Thursday, April 22, 2010


There are several positive phrases that come to mind when you hear the word “strike.”
“Strike while the iron’s hot.”

"Strike up the band."

“Strike gold.”

“Strike up a conversation.”

“Strike it rich.”

But if you live within a 5-mile radius of my house, those aren’t the phrases that come to mind this week. Our teachers are on strike. Today is school-day #4 at home with our little “darlings.” And chances are, we’ll be home with them for another three before the strike legally has to end. Now, I’m not going to go into the politics of the strike or which side I support. If you know me personally, you already know the answer to that question. If you don’t…well you really should because I’m a fabulous person. (And humble.) But no matter which side you support, we parents of the North Penn School District have one thing in common:


This early taste of summer vacation has gone to their heads…and their stomachs. They want to be entertained, and fed, constantly. “I’m bored” is their manta (“I’m bord” for those of us with crappy spellers). No, mommy can’t take you to the movies. Or mini golf. Or the batting cage. Or the mall. Mommy works while you’re in school and just because you’re home doesn’t mean she too gets to play all day. No, we can’t go to McDonald's/Wendy’s/Taco Bell every day. I bought plenty of groceries for the week last Sunday. How you ate them all by Wednesday is beyond me. See the Ramen in the pantry? Lunch. No, you can’t have a bag of potato chips. Why? Because it’s 9 in the morning!

Luckily, the weather so far during the strike has been fairly nice, so we can set our tykes free outside to ride bikes, play in the yard and dig for worms (Why? We’re not going fishing! Why is there a jar of worms on my picnic table?) But while we may be temporarily able to fend off boredom for a few hours with neighborhood friends and outdoor play, we parents must constantly be on guard for the foe who is milking this strike to his full advantage. We must keep an ear out for the evil one who is waiting to entice our children every afternoon just as we’re calling them in for dinner. You know of whom I speak. He lures our offspring with his siren song from blocks away. And like dogs listening to a whistle, the children freeze, cock their heads, then run into the house to plunder. The “Ice Cream Man.” The spoiler of appetites. The maker of purse pillagers. Fagin, with sprinkles.

As the teachers’ strike continues, parents are getting more and more annoyed at either the teachers or the school board. But it’s a waste of energy to feel hostility toward either side. Eventually the strike will end and a contract will be agreed upon. Once we’re all back in school, this animosity will be all but forgotten. And then we parents can direct our ire at the real enemy. Mr. Softee.

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