Here Comes the Grump

Anyone remember that Saturday morning cartoon? I mention it for a reason . . .

No progress on the floor today, sadly. It was a pretty normal school day, except that I took off this morning to go have crochet lesson #2 with my friend Darlene. She is working on Christmas gifts and needed help with the next step.

By the time I got home I was kind of grumpy because I had to stop on the way and at the moment walking is excruciatingly painful. I gouged a chunk out of my foot yesterday, and at first it didn’t seem like a big deal at all, but today it’s been very difficult to walk, especially wearing flip flops, because the strap hits the exact wrong spot on the side of my foot.

So anyway, later I took Jasper to piano, where his teacher’s cat thinks I come for the sole purpose of providing her a lap to sit in. Needless to say, I did not get any knitting done.

Then I had to mail something at the post office. I couldn’t wait to get home and get off my foot, when Lucy called and told me she needed a couple of items in order to make something for class tomorrow. At this point my grumpiness increased a lot, because I really thought I was going home. Spencer called as I was finishing my errand and returning to the car, and I was very grumpy on the phone with him. In fact I hung up on him. It is so interesting what pain will do to you.

The incident made me think of my last elementary school teacher, Mr. Tremain. I only had him for the second half of sixth grade, when we were on furlough in Michigan. Mr. Tremain was very grumpy. It didn’t take much to make him mad. He had anger issues. Fortunately for me, I was a good and obedient student and I never made him angry personally. My desk was jammed up right against his because the classroom was so full.

I saw Mr. Tremain overreact to childish hijinks on many occasions. I saw him slam boys up against the wall. I was terrified of that man. Then, one day he came to class and he was all smiles. He had a big box of candy which he carried around the classroom, making sure to help each child choose their favorite thing. He laughed and made jokes. It was like a weird backwards invasion of the body-snatchers. The next day he was no longer smiling, and the day after that the old Mr. Tremain returned.

One other day in that semester, the smiling Mr. Tremain appeared again. About that time, I had been at a school event and had overheard a couple of moms talking about Mr. Tremain. Apparently he suffered from extreme, unrelenting back pain all day every day. On rare occasions, he experienced relief from the pain after receiving some kind of treatment, and those were the days when his jovial twin showed up in the classroom.

I was never afraid of Mr. Tremain again. I just felt so sorry that he had to be in pain all the time. Before his back pain started, I heard, he had been one of the best-loved teachers at that school. On days like today, I understand so well why he was grumpy!


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