Hug It Out


Loony? Are you there?

Don’t read this.

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I’m feeling all angsty about the dumbest parent/teacher conference ever today.

Schools have gotten all new-agey and inclusive about the conferences, a day on the calendar that stuck fear into my soul because I knew … KNEW … that the grownups were talking shit about me while I waited outside.

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Actually I did care. Probably too much. I’m sure I gave myself an ulcer when I was a kid worrying about what everyone thought.

But now that I’m a grownup with the benefit of experience I realize that it’s big people’s job to talk about their kids.  Deal with it.

Now schools have this supremely fucked up way of doing parent/teacher conferences. They are “student led” whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean.

Actually it means that you will waste an hour of your time learning exactly nothing about how your kid is doing BECAUSE THEY ARE SITTING RIGHT THERE AND NO ONE CAN SPEAK CANDIDLY!

Language alert. I say fuck a lot. It’s one of those nights.

It's happening.

It’s happening.

The first time they did it in kindergarten and Scrotus pulled out his script and said, “Welcome Mom and Dad to my parent/teacher conference,” I got a little verklempt.

I stole this from Moneypenny's blog. You don't want to know what she was getting teary about.

I stole this from Moneypenny’s blog. You don’t want to know what she was getting teary about. Fine. If you must know.

Tears of pride welling in my eyes.

Now when I go to the conference and they put Scrotus at the head of the table and look to him to lead the conference … let’s just say something dies inside of me.

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There goes the evening.

Imagine, if you will, this conversation playing out at sub-glacial speed.

Teacher: So Scrotus (she doesn’t call him that) what are your goals?

Scrotus, spacing out and looking absent

Still nothing

Teacher: Do you remember how we wrote it out?

Scrotus, non-responsive

Teacher: Right here, on this paper… (tapping paper)

Nothing

Teacher: sigh Why don’t you read it to us?

Scrotus: Mumble mumble

Loony: What?

Scrotus: Mumble mumble

Me: Seriously dude. It’s just us. Speak up.

Teacher: How about you lower the paper so we can hear…

Are those her next appointments lining up outside the door?

Scrotus: I want to read Sh’urtugal.

Teacher: What?

Me: It’s a book. That hasn’t been published yet.

Teacher: That’s a great goal, but what about the other stuff, like handwriting …

Time passes

Surely she must be freaking out over how late her night is going because my kid is acting like Benicio Del Toro at an interrogation.

Teacher: And checking your work …

Deep, cleansing breaths …. Is that Enya?

Teacher: And paying attention rather than reading your book while I talk …

Now repeat this for about ten different subjects. For fifty agonizing minutes.

How does she do it? How does she stay so calm? Cuz let me tell you, if she hadn’t been in the room I would have shouted, “Sit up! Look me in the eye and say what you have to say so we can do something else because if you hate doing this so much, then fucking get. it. done!”

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But that would be wrong. Right?

Whatever happened parent/teacher conferences where kids had to wait outside while the teachers laid it all out? Because I can sum up the conference into this, “Scrotus needs to focus on his handwriting, pay attention when I’m talking and be more careful about checking his math. And he’s reading big books. Keep up the good work!”

NEXT!

But no. It was an agonizing fifty minutes of me wondering if all the kids act like this. And then I think, no. Chloe probably got up there with her Powerpoint presentation and killed it.

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Yeaaaah. Not my kid.

Having my kid at the meeting keeps me from finding out what I need to know, what the teacher needs me to know.

For instance: is he respectful, are there any kids that he is having issues with or are distracting, is he keeping up with the class, is he doing his homework (he does what he brings home, but what if there is stuff he doesn’t bring home), does he act like a jerk, have you noticed any changes in his behavior, what situations stress him out, should we be focusing on certain subjects at home?

You know, that kind of stuff.

I doubt it was his teacher’s idea, BTW. I’ve heard enough stories of school districts deciding to switch it up and causing all the teachers to change everything about how they teach.

Like when the Powers That Be decided to change how math was taught. Now I am completely unqualified to help my first grader with math. Don’t laugh. It’s really fucked up.

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I noticed that Enya was playing softly in the background, on endless repeat because I’ve heard Sail Away three times already. I should get me some Enya.

But then I think about how in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Fincher version) SPOILER ALERT Martin Gunner dismembers women in his basement while listening to Enya, which makes it even more fucked up and creepy.

Now Enya’s all weird and sinister to me. Scratch Enya.

