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Monday, August 30, 2010

Meet the Teacher Night

I have decided to make Connor's first foray into the world of higher education two seperate blog posts for several reasons. First, it is a lot of story to tell all at once. Second, in retrospect, my emotions run the gamet from one extreme to another in such a scary way that it seems less insane when I break the story into two parts.

Last week was meet the Teacher night at Connor's pre-k. This was a night that we had been obsessing over weeks (dare I say months?) and this was my first experience in a classroom from the other side of the fence. This is real school people, with certified teachers and curriculum and a whole bunch of other stuff that I am intimidated by and we didn't want to blow it. I, having spent 6 years in elementary education, compiled a list of things parents do at these particular functions that I find supremely annoying and made a solemn vow that I will never commit any of these trangsressions to either one of my son's teachers. So, naturally, since I made it a solemn vow and all, I then proceeded to lose control of most of my mental faculties and became the parent I loathe the most. I could not control it, I tried. I really did. I completely bogarted his teacher's attention, asking questions that I knew in my heart would be answered in the welcome letter (they were) and became a woman obsessed with forcing her child to complete the entirely optional "welcome to our classroom" scavenger hunt. It wasn't pretty. Guess who's child had no interest in counting the blue chairs in the room or finding and taking a drink from the water fountain. No, my kid was ankle deep in the "imaginative play" center introducing Kenny to the "most incredible blocks" he had ever seen. So I did what I felt was necessary. I sent Matt to complete the scavenger hunt (what if really wasn't optional) and then wandered over through the sea of tiny people and their parents to observe my son at play with a soon to be classmate.

Connor and his new friend were playing nicely with the doll house (of course) and chatting occasionally about what furniture to put where and then the little boy said something about his little brother. Connor really perked up at that and I heard him say, "Do you know Joseph?" The boy shook his head no and so of course Connor went on, " Oh this boy named Joseph had a beautiful sparkle coat and his brothers were mad so they threw him in a hole." I was now about two steps away from intervening in what had to be in some record book as the most awkward first conversation of all time, but I decided to resist the urge to hover and let him go for it. The boy still hadn't said anything so Connor finished up his little story by letting him know that, " the mean brothers wanted to kill him. Dead. But Joseph lived and then he forgived them. I have a little brother and I wouldn't kill him even if he had a sparkle coat. I hope I get one for Christmas."

Well there you go. We didn't waste anytime did we. I told Matt later that as I was talking to his teachers and using a whole bunch of professional, teacher-y terms my whole heart was just screaming, "Love him! Love him! Love him! Please see how wonderful he is! Love him!" But of course, I would have undeniably outed myself as a lunatic if I had voiced that, so I just said more parent-y things and then we took our little evangalist home. It is so hard watching your kids put themselves out there in the world, the urge to protect them is overwhelming. But as my always wise husband put it, the only one that was trying hard to make anyone like us was me. Connor is never anything but himself and there is no one more excited about that than his weepy, insecure, overprotectice mother.

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