Well we survived the first week of school and frankly I have learned a lot. I am sure Connor has too, but he can only seem to remember what he had for lunch. Every day though has been "the best day of my life Mom!" so I guess it is going well.
His two teachers sent home a paper with a list of about 50 attributes with the instructions that parents were supposed to pick the six attributes that we wanted his teachers to encourage the most in our child. This really stressed Matt and I out (shocking, I know). There were of course ones we automatically eliminated (A good guesser? Really, who cares if your kid is a good guesser) but things about came to blows over which six we would circle in ink. I felt like this reflected on us as parents and we wanted his teachers to think that we were concerned, responsible parents and what we chose on this list would either convey that message to them or if we chose wrong (aka Matt's choices) they would think that we were selfish, arrogant people who didn't give a hoot about our kid's emotional well being. Once Matt heard my feelings on this, he first threatened to have me committed to a mental institution and then second, suggested that we make a copy of the paper and each circle our own and compare. Fair enough. So we each circled our six and then compared notes. Matt right off the bat complained that I had not only circled six attributes but had also written footnotes. He felt this violated the spirit of the exercise and showcased my neurosis. So, I agreed to remove all the "see asterisk" notations.
Surprisingly we did have four out of six the same. We both want kindness, intelligence, compassion and imagination encouraged in our son. Those four just also happen to be his dominant attributes already. We disagreed on the other two. I picked curiosity and patience and Matt chose competitiveness and a desire to succeed. Typical man. I want those things too, but I would never chose them in the top six! I mean, good grief, do we want him to turn into a hyper competitive little freak who loses his mind if he comes in second in a race with his imaginary friend Kenny? I think not. We ended up, after much discussion, compromising by choosing patience and a desire to succeed. We also came to the conclusion that this entire exercise was probably just something thrown in to make the parents feel involved and no doubt the other 13 sets of parents in class didn't require four copies, white-out and the Geneva convention in order to pick six attributes for their kid, but obviously our kids just lucked out in the genetic lottery.
So, all in all the week was great. Connor was disappointed that he had to wait an entire weekend to go back to school. His teachers reported at the end of the week that he is such a sweet boy and the most encouraging member of the class. Apparently he walks around patting kids on the back and complimenting them for everything, and I mean everything. For example, "You are such a great painter!" or "Wow, you are awesome at running. You are amazing!" After hearing this report, Matt and I just kind of looked at each other for a few minutes, knowing that we were supposed to be really proud and we were. Really, we are. But behavior like this also kind of freaks us out a little. We are just not like that and find it kind of unnerving that we have a kid that is. Yes, it is very sweet and in my heart I wish that I was more like that but I am also slightly worried that we are only a mock turtleneck and a mouthful of porcelain veneers away from a career in televised motivational speaking.
But, by God, every day last week was the best day of his life, despite having inexperienced lunatics for parents, so what more could I ask for. As great as my first two weeks of school were with my class I honestly don't think all of those days combined equaled the amount of joy Connor felt in just one day.
We are going to learn a lot this year, I can already tell.
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