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Funny, I kind of felt like this, too.

I got the kids home, shoved dinner into them and then took off to teach at the studio.

I feel a little bad about how much time I spend there. I would take more classes when the boys are in school but there simply aren’t that many classes at ten in the morning.

When I stepped out of the car the air was all warm, as it always is before the Chinooks start blowing like crazy, and I walked into the studio and Mancakes jumped down from somewhere high and was like, “Do you want a hug?”

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Yes.

Hell yes.

And I relaxed into the arms of a beautiful man young enough to be my son, and not in a hypothetical if-I-had-kids-when-I -was-12-but-it-could-never-happen-because-I-didn’t-start-my-period-until-I-was-16 kind of way but a very real, if-I-had-kids-when-I-was-20 kind of way which is a little scarier but what the hell, it was a rough day.

I felt better immediately.

Like all the stress and angst just disappeared into a haze of sexual fantasy.

Just kidding, honey!

Well, not really.

Yes, I am.

Or no.

Yes.

No.

(Loony, I would get mad at you if you declined a hug from  Shé or Twerkasaurus or Lemony or Lashes. I might even be a little worried. I care about you, babe. You care about me, too. Right?)

Then I rolled out of it and snagged the next beautiful young man I could find (not hard to do, APEX is lousy with hot young men, being the American Ninja Warrior incubator that is) to continue the awesome hugginess and all my worries just melted away.

I will admit that Hotstuff #2 seemed a little more reluctant to go in for the hug but I just push through that shit. Yes I do.

Harmy custom made this sweatshirt to my specifications. Just keeping it real.

Harmy custom made this sweatshirt to my specifications. Just keeping it real.

Do you want to see what they look like when they are sleeping? Don’t ask, just click.

I’ll admit, I think he was humoring me BUT I’LL TAKE IT!

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I glided into my class singing It’s Raining Men, Hallelujah and feeling light and young and momentarily relieved from trying to figure out how to get my kids over their crippling stage-fright.

Speaking as one with extrovert tendencies, I totally get off on performing for a crowd, even if I’m just drunk and having a good old time. Maybe it’s just me.

18 thoughts on “Hug It Out

  1. I’ll give this one ten stars, even though the maximum allowed at the top is only five. Truly a work of art and oh, so right on. Keep these coming and I’ll never get any work done. Just too captivating. It was almost book-like in its magesty and flow.

  2. Yeah I would not be okay with having the kids in the room during a parent/teacher conference. I had about 30 of them in one week back in Norway when I was teaching Pre-K, and I never would have accomplished anything if the kids could hear what I had to say. Some times you need to let parents know that their kids are not always angels, and some times you need to bring up uncomfortable material that the kids have no need to hear.

    Not that I’m surprised that this is happening in Boulder, but still.

  3. Loved reading this! The Enya thing is hilarious! That parent/kid conference thing is no bueno, though. I just recently enstated a new policy where we don’t talk “about” the kid in his earshot. No funny anecdotes, no recap of the 10 trillion extremely naughty things he did that day- nothin. He’s already so delusional about the world revolving around him I don’t need to give him more encouragement. Omg that poor teacher.

    • Right! Like kids need to be the center of attention all the time with a captive audience. Everyone is so “special” now anyway, no further reinforcement is needed. My guys get plenty of kudos at home.

  4. When I was teaching middle school, we had to do the student-led-conference, but our conferences were 20 minutes. Kids had 10, and parents had 10 by themselves where I/they could address any other issues. I would fight that 50 minute conference led by a kid. Seriously, a 2 minute speech is incredibly challenging for them! Let alone leading a meeting for that long. Ugh. I feel for ya, and honestly, I’d contact the principal to let them know how disappointing these “progress” meetings are.

  5. What? My kid isn’t allowed at her PT meeting. I had to go last time which is total bullshit. I’m the dad, not the one who cares about stuff like this, right? I was half drunk and the teacher is pretty young so it was ok. She didn’t judge me too much. Lol. Some crazy Seahawks bitch on FB sent me here! good stuff.

    • I know of the crazy Seahawks bitch you speak. Thanks for stopping by and lay off the booze at school functions … although I’ll admit that my might make some a little easier to take.

  6. OMG. Nick got stuck in a circuitous warp in explaining a math problem until Will yelled out: “CAN WE GO HOME YET”?! Tamar me and Jack all screamed with laughter.

Really? No way.

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