Id I'd have known how quickly this year would fly by, I would have spent less time sleeping and more time... Hey! Hang on, me. Stop being hard on myself!
I DID spend considerably less time sleeping than I ever have in my life, and more time doing pretty much everything a mom and lady of the house should do. In short, I don't regret a thing about my maternity leave, except that it's almost over.
This brings me to the nightmares:
I will my leaden feet to plod down the dark hallway, as that familiar syrupy wave of foreboding oozes its way down my back. The hollow clack-clack of my sensible shoes echoes on for miles and I am hyperventilating.
It is the first day of school and everything is wrong. Class started an hour ago, thanks to some administrative decision made without my knowledge. Worse yet, the school has been completely renovated and somehow my classroom has now found its way down into the catacombs.
Finally, I reach the appointed place. Room 13. Never a good sign. A dank smell emanates from the door vent. The hastily scrawled sign on the door reads "Mme. R. Tyrel". They have spelled my name wrong. Again.
Sighing, I push open the heavy door. My heart plummets as I scan the front of the tiny, gray-walled classroom. What? Where is all my stuff? No fridge, no whiteboards, no overhead projector, no computer, no sink!? All my belongings are heaped in cardboard boxes in the corner. The cardboard boxes appear to be covered in graffiti.
Then I remember. I can fix up my room in time. I must keep it together. My students are waiting for me.
I step into my kingdom. By the flickering of a single prehistoric fluorescent bulb I realize that the whole room is packed with teenagers. The bad kind. They are greasy, unruly and rank with B.O. Slumped on, over and under desks, they leer at me like a pack of hyenas, baring sharp yellow canines. My heart races.
"YOU're our new teacher? Hah!" says the ringleader, a lanky black-haired youth. I stare, mouth agape, amazed that his skin can sustain so many piercings.
I straighten my back, jut out my chin and reply with only the slightest quiver in my voice. "My name is Mme. Tyrrell, I am indeed your new teacher."
Before I can take a single step towards my desk, which appears to be made of cinder blocks and milk crates, the taunting starts.
"Well, c'mon then," the glassy voice of the popular girl chimes in, "teach us!"
"Yeah! Teach us!" the minions snarl in cacophony, looking to their adolescent ice-queen for approval.
She takes a moment to glance away from her hand mirror, lipstick tube still poised in her right hand, one perfectly plucked eyebrow arched high. A thin, cruel smile creeps onto her face. "Oh, and WTF are you WEARING?"
Here it is. The moment of horror. I slowly look down at my attire, expecting to see the dark trouser jeans and red crew-neck sweater I so carefully selected that morning. Instead, my eyes fall upon the vast expanse of my own doughy belly. I am wearing a belly dance costume. A really, really tight, sparkly seafoam bedlah. With no skirt.
All I can hear is a chorus of LOLs. That and the sound of my career imploding like a pop can in grade 8 science class.
The shame. The shame!!
So, can you tell I'm looking forward to going back to work?