Have you ever been in the middle of a chore and you're happily going along thinking you're nearly done only to realize, much to your horror, that you're hardly half way?
Well today I had an epiphany. And not the good kind--somewhere along the road of motherhood I had the vague impression that because my youngest child had now entered kindergarten I was nearly done with parent-teacher conferences but driving home from the latest four conferences today it dawned on me that though I had survived 36 interviews so far, I was exactly smack in the middle and have another 36 parent-teacher reviews before Lillian graduates from middle school. Thirty-six. Three dozen. Just under forty! I'm only half-way done.
Not that I don't look forward to these interviews, my children have great teachers so what's not to like? It's a win-win situation, right? If my child is having problems in school I can't think of a more enjoyable way to spend twenty minutes than discussing those academics or behavioral failures with their teacher, it's a guaranteed pick-me-up. Pass the Prozac please. On the other hand, if my child is blessed with a good grades it works out to be time-consuming formality--kind of like checking in with your parole officer or something.
Okay ma'am, you can go now, we just wanted to see if you'd show up. Make sure you're still a fit mother and all . . .
So after thirty-six conferences I've figured it out, the whole parent-teacher conference thing is just a scam by the PTA to get money for the school. Every year they plan the book fair during the week of interviews, encouraging parents to come and buy books for their children, because if your child is getting bad grades in school what he or she really needs is Bratz Beach Party or Yugioh Forever! to bridge that academic gap.
It's even more obvious than that, at the book fair's grand opening the school takes the kids on a tour, giving them paper and telling them to write down every book they would like their parents to buy then take it home to Mom and Dad to beg for the books. Because no child should be denied a book--though I don't know that I'd consider Vader and Yoda are Friends: The Early Years great literature.
Twice a year when I pick up the kids at school I'm pelted with these blue half-sheets and a barrage of begging:
"Mom, can you buy me this?"
"Can I have this one. . . . puh-leeeeeeze?"
"It'll help me read!"
"Can you read my mind? Because no is still the answer!"
Apparently you just can't get cross-over fiction like Jack Sparrow's NASCAR Chronicles or quality reference guides like Hannah Montana's Perfect Pedicure at the local public library. I guess they'll just have to wait for the movie.
It's just a comfort to me to know that if the whole school thing doesn't work out for my kids they at least have a marketable skill: panhandling.
Technorati tags: parenting, motherhood