Loony? Are you there?
Don’t read this.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Teacher: Do you remember how we wrote it out?
Teacher: Right here, on this paper… (tapping paper)
Teacher: sigh Why don’t you read it to us?
Scrotus: Mumble mumble
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.
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 …
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!”
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
(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.
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!
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.