Saturday, August 24, 2013

Elementary School Open House and Why It Makes Me Hyperventilate

Yesterday, as this post title would lead you to believe, was open house at Jack and Quinn’s schools. It was, as this post title would also lead you to believe, hectic. Yeah, let’s go with hectic.

Here’s why:

1. Awesomely, both Jack and Quinn’s schools schedule their open houses for the EXACT SAME TIME. God, that’s so great.

2. Quinn is panicked—panicked—about going back to school. Like, sobbing meltdown panicked. You might be able to imagine how happy he was to go to open house today. I feel so bad for that kid. He is so freaked out. None of his good buddies are in his class, but the one kid he gets stressed out by will sit at his table. Good times. I cannot even imagine what Monday morning’s scene at the bus stop is going to be like and I have no idea how to make it better for him. I’m considering buying him a kitten. You think I’m kidding. I am not.

3. After we left Quinn’s school to drive to Jack’s school, Quinn was more relaxed. Sam and Jack, who were trapped in the back seat together, were not. It probably took 20 minutes to drive to Jack’s school, which, it turns out, is plenty of time for the two of them to bicker endlessly, each “accidentally” scratch the other one, and for both of them to shriek shrilly at each other for sustained periods of time. I could have dealt with the situation better than I did, but pulling the car over dramatically and gesticulating wildly at my kids had an effect.

4. Jack’s bag of school supplies exploded, leaving me to leak a trail of glue sticks and highlighters as we trudged into his school.

5. Jack’s school visit went pretty well. He got to see his good friend who is in his class and he seems so at home in his classroom, which is the same as last year. We did lose one of our favorite paraeducators to another classroom (boo!) and her replacement hasn’t been hired yet, which seems problematic considering school starts Monday.

6. This one requires a back story: Sam was considering taking a language this year and was going to choose French. I thought he should take Spanish because so many people in our area and worldwide speak that language. I may or may not have uttered the phrase, “French is useless,” meaning there are are many fewer countries where French is the language of record. (Apologies to Francophiles; I am prone to hyperbole.)

Jack’s school has a French immersion program. We were walking down the hallway after talking to a couple of French teachers who will teach (in English) a couple of Jack’s inclusion subjects. A school staff member was just ahead of us as Sam busted out with, “MOM!”—and yes, he spoke that loudly—”MOM, REMEMBER WHEN YOU TOLD ME FRENCH WAS USELESS?”

“Oh my God, Sam, I didn’t say that,” I responded lied, noting that the staff member was totally listening.

“YES YOU DID,” he said, even louder. “REMEMBER WHEN YOU TOLD ME THAT FRENCH IS USELESS?”

“SAM, don’t say that here IN FRONT OF PEOPLE,” I hissed.

At this point the woman turned around and was all, “I hear you,” and then joined in with Sam in mocking me and I probably turned bright red and kept insisting that that IS NOT WHAT I SAID, STOP IT, SAM, STOP IT RIGHT NOW, and then I punched him in the arm to get him to shut up, but that didn’t work and instead he started yelling that I’d hit him and I looked even worse.

If that was even possible.

Sam was completely delighted by the situation.

7. My own damn mother, who is in town for a brief visit, was all, “Huh. I thought I had an idea of what it’s like to do these things with your kids, but when I’m with you, I see how really difficult it is.” I’m not sure how to take that.

And those are only the highlights. See? Hectic. How was your open house?

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