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1/25/2008
When Did I Become The Adult?
I have a new review of The Ultimate Tea Diet up on Lawyer Mama Review. I was skeptical going in, but it really works. Go check it out.

I also have new photos up on Lawyer Mama Dabbles. Well, they're not exactly new, but what I did to them is! Want to see a vintage Holden? How about a chocolate and lilac Hollis?

Finally, I have to thank everyone for your emails, comments, and hugs since Pandy got sick. Hell, I have to thank all y'all for your unflagging support all the time. I neglect your blogs for weeks at a time. I post sporadically or post only nonsense and you keep coming back just to let me know you're listening. You open up your homes to me (yeah, I'm looking at you, Joanne and Heather!). You call me and send me your phone numbers. Or you just let me know that you're there.

You have no idea how much all of this means to me. Or maybe you do. Either way, there's a house next door to me for sale if anyone wants to buy it. I'd be thrilled to have any of you as neighbors. And for me, that says a lot!

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Last night was the culmination of weeks of dread. Ever since we got that little slip of paper from Hollis's preschool, I've been nervous as hell. The reason for my anxiety?

Parent Teacher Conferences

That's right. For 3 year olds.

As a child, I was never worried about conferences. I was a nerd model student. Even if I hadn't been, I can usually handle criticism. (Cognitive dissonance works great. You should try it.) But the thought of listening to someone tell me what my baby is doing wrong makes my heart race and my brow break out in a sweat.

It's not that I think Hollis is perfect. To the contrary, I know he's not. I know he's the youngest in his class and that he's probably behind most of them. I know that he's an introvert but he tends to get pumped up and rowdy (and stop listening) when he's in a comfortable environment. I don't know which option frightened me more, hearing that he was completely comfortable to the point of disobedience and insolence or hearing that he was too shy to fully participate.

Well, having actually been in his classroom and witnessed The Toddler in his native habitat, I knew it was more likely we'd be hearing about behavior techniques to get him to listen. I just don't want to be the mom to "That Child." Not that I think we couldn't handle it, but knowing that Holden is far, far worse than his brother, I would be completely freaked out to discover that Hollis is a behavior problem in school!

Plus, every time I go into school as Hollis's "mother" I feel like a teenager masquerading as a parent. Does anyone else feel like this or is this some bizarre personal psychological reaction to schools and bulletin boards?

Hollis's teacher also keeps asking me to call her by her first name and I, stupidly, keep calling her Mrs. N and writing "Mrs. N" on notes to her. I probably make her feel like a grandmother masquerading as a teacher, but really, when did I become the adult? I still feel like I'm not allowed to call a teacher by her first name!

Anyway, it turns out that my fears were groundless. Hollis's teacher told us that, yes, he is young and has a few problems with things a few of the kids have mastered, but he's constantly showing improvement. Hollis is happy and cheerful and obedient (for the most part) and plays well with the other kids. Whew! I mean, we knew Hollis was happy, but it's nice to hear confirmation from his teacher. And to hear that she likes him. We all want our children to be liked, don't we?

At the end of the conference, Mrs. N shared something with us that she calls the "Tell Me" sheet. It's a list of questions she asks the kids and then she records the answers. It starts with basic things like name, age, favorite color, etc.... (By the way, Hollis is still insisting that he's 5. At least he's consistent.) Then she asked him things like, "What makes you happy or sad?" and, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Hollis, to his credit, didn't answer the, "What do you want to be?" question. Honestly, I wouldn't know how to answer if you asked me and I'm 35. How do you answer a question like that? "I want to be happy/thin/tall/a princess/a fireman?" I don't know. On the way home, I decided to ask Hollis the question again, worded a bit differently. Being a creative genius, I asked Hollis, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" My literal-minded toddler answered without missing a beat, "Drink coffee and soda."

That's my boy!

There were a few answers on Hollis's "Tell Me" sheet that cracked us up. For the question, "What do daddies do?" Hollis answered, "Go to work and eat chocolate. I went to Daddy's office and he gave me some chocolate and it was yummy and crunchy." Clearly the kitchen in T's office has made an impression.

In response to, "What do Mommies do," Hollis replied, "Take baths and eat popsicles." Oy. It's time to start indoctrinating the toddler. Does anyone have a copy of The Feminine Mystique that I could borrow? Or maybe I should start out with some Wollstonecraft? Do they publish A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in a picture book?

Hollis redeemed himself towards the end though. His answer to, "What is pretty?" was "Mommy and her smile." Say it with me now, everyone, "Awwwwwwwwww!" When his teacher followed up with, "What makes her pretty?" Hollis's response was, "Her hair and her hair clip."

