Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Slow-Eater and the Bundle-Dropper

This afternoon we had the first parent teacher interviews for the year. The kids have only been at school for 4 weeks, so the interviews are more a chance for teachers to find out parental concerns/goals than an in-depth feedback session on what the kids are achieving.

I didn't quite have a grasp on this when Climber started school so I was ridiculously excited about attending my first ever parent teacher interview. Ridiculously. I'm talking butterflies before I walked in. I couldn't wait to hear what the teacher thought of my darling. I was therefore ridiculously crestfallen when the only piece of personal feedback I received about Climber was that he was a slow eater. And you know, granted, he is a slow eater but at the close of that interview I swear I saw Climber's magnificent school career crumbling before my eyes.

PT interviews_7767

Anyway, I don't know if it's the fact that this is my first year with female teachers rather than males, but I received a lot better feedback than that whole Slow Eating Thing. Which, I guess, is not hard. But still! Climber is in the top maths group, he is allegedly kind and empathetic towards his teacher and so far not succumbing to his tendency to be distracted by chair legs or fluff on the carpet, and actually buckling down really well and getting on with his work. She also said that he was incredibly mature for his age. Go Climber. Although, he and his best friend will probably still need to be separated inside the classroom for their own good, the teacher agreed almost too enthusiastically when I said semi-jokingly that they were pathetic together. As for Cherub, his adorable prep teacher nodded wholeheartedly at me when I said I had no concerns for him. She said he was very articulate, had lots of friends and was happy and confident. Which is pretty much what they said of him at kinder. Go Cherub. Surprisingly, she did not comment on his eating speed at all. (He's quite slow as well, you know you wanted to know that.)

PT interviews_7774

My major concern for Cherub is how tired he is. Our school's plan for integrating the Preps is to finish their school-day one hour earlier, at 2.30pm, for the first month. This is good for him but a nuisance for me because I have to pick up the older child at 3.30pm every day. The two of us go to a cafe for an hour usually, but twice a week I put Cherub into the free after-care service. I was hoping this would help to gently break him into the longer days. Apparently not. Even the bliss of having a single pick-up has been almost not worth it, because Cherub just drops-his-bundle and loses-his-plot on those days and is by turn whiney, snappy or in floods of tears. Not helped by the fact that Climber dawdles hopelessly, always the last out after the bell. So although next week my life may seem easier on the pick-up side of things -everyone finishes at 3.30 as of Monday- I am wondering if actually life is going to be even worse. I'll be packing lots of tissues just in case. I'm sure he'll get used to it before too long, but meantime, what about my sanity, hmm?


Until he does, I'll be here, mentally reminding myself to count to 10. And intoning speak nicely to each other repeatedly. (If they could speak nicely to me as well, that would be good.) I am officially at the oh what now? stage (thinking it, not saying it) when Cherub breaks down, sad to say. I sympathise and all but the sheer number of plot-losses have put me there, what can you do? All these spats and tiffs and meltdowns wear a parent out. It's as if we're on an emotional tightrope and I'm the umbrella. Or something. Actually, it's like living in a houseful of premenstrual women and heaven help the lot of us when my hormones come to the party.



  1. God, I hated the 2.30 pick up. It's such a pain and (let's face it) pretty unnecessary. They should go to school and come home. ONCE. Not twice. There'll be far less crankiness when the regular hours begin. (Both from him and you...)

  2. Home is a good safe place, so you can let fly, and flounce around a bit. Some of the time, anyway. But it is indeed very wearing for the ever patient, ever caring parent. Till it wears off, let virtue be its own reward.
    I love hearing of their school experiences.

  3. It's amazing, how tired an extra hour can make you....We can count on R falling asleep in the car on the way home right now. There's this happy 'And I played with Isiah and Piper and had snack with Daniel and cut out circles with Amber' and suddenly there's quiet and she's just gone.

  4. Poor little things, it really is such a big step from preschool...I ended up keeping them home most Fridays for the first term (definitely with the first one, which was as much about me relearning how to get up every morning). The teacher was really supportive of it.

  5. Climber's conference could have been J.T.'s conference. Grade level ahead in math, doing better with the distractions (mostly).

