September 23, 2009

Back to School Night!


My husband was out of town on business on Back to School Night at my kids' elementary school, so I had the privilege of attending the festivities solo.

I stopped by Kellen's kindergarten room long enough to wish his teacher (who was Camber's teacher last year) good luck...and admire her purple fingernail polish and sparkly gold toe ring.

"Very fancy," I observed.

I got to my daughter's first grade classroom late. I missed the introductions and slide show set to music, but I did get to inspect the contents of my daughter's desk, which included an illegal collection of push pins and a bag of moldy grapes.

I arrived at Cortlen's kindergarten room just as his teacher was summarizing the highlights of the first week of school. "Well," she said triumphantly, "We made it through the first week with only one bout of crying and one unrelated self-inflicted injury."

The classroom erupted in giggles. I would have laughed too, had the child who committed both offenses not been mine.

Cortlen confessed to crying in his seat the day that it happened. His teacher hands out gold stars each day for keeping one's hands to oneself. The worry that he would not accumulate enough stars by the end of the week to earn a small plastic snake from the prize basket was more than he could handle. The self-inflicted injury was an accident. He had been demonstrating to his new friends the proper way to ward off an attacker and forgot to back away from his own punch.

"I'm Cortlen's mom," I confessed to my son's teacher my way out the door.

The long pause that followed left me feeling like I should say something else. I didn't know what to say, so I said the first thing that popped into my head (which is usually the right thing).

"I have a feeling that I'll be providing your entertainment this year."

30 comments

Angie said...

My boys are almost always the entertainment. I feel you on this one. It's a huge accomplishment that my five-year-old doesn't wear his batman costume to school every day.

Janille said...

My son's fifth grade teacher and I email regularly.

Parenting Ink said...

As a former teacher, I'm sure your kids' teachers are just happy that you showed up on Back to School Night!

Babs said...

Thanks for the laugh! very funny. yesterday all my preschooler teacher had to say was "um, he takes a really long time in the bathroom." so I ask, is he messing around with stuff? "uh, no. he just takes a really long time in there." all I could muster to say was "huh." I should have said, well his dad does too. Did he take the scholastic book catalogue in with him?

Emz said...

You turned up - seriously - in my book - that makes you parent of the year. Why do I H A T E going to those every year?!

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

It seriously frightens me knowing my girls are with another adult for hours and hours, feeding off of each other. What their teacher knows about our family is frightening, I'm sure. I really don't want to know.

Anonymous said...

I'm usually a "lurker" but I have to tell you...When my son, Sam was in 5K, my 90 yr old grandmother and I went by my son's room before the annual Christmas program at his school. When we walked in, I asked him to show us where he sat and he was so excited, brought out the big "TAA-DA" hands and showed us the ONLY desk that has been pulled so far up to the chalkboard it was touching it! Needless to say, my child likes to socialize! The funny part was that he had no clue that we would know that was a bad place to have his desk!! LOL!

Meg from Ga

Meredith said...

When my crew was a bit younger, we were the entertainment for Sacrament Meeting. A particular couple always made a point of saving the row in from of them for us. Now that the youngest is nearly 5 I feel we have a bit more control, but maybe I'm just in denial.

AVONLadyinSC said...

I work at a school and we love parents like you with kids like yours. I mean honestly how boring would our work day be if all the kids were perfect and boring. It lives up lunchtime for the staff when great stories are shared :)

Tricia said...

My kindergartner was caught scaling the stall in the bathroom to check on the kid next to him. We all know it's so much easier to go up and peek over than to stay on the floor and look under. Between giggles the teacher said, "He's quite the climber." Thankfully, he's my third and not my first which made it easier for me to giggle too.

Diva Ma @ Mommy Fabulous said...

Welcome to my world of missing out on someone's SOMETHING because my husband is deployed and having 3 kids in 3 different classes aint easy to manuver. I commend you for doing it. I'm getting to the point where I say JUST EMAIL ME WITH THE DETAILS!

Bethany said...

