Thursday, January 15, 2009
Preschool Parent Teacher Conferences Are Full of Surprises
Apparently I have another child that I didn't know about.
My wife and I had our very first parent-teacher conference at my daughter's preschool. I must admit when her teacher first mentioned it, I did get a little nervous. The first thing that came to mind was "Uh-oh", followed by "parent-teacher conference for... preschool?"
I sat in a little chair, trying to balance uncomfortably on one cheek, not knowing what exactly to expect. Then it dawned on me: how does my daughter behave when we're not around? Is she repeating stuff? What exactly?
My mind kept wandering expecting to hear something from her teacher like, "your daughter keeps kicking the other kids out of the plastic playhouse saying it's foreclosed...", "She's been teaching everybody how to sing Tom Jones song 'What's New Pussycat'", "You know, Pirates of the Caribbean isn't a movie for preschoolers" (for the record, it was only the first 20 minutes), "Blackjack isn't a good way to teach counting", or worse "we think you eat too much KFC" (for the record - impossible.)
After her teacher looked at a paper for what seemed like 10, maybe 40 minutes, she began:
Miss Teacher: I didn't know you had another child?
Me/Wife: (simultaneously) What?
MT: Your daughter talks about him all the time...
(I look at my wife in as if saying,"is there something you're not telling me woman!")
MT: (continued) ...she says how cute and funny he is. And how he's not a big kid like she is and... how you throw him in the closet at dinnertime...
(why do they always look at the dad?)
Me: What? She knows we throw him in the basement.
My daughter's friends, classmates, and cousins all have younger siblings that have been born recently and she hears the stories, feels the pressure and wants one too. Her "baby brother" usually has the same name of her friends' or cousins' siblings. At school she's created some art of her, us, and a baby brother. I must admit we've seen one before and didn't think much of it, but seeing more of it really got to me.
Afterwards, we talked about school, family's, siblings, and bugs she saw at the playground. I had mentioned that she'll have a baby brother or sister one day, she'll just have to wait. And then I added, "Maybe when you get better at Blackjack."