all the time.
    What fun it was. The only difference was we were picking
    fresh rapsberries, blackberries etc.. You might tell Ryan
    the sad news that pumpkins arent really berries after all.

  8. PVD

    laughing out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) as i always am after reading your blog…….love it—love your “full name”-mine is just like it!:) as i have said before and again and again and again——-you can turn ANYTHING into entertainment…ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

  9. Lily

    funny blog….love the post from Coach. O that is so good. And btw if that is Alison S. (Tilly’s mom) posting, I think those were mushrooms in a field you were picking and eating. 😉

  10. rachy

    ok, i detect serious “city mom!”

    city mom says: live plants are deadly. stay out of the woods. poison ivy everywhere. and bugs! don’t eat anything that’s growing! stay in the city where there is no poison ivy, or any berries, or mosquitos, or other dangerous things that are out in nature in the suburbs.

    it was always fun when my son was in little league and all these “city moms” would go out to a field way out in the suburbs, where there’s trees and woods, and other dangerous things you don’t find in the safe city! they would yell at their child if he tried to chase a foul ball into the woods!!! “never go in the woods!”

  11. Alison Robb Astair

    Well, sadly I know who you are talking about. I wonder if the director of the school is aware of this? She should know! I can’t tell you how much she would appreciate being made aware of it by you. She is a top notch person who wants high quality people working with children. This is too important to pass by. I personally will inform her!

  12. Jamie

    So, what’s wrong with that? Want to take me off Ryan’s “list” now? Loved it, Jenny…you funny girl!

  13. Ed

    Tomorrow’s class: Roadkill hats.
    Also a reminder to parents: All children will need to bring the following items in for Thursday’s science project:
    – Car battery
    – 2 quart container of Round-Up weed killer
    – 2 rolls duct tape
    – 1 syringe pre-loaded with 50cc adrenaline
    – 20 lb. bag of lime
    – Band-Aids
    Sun screen and insect repellent strongly advised.

  14. jm

    A great rule of thumb is to avoid anything that you aren’t sure is poisonous or can’t identify, especially from public areas. Even if the fruit is edible, the area may be sprayed with pesticides.

    With that said, when I was a kid (and lived in Florida), I used to eat those berries all the time. I had no clue what they were, but they grew on a neighbor’s property, and she let my family pick them (as well as starfruit and other fruits from her trees and bushes.) I’ve recently discovered that the pumpkin shaped fruits I remember from childhood were from the Surinam Cherry plant. Do an image search to see if that’s what your little dude saw.


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