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.
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.)
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.
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