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!
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
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!