T was a little disturbed about Hollis's public acknowledgement of his obsession with my accessories. The kid loves to wear my necklaces, hair clips and headbands, and shoes. Clearly, there's hope for my boy!

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22 Comments:

Blogger flutter said...

ha ! Yummy and crunchy!

Blogger Nancy said...

When my kids were in lower elementary, I used to tell the teachers I'd only believe half of what the come home telling me about them, if they'd return the favor and only believe half of what my kids are saying goes on at our home, in jest of course =)

Sounds like a good first P/T conference.

Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

Good for Hollis.

I went to my son's first kindergarten parent teacher conference and heard only rave reviews of my son. And so I called a few other mothers and grilled them just to make sure the teacher wasn't blowing smoke up my ass by giving every kid the same positive review. Turns out, she was being straight with me. Though I still find it hard to believe any child of mine is doing so well.

Blogger NotAMeanGirl said...

Oh my... so cute I could eat him up with a spoon. Glad to hear he's doing so well... and.... no... you're not the only one that feels that way heh.

Blogger Joker The Lurcher said...

i'm not far short of 50 and i still feel like a kid when i talk to teachers...

OpenID wheelsonthebus said...

I think because I was a teacher I now see teacher more as peers.

I think it says a lot that his answers were so complex and observant. Clearly, he has been paying attention!

Emily

Blogger Defiantmuse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Defiantmuse said...

haha. drink coffee and soda. of course! that's the best part, right?

I think when I was his age I think I would've said, "Eat Lucky Charms and Count Chocula". (My mom had a no-sugary cereals rule)

Blogger Amy said...

I remember feeling the same when I went to Cole's first Parent Teacher Conference. He was the one that needed a structured environment...so I made sure I got a preschool teacher that I was afraid of...it worked. She was great and my little spirited boy is doing great in Kdg...

I'll share my hangover parent teacher conference story for another day! : )

Glad you're back dear!

Blogger newnorth said...

Awwww. Sounds like he is doing great.

Blogger Moondance said...

I was disappointed at Owl's first conference in Kindergarten. She said he was "progressive as expected academically." What? He's average? GASP. Still feel guilty for feeling bad about that...

Blogger Stimey said...

So sweet. I love hearing what's going on in their heads. And you're not the only one who feels like an imposter. Who decided that I was mature enough to be in charge of other human beings?

Blogger Mamma said...

Okay, he's just a brilliant kiddo--knowing that mommy defines beauty.

And I totally know what you mean about feeling like you're pretending to be a grown up. I still look for my mother-in-law when someone calls me Mrs. Adams.

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

*snort*

Conferences...been to enough I'm okay about it. I have the same rule for those as I do for reviews: there better not be ANY surprises. So I work to keep communication open.

Love his answers.

And glad to know you are indulging in baths and popsicles. :)

Check the pollution levels and let me know how public schools are there and we'll see about that house. Apparently quite a few bloggers have homes next door for sale, as I found out when sharing my latest pollution story.

Blogger ewe are here said...

"Mommy and her smile."

That should make your month.
What a sweetie!

Junior Mayhem insists he is 5....no matter what!

Oh how well do I know the fear of the parent conference!

Just think...in LESS THAN A WEEK...we can solve all these problems and more....FACE TO FACE....while drinking a cocktail!

I swear...I am the BIGGEST NERD...(for MANY reasons...but)I am giddy as a school girl right now! :)

COUNTDOWN TO FUN! 6 days!

WOO-HOO!

Blogger M&Co. said...

Oh I'm glad it went well! I've had them go not so well, and it's pretty yucky.

Blogger Sarcasta-Mom said...

LOL. Nothing wrong with a boy who appriciates good accesories.

I ALWAYS feel like poeple must think I'm an adult imposter, like when K puts on my high heels and clomps around the house. Does anyone know when you actually start feeling like a real grown up person? If so, let me know....

Blogger Michele said...

This is such a cute story. We had a parent teacher conference for Zoe a few weeks ago when she was 18months old! Talk about weird. She and Hollis sound a lot alike ... only Zoe couldn't answer any of those questions right now.

Blogger PunditMom said...

You know you're always welcome at our place -- with or without the homemade gumbo!

Blogger Christine said...

aren't conferences when they are really little kind of weird but fun?

and i have been very absent lately and behind--I am sorry to hear about your kitty. :-(

Blogger Gwen said...

Conferences are strange, both as the parent and as the teacher (and honestly, I've always felt like an impostor in both situations).

Love the hair! And the clip! lol

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