Do you remember your school days? I’m talking those way-back days of elementary school when your heart went pitty-pat over a new box of crayons, and by golly, they better be Crayola because those cheap-assed bargain brands just didn’t color with the same vibrancy and your eyes went wide at all that playground equipment to be explored and on which to hurt your somewhat and your what other…unless you were that weird kid that ate Elmer’s glue or brought the fetal pig for show and tell. I still remember THAT kid’s name. I fondly recall swinging way up high in what I could only describe as rocket-launchers of the swing-set variety that, these days, would probably be considered utterly unsafe and would be banned from the premises. Broken bones be damned, give me a swing ride into the nosebleed section, please!
I also recall what was missing. Namely, my parents.
My parents on school grounds meant one of three things….it was open house (not to be confused with open-season. It is Texas, after all.), parent-teacher conference time (which doesn’t happen these days, at least, not at my kids’ school) or I was in deep doggie-doo (which never happened because I was the perfect child..ask my mother). I didn’t want to see my parents and, I’m fairly certain, they didn’t want to see my teachers. They felt assured that all was as it should be because, back in the day, the rules were clear: Teachers taught and kids learned. Period. I never remember my mother doing her Betty Crocker imitation and showing up, unannounced no less, with goodies for the class or teacher appreciation or Groundhog Day or any other day, for that matter. And my Dad, if he EVER showed during those formative years, I never knew. It was all good.
I am not a helicopter mother. Stop with the fish-mouth thing, I know you’re not shocked. I’ll gladly send (with my child, because I’m sure not driving up there) whatever you need for whatever event, discussion, experiment you’ve got going on in the class. No problem. Just don’t expect to see my face. Facebook, yes; facetime, no. These days, Himself and I are expected to make numerous appearances at the school for reasons I’m still uncertain about. I’ve dutifully sat in shrinky-dink sized chairs every year, my buns of
steel epic proportions oozing off the sides, operating under the misguided notion that I’ll learn something different than what was sent home the first day of school in that ever helpful teacher packet. It never happens. Frankly, I think they just want to have a visual of who to blame when one of the kids acts up. It’s just a theory. You don’t need to see my face to know who’s to blame. It’s their father’s fault.
Each year, the uber-mommies of the PTA send home a wishlist/spreadsheet/whatever you wannacallit detailing the minutiae of each teacher’s life including their likes and dislikes. Presumably this is done for our benefit in order to make purchasing little gifts at appropriate holidays easier for already cash-strapped parents so that we can say how much we appreciate said teacher and thereby turn each of the Co-Defendants into a gen-u-ine asskisser. I’m sorry, I believe the politically correct term is brown-noser. My bad. I’m betting some of these mommies don’t like me as I operate under the assumption that threatening my children with
bodily harm confiscation of electronic devices for all eternity if they don’t sit down, shut up and pay attention in class is gift enough. When did bribes become de rigueur in the classroom? I sure don’t remember my Mama ever doing this. Let me be clear: I don’t blame the teachers for this helpful list. I blame the uber-mommies.
And so, here we are, and it’s time again for Meet the Teacher night. I admit, I completely forgot. I am utterly exhausted and in no mood to put on my happy face (yes, children, Mommy does have one) and make nice-nice. So, I did what any enterprising mama would do: I called Himself.
‘Do we reaaallllly have to goooooo? We already got the packet’ I whined dramatically.
Let’s just say, I’m in for the night.