Saturday, October 17, 2015

Parent-Teacher Interviews

Both my kids are of the age where they are in actual SCHOOL school as opposed to School Kinda But Actually Just Fingerpainting and Light Story Reading. The daunted 1-12 years of, for them, public* school.

I know I'm an adult because I seriously think about metamucil and have a considered opinion about mortgage insurance. But a startling reality hits me when the teacher, with all seriousness, asks me if I have any questions. I would only have questions if either of my kids were having a particular problem. I don't have an opinion about the curriculum, for example, or their didatic style. I do feel guilty for this.

On the other hand, isn't it much worse, I tell myself, to be a helicopter parent? To be micromanaging their education and their interactions? 'Yes', answers what I hope is just not the extremely lazy part of me.

I mean, we are all on this planet chaotically, wandering and blundering about and we try and achieve what we can and what we want but to attemp to optimize along every axis seems an act that'll lead to a padded room and powerlifting psychiatric nurses asking  "How was your pudding, champ?"

Or, says the other part of my brain during a sleepness night, maybe I"m just succumbing to laziness and letting them struggle and fight in the mire of childhood because I did and I didn't turn out to be an outrageous disappointment (so far?).

I realize I'm over thinking the underthinking. How much intervention is too much, not enough? At one horrible moment have I irreparably broken my kid? That last question the most haunting and certainly most universal, I think, of first world parents. Well that and, Why The Hell Aren't They Just Going To Sleep Already For The Love Of All That Is Holy.

It's a spinning tizzy of questions and counter questions, a mental sweater with that one thread askew that if you started to pick at it, in no time you have a  tumble of yarn that used to be a sweater, no questions answered, and an analogy that doesn't really hold up to close inspection.

So I always say what I say every year, I smile apologetically, and murmur, "uh, no, thank you".

*Public in the North American sense not the British sense which actually means private and how does the once greatest Imperialist power confuse public with private when both are explicitly opposite? My guess is that you rise to utter world domination and subjugation  by not worrying about things like that.