I love it- your kids' teachers are probably blogging about your kids somewhere ;) It's an awesome age to teach though!

Courtney said...

I LOVE that last comment! Yes when adults spend many hours with children it is amazing the things they share. I worked ten years in childcare with the afterschool program. If I'd known about blogging then.......

Jo's girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mama rose said...

I have BTS for the princess tonight,have to skip a chance to meet Craig Ferguson at his book signing. Having an essay contest on my blog,come check it out.

The Mommy said...

You're certainly MY entertainment!

When my Oldest Boy was in Pre-K, I typed the class "newsletter" for his teacher to earn "volunteer hours". He often (OK, always) made the "quotes" section. This year my Youngest Boy is in the same class and I'm certain that he'll also be contributing his fair share of quotable quotes!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

Back to School night is next Monday for us and I always brave it alone. It's fabulous - I go to one class and listen to how my model student is doing - then I go to the other and listen to my class clown's antics. He always provides the entertainment - and is not fond of the plastic toys in the treasure box

vanilla said...

Every classroom has someone who will provide the entertainment. But only his classroom has a Cortlen, because every child is unique. This should be a fun year for you. And for the teacher.

metaphase said...

great story, told well, as usual. I fear my children starting school. I know there will be plenty of stories with these two who are so close in age (8 mos. apart..)

Jessica said...

I was going to leave a long comment about finding your blog, being excited that someone else has kids apparently cut from the same cloth as mine, and the strange comfort of reading about another mom with medical hurdles, also with a special needs kid. Unfortunately, the "code" that I need to type in below caught me off guard. This blog truly knows me. My code: bumsag. I'll keep reading, anyway, since your blog has had me giggling all morning. ;) Thanks!

Jo's girl said...

ahhh back to school night... the bane of my existence. if it's not hopelessly tedious, and boring, it's humiliating and exhausting chasing around one of my kids trying to not look like my kid has the upper hand.

I love when my kids show the world how little they listen to me and how little control I have over them. nothing like giving the rest of the parents the complete satisfaction that this year my kid will take the title of trouble maker. there has to be one in every class and we usually claim that honor.

Too Many Hats said...

Hehehe..at least you have a sense of humor about it :) At back to school night this year, I went to talk to my son's playwriting teacher and said who I was and who my son was. She laughed out loud and said his first words to her and the class were, "I hate plays!" Lovely :)

Becky said...

I think I will ask my kindergartners teacher to give out stars for keeping hands to yourself. What a great idea....GIRLS and boys. The girls keep poking my son and of course...he pokes back....causing the ruckas of the day,besides telling everyone he knows everything because he has been to college already...he must be a genius!?!!:)

That Kind of Girl said...

An impossibly delightful story, as always.

Tracey said...

If she didn't laugh at that, you're in trouble...she has no sense of humor...tell me she laughed? LOL

AlsoMean said...

When my son was in Kindergarten, the principal told me "I don't usually get to have any kindergarten students come to my office, in fact he's the first one this year!"

whoopee, great to be first at something!

Anonymous said...

I can just imagine Cortlen's Halloween experiences -- just 33 days away.

Sounds like Cortlen could be helped with Halloween trick-or-treating, if you read to him the 10Halloween Ethics & Hints at Ethic Soup blog. It's funny for adults with some good trick-and-treat advice for kids. And as you read this aloud to him in his excited anticipation of the great candy day, it'll afford the chance to answer his questions and slip in your own advice, and maybe, your own childhood Halloween memories. Read more at:

http://www.ethicsoup.com/2009/09/halloween-ethics-when-you-go-trickortreating.html

Jeniel- what's wrong with mommy? said...

That's so funny! My youngest son usually provides the entertainment in his class. So you're not alone lol
I think this blog is great, and that's why I wanted to give you the "One Lovely Blog" award. Check out: http://whatswrongwithmommy.blogspot.com/2009/09/one-lovely-blog-award.html

amysue said...

you seriously crack me up!!!

Kids Music said...

It is a very nice and good post. Keep up the good work.