“Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Aarons. Thanks for coming,” Sam’s kindergarten teacher says when we enter the classroom with eager smiles. “Ready to get started?”
“Sure!” Chris and I respond as we sit down in two little chairs that have the potential to trap us for hours. “Let’s hear it!”
Ms. Ryan looks down at her paperwork, and Chris and I stare at her expectantly. We haven’t admitted it to each other, but I know we’re both secretly waiting for her to suddenly fall down on her knees, raise her arms to the sky and shriek, “Thank you, sweet baby Jesus! Thank you for allowing me to teach this child! It is an honor and a privilege and I am not worthy! I am sooo not worthy of Sam! You two are the best, most incredible parents in the entire universe—and quite youthful looking, too, I may add, especially you, Mrs. Aarons—and both of you should be given the Medal of Honor and tickets to Oprah for doing such a fantastic job! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Instead, Ms. Ryan gives us a guarded smile and says, “Well, Sam’s a bright boy and he’s doing fine.”
“Oh…great!” I respond, trying to cover-up my disappointment with a big, ingratiating grin. “And how’s his reading?” I chirp. I know full well the answer will be a good one.
“I think you’re already well aware that he’s reading at an advanced rate,” she states.
“Well, um, well,” I stammer, wanting her to give us More. “What about his report card? Was that good or bad? I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I mean, ‘rubric?’ All those numbers? What the heck do they even mean? I don’t work for IBM, ha-ha! Stupid mommy! Can’t…add…”
She pulls out her copy of his report card. “It’s good.”
“Can I see it, please? I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet,” Chris asks and he quickly scans it. “Huh. What’s this ‘2’ in handwriting all about? That’s a little low, isn’t it? He’s only 6-years-old you know.”
Ms. Ryan looks at him with big eyes, so I quickly try to cover for my outspoken husband. “It’s okay Ms. Ryan. He didn’t mean that.”
“Yes, I did,” Chris protests with a look in my direction. “I totally meant it. A two is for the kids who still write their s’s” backwards. The kids who couldn’t even make a decent looking circle if you paid them $100 cash money. Sam doesn’t deserve a two.”
“Well, we’re sure you’re being fair,” I continue to Ms. Ryan, giving Chris a warning glance that means he should just shut up already. “A two’s completely understandable! You see, Ms. Ryan, Sam gets his bad handwriting from my husband. He can’t help it—it’s in his genes.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Chris asks.
“It means bad penmanship doesn’t come from my side of the family,” I say with a tight smile. “In fact, I’ve been told many times that I write like an angel. Your handwriting looks like you have a seizure every time you pick up a pen.”
As Ms. Ryan squirms uncomfortably in her chair, Chris looks down at the report card again. “He got a ‘3’ in ‘Knows his five senses’? That’s ridiculous. He’s known his senses since he was two-years-old.”
“Well, ‘3’ is still a good score…” she begins.
“Yeah, Chris, it’s fine!” I say, knowing we’re well on our way to being discussed in the teachers’ lounge this afternoon.
“No, it’s not fine. And please stop kicking me,” Chris loudly whispers, then he looks at the report card again. “A ‘3’ in ‘Knows what is harmful’? Okay, that one doesn’t even make sense because his mother’s been warning him about the dangers of the world ever since he was in utero.”
“Excuse me…” Ms. Ryan tries.
“Fine. But I know that I’m not the one who made him scared of toilet seats,” Chris continues. “Poor kid practically passes out from terror every time he’s in a public restroom. I almost had to call 911 when he touched a toilet handle at Target last week.”
“Oh, come on. That’s so not true because last week in Costco he…” I start, then I hear Ms. Ryan clear her throat, so I turn to her with a big, fake gameshow contestant face. Everyone in the room knows full well that the crazy train has already left the station, but I feel it’s important to make at least one last ditch effort to save the meeting.
Grabbing onto Chris’ hand, I look her in the eye and say in my sweetest voice, “Ms. Ryan, we’re so happy Sam’s in your class. Right, Chris? Chris? Chris!”
“For the last time, stop kicking me!”
“Um, okay,” Ms. Ryan says and stands up. “Looks like we’ve run out of time…I see my next meeting is already here, so…” and she then she gives us the bum’s rush out of room 121 before I can even ask her how Sam’s doing in “Zips Up His Own Pants.”
“Well, that went well,” I mutter as we slowly walk out of the front doors and into the parking lot, shaking our heads like we don’t know what the hell just happened in there.
“Oh, I don’t know,” says Chris, putting his arm around my shoulder and giving it a squeeze. “I think I’d give it a ‘2’.”
Based on an actual conference when Sam was in kindergarten. Despite his whackjob parents, he’s now made it to the second grade.
Hey, I’m giving out advice today at The Mouthy Housewives!