Heard Around The Bouncy Castle #socs

Image by lindsayascott from Pixabay

Whenever we were getting a little out of hand when we were kids, Mom would threaten us by saying "If I have to get up off of this chair…" And that would stop us. Now that I think about it, we should have, at least once, made her get up off the chair. I mean, what was she going to do? I asked her that not long before she passed away, and she said she didn’t know. I think it would have been worth whatever thrashing we got just to find out what she had in store for us.

Mom also had an expression, "J-O-B does not spell F-U-N." I mean, duh! I think she was trying to emphasize the fact that work wasn’t fun. Which, face it, it’s not exactly a bouncy castle (except in businesses that make, sell, or rent out bouncy castles) even in its best moments. And it’s true that some jobs are drudgery, no fun at all, supervised by the captain in Cool Hand Luke, where you can’t even get up to go to the bathroom except at break or lunch… you get the idea.

But, here’s the thing: sometimes you have to bring your own bouncy castle. The job’s not going to change, so you have to. Mom taught in the Chicago Public Schools for 37 years, and to listen to her she hated every minute of it. The fact was, though, she didn’t hate it. There was a reason she stayed. She liked teaching kids to read. It was a challenge for her. She was good at it. She was paid well enough to build a healthy nest egg for herself, buy a house in the suburbs where her sons could go to good schools and where she could go after school and get away from her nutty principal, the dictates of her school board, the union that insisted on dragging her out on strike every year. That was her bouncy castle. I lost count of the number of times I asked her why she didn’t get out of the teaching business and get a job where they treated her like an adult and probably would have been paid better, but she didn’t want to. She didn’t want to trade her bouncy castle for another one.

Do you know what your bouncy castle is?

Linda runs Stream of Consciousness Saturday every week. Now a word from Stopette spray deodorant. Poof! There goes perspiration!

I know I’ve used Stopette commercials before, but this was just too good to resist.

23 thoughts on “Heard Around The Bouncy Castle #socs

  1. With your mom, “No” meant “No” whereas today “no” means “well, Ok” so kids get away with so much. I knew what my mom would do if we went too far so we knew to stop. I am a rare one who believe a spanking is not a beating but a discipline. No straps, no pulling pants down, just a few quick slaps on the butt that stung a bit was enough to humble me and know I was wrong. I knew I was. I do like the bouncy reference and I know I was meant to be in the job I am in. When I started to speak to clients again, I felt good helping others.


    1. Probably not… she couldn’t wait to retire, and that was in ’97. She’d be 90 now…

      A friend of mine from Northwestern had her in 4th grade. He couldn’t read at grade level, so Mom told him to read a book a week and turn in a book report every Monday morning. She always said if you could read, you could do anything…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know many teachers who couldn’t wait to retire and they were/are much happier after doing so. That’s so cool that your friend had your mom as a teacher and that you got to hear stories about his experience. Yes, reading is SO important. I’m thankful my kids enjoyed reading. I have tons of books they asked me to save for their kids someday.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post. I’m lucky that, on the whole, I really enjoy my job as a fitness instructor. The low points are when it’s a very quiet shift and the only thing to occupy me is the cleaning 😐


  3. Great post, John! Many good jobs are made torturous by administrators. I love “sometimes you have to bring your own bouncy castle.” Right now, the birds are singing, and I’m retired. That’s pretty bouncy! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always liked that commercial. Buzzr used to play the very old “To Tell The Truth,” “I’ve Got A Secret,” and “What’s My Line” back to back and they left the commercials in, so we used to see this one and a few others all the time.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Your mom was truly dedicated to her kids and an awesome woman. I would have to say I didn’t hate the work, but it was the administrators whose ever-changing policies and practices could make the me nuts. They often didn’t have the foresight to check in with the people it would affect before making decisions.

    Oh well, that’s the past. I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday morning, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More to the point, they don’t care how the teachers are affected. The teachers don’t have Ed.D.’s and Ph.D’s or offices in Washington DC or downtown with their names and job titles on their doors and business cards… they can’t be bothered with a teacher’s workload!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That ad is a riot, isn’t it?

      Mom loved teaching, and could have done it anywhere. When we’d suggest that, she’d say “I haven’t got a Master’s degree!”Β She had something better than that, classroom experience. She knew how to write a lesson plan, how to make effective use of her time, how to discipline, things that can only be taught by experience. 90% of what they teach in grad school is BS, anyway. Put a recently crowned M. Ed. in a classroom, she runs out screaming in five minutes. Put Mom in there, she’d have the kids quiet and orderly in five minutes.

      I need to do something with “poof!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol poof is just magic.!!
        I agree your mum was a natural teacher she had more sense in her little finger than any Masters degree could bestow. Bless her, her type were and still are few and far between.πŸ’œπŸ’œ

        Liked by 2 people

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