    Poor Cherub. I cried and cried during Kindergarten. I'd been home with my Mom all by myself for so long. It was a huge adjustment to join such a big group in such a big place for such a large part of my day.

  6. Oh our preps have the same time but wednesdays off completely....its hard work being a prep and they need a break. (mind you the other teachers are not thrilled that the prep teachers have no kids for a day).

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. "Slow eater". Feh. Helpful words when one is hoping for a bit of reassurance or an inkling of helping one's kids if necessary.

    Sounds like your beautiful boys are doing well, overall. Cherub will come along with the longer days; it's just hard for younger children to get used to changes sometimes. Doubly so if they're tired.

    I'm falling on bad habits again, enjoying your posts and rarely expressing it. Sort of like the person who comes to the party, gobbles down all of the nibbles, and stands in the corner eavesdropping. Please forgive me. Burp.

  9. After school meltdowns are visiting our house as well. Miss N is at preschool for the first time this year and Jeeze Louise they wear the kids out there!!! And Little Miss S has started at daycare two days a week ... and to say she is fed up with life by 5.30 is to put it mildly.

    I wish I had slow eaters. My girls pick and push and worry their food for ever until they actual begin eating it. Could be worse ;)

  10. Well.. the woman with PMT needs her own space, peace and quiet and chocolate. Have you tried those solutions to the after school melt downs?

    PS nothing wrong with a dawdler I've made it through all of my years without hurrying up once. Everyone else should just slow down!

  11. The 2.30pm thing is just so unworkable. Our school went for the no school on Wednesdays for the first six weeks approach, which personally I found much more tolerable.
    Poor little Cherub, I hope he finds extra stamina from somewhere soon.
    I was surprised to see there's no uniforms at your school. I thought pretty much all state schools had gone down the uniform route.

  12. Our school used to run a 2.45pm pick up for.a.whole.term. That is until a minor riot ensued and it was changed to four weeks.

    Mind you, when PL had the 2.45pickup we organised working bees for the new parents to go to their child's classroom and help with book covering, laminating etc. As a result all the new parents got to know each other and the teacher and it really helped with the cohesion of that year.

  13. The Ratbag started Little Kinder three weeks ago, or at least he would have, had Miss Teacher not been forced to stay away due to a thyroid operation. As a result, after all the build-up of excitement, his first week was the biggest let-down - we were there for an hour, and he ended up all teary because he didn't really get to go to Kinder. The subsequent two weeks were shorter-than-normal affairs (helping teary kids get used to it a bit longer each time), and Peanut and I have never done so much bloody running around in the car.. bloody nuisance!

  14. It must be something in the air. My two have been tetchy and picking fights and wailing at times, too.

    I suppose it could also just be adjusting to being back at school 5 days a week (and in Cherub's case - doing it all for the very first time), and having teachers constantly asking them to do this, don't do that, and above all eat faster (or slower).

    I'm trying to take a nice understanding motherly tone instead of screeching. Sometimes I screech anyway.

    Hope everything gets better in your household very soon :-)

  15. Good luck with all of that! I have no advice to give. But I will say I'm glad it's not me!

  16. Their girlfriends will be commending you on their slow eating if they can keep it going that long. A guy who can savor his food versus wolfing it down is rare and quite preferable in my opinion.
    Until then, glad you're getting a bit more feedback on your darling (and genius) boys.

  17. Collapsing with laughter here at the idea of what it'll be like when "your hormones come to the party!" And I bet you thought you might miss out on all that kind of drama, not having girls!!Live and learn....

  18. I'm very much the exasperated "Oh WHAT now ?!?!?!?" parent, I must admit. No patience, me.

    Went to the local P.S. today for a tour and a chat with the PrinciPAL ( i'll never forgot the lesson that the Principal is your friend and your PAL and that is how you remember which version to spell :p ) Anyhoo, for kindys they do a 4 day week, with Wednesdays off, to make it easier on the pickup for those with older kids etc.

    ATM, I am being driven insane with the 3hr kindy sessions after the luxury of 9-5 last year. It's an hour round-trip to drop-off/pick-up, so that's a lot of bloody walking, with not much time in between. Ugh !

    You must be loving the 'me' time though ?


Don't let the cat get your tongue.