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."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Things to Look Forward to in 2009

There are things I’m going to miss about 2008: Joe the Plumber, 6-year old Chinese gymnast, bottled water not being cool anymore, etc.
And things that I won’t: financial crisis, potty training crisis, high gas prices crisis, Chuck E. Cheese’s crisis, Speed Racer movie crisis, Hadron Collider destroying the world - crisis.
I don’t know about you but I was a little nervous about that Collider, created by those mad European scientist sucking things into a black hole. Maybe next time around they could point it at Chuck E. Cheese so I don’t have to go to any more birthday parties there.

Nevertheless, here’s my list of things I’m looking forward to in ’09:

  1. The demise of Bratz. After a huge court battle with Mattel Toys, MGA Entertainment (i.e. “The Pimps” of Bratz) is being forced to destroy the entire line, including the sushi strip bar. It still baffles me that some parents actually bought these thong wearing, drug addict looking, hookers for their daughters. And not just a few, but billions of dollars worth the past 8 years.
  2. 10-year wedding anniversary. And to celebrate this April we’re going on a 15-day trip to Paris, France – where the wife and I met nearly 12 years ago. But this trip won’t be filled with white-tablecloth dinners, 12-hour visits to museums by day, and clubbing until 6am like the last time we were there because we’re taking our daughter. Paris with a 3-year old is definitely going to be different this time around. But after some research we’re finding out that there are lots of kid/family friendly things to do there. And I’m planning on blogging about the experience, possibly daily.
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Movie. This will probably be the only movie I see in a theater this year. Well maybe, Transformers 2, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, and Up. And I’m sure my daughter will be all over Princess and the Frog, so maybe that one too.
  4. My daughter’s 4th birthday. Come to think of it, maybe I’m not really looking forward to that one. She’s already growing up much too fast as it is. Her “Santa Wish List” this past Christmas consisted of make-up, lip-gloss, nail polish, hair/body glitter, a tattoo, a cell phone, and a chocolate bunny. Santa ended up bringing her a chocolate Santa and a Dollhouse.
  5. A flying car. We're definitely overdue on this. And not only should it fly, it should be Mr. Fusion powered by banana peels, empty Jamba Juice cups, shredded up Bratz dolls, and leftover Chuck E. Cheese prize tickets.
  6. KFC “Spicy” Popcorn Chicken. I’ve been petitioning KFC for years, but this year is going to be different because I’m starting one of those Internet campaigns. Use this letter as a template (modify if needed), mail and join the Revolution!
To: Colonel Sanders
C/o Customer Satisfaction
P.O. Box 725489
Atlanta, GA 31139
(Or online here. But unlike a letter, you can’t draw pictures on it.)

Dear Colonel (or current CEO of delicious chicken),

Everybody knows your greatest creation, Popcorn Chicken that comes in a little movie popcorn bucket, is the greatest invention known to modern man (after drive-thru's and the Internet.) But it can be better; you could offer Spicy Popcorn Chicken.

If you did this, I promise to eat it everyday. Even when the wife says “Hell no! We’re not going to EAT spicy popcorn chicken again for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at the movie theater!” She’ll learn to love it - even if it takes 10 more years of marriage.

“Creative-Type Dad” advocate of Spicy Popcorn Chicken
(Sign your own name here, but leave in “advocate of Spicy Popcorn Chicken” – very important.)

P.S. Please don’t let your employees take baths in the sinks anymore – thanks!

One day…the vision will be reality. I just know it.
What are you looking forward to in ’09?