Facetime = Face/Palm

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.

Praise God.

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.


  1. I have to assume folks at your kids school DO NOT know you blog! Every school has those parents/busy bodies. I’m so glad my kids are done with school!
    I hated parent/teacher night. Always wanted to answer “do you really want me to come to school everyday with him.. That’s the only way I can help get him do what you cannot get him. To do!

  2. I felt the same way every time someone wanted me to contribute money for the coach/teacher for whatever event. Enough already! I usually sent in a little something for Christmas and that is all! My darling children were always well behaved (ahem), no really, and they shouldn’t have had to do this brown nosing thing to get good teaching. So, basically, I fought back by NEVER volunteering for anything. I sent money instead.
    I never minded going to school, but I did it all with my son when he was little, so when, 11 years later, my daughter went through it all again I told my husband it was his turn. Thankfully, he agreed.

    • During the holidays, I send ’em good tidings of great joy and call it a day.

      As for the volunteering gig, I’m the mom that sends paper goods. If you want cookies, you get ’em fresh out of the grocery sack.

  3. I’m with you all the way. Fortunately, I’m now a grandmother and I just smile when MY kids have to go for THEIR kids!

  4. What kills me is if you do something for one teacher/activity you are suddenly on some magic list of suckers they can call. My husband and I alternated years for parent/teacher conferences. When they reached junior high I stopped all together. When the youngest was in HS he came home and said, “Mrs. J says you need to come in for a PTC this year.” I asked him why and he shrugged. So, the next time I am at the school (because I did books for track and CC which my kids DID participate in) I hunted her down. No problems with EK. She just wanted one parent that wasn’t a total moron who thought their child was perfect and she was a bitch to show up.

    • Naively, I believed once I graduated that I was done with school and cliques and all associated b.s. Yeah, right. Why do people have to make it soooooo hard?! Maybe it’s me. In the previous 3 years, I’ve made one friend/passing acquaintance/source of gossip. Sigh…

  5. Two thoughts:

    1) I believe teachers are WAY underpaid/overworked. At least the ones who care about their students at all. So if there are items that would be actually useful to them in the classroom, that they would normally have to spend their own money obtaining, I’m all for parents (who can afford to) chipping in. For example, for Christmas my SIL asks her parents for bookstore gift certificates that she then spends on her classroom library.

    2) I get that it’s a pain to go to PTCs. (And I agree that they should have some content you haven’t seen on sent-home handouts,) You could do away with them all together and homeschool.

    • I’m quite sure the teachers at my kids’ school ARE underpaid as it’s a private school, therefore, no government funding. I send useful classroom stuff all the time: pencils, erasers, books they may want/need for their class library, etc…you get the picture. I’m talking suck-up gifts that are supposed to ingratiate you and your child with said teacher…it’s just wrong. I also don’t believe parents and teachers should be ‘friends’. These are professionals; my job as the parent is to make sure the little darlings do what they’re supposed to do before, during and after class. Being ‘friends’ with the teacher is, in my opinion, asking for trouble. Do I want to be ‘friends’ with my gynecologist? No. Do I love the guy and think he has a future in stand-up comedy? Yes.

      As for the ‘Parents’ Night’ thing (that’s what they call it now, not PTC or even ‘meet the teacher’), we didn’t go and didn’t suffer any guilt and, as expected, a two-sided sheet of info came home which was a condensed version of the packet we’d already received.

      Some folks may see my occasional rant about the education system as some sort of commentary about the teachers. Maybe a small portion is. But most of it is about the parents who never quite grew up and moved on from high school cliques that make me want to commit a homicide.

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