And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Parenting Challenges Abound in the Thursday Folder

Katie brought home her weekly collection of papers, graded assignments, notices, etc. today, and I'm troubled by multiple parts of it. Is it PMS? Am I asking too much? I have no idea.

Troubling Item 1: homework/test packet -- Katie's reading test is marked with her first-ever B+. Now, I know I'm a perfectionist and all, and I live in great fear of passing that on to my child(ren), but I'm curious about why. They're multiple choice questions -- are they misleading? Is she having trouble deciphering clues from the context? I found out they're even open-book, and she has the page number by each question telling where she got the answer. I know a B+ is no big deal, but I'd like to go over it with her. Of course, I asked her to bring her reading book home, and she threw a fit. Do I pursue it? Or let it go?

Troubling Item 2: school pictures -- Her smile is lovely; her hair is...well...not the best. Sure, it's not sticking up or anything, but it really looks kind of lank and ratty. Do I attempt to get retakes, even though they're supposed to be only for those who were absent? How do you tell your child, "Sorry, honey, you don't look pretty enough in this picture. Let's try again."?

Troubling Item 3: art gift fundraiser -- The school picture company has this program called Young Masters where the kids draw a picture on a special piece of cardboard in art class, and then the artwork can be put on mugs, shirt, coasters, trivets, calendars, etc. The PTO was talked into this, and I did think it was a great idea. And we made an effort to squeeze it in in time for holiday gift-giving season. I hear the art teacher was even excited about doing it with the kids.

Well. Katie's artwork came home today. The art teacher had her class think up and draw hybrid animals -- Katie drew a horse with the legs of a cheetah, a dolphin tail, and butterfly wings. Very interesting creative exercise, but I'm not sending all of my family $25 pieces of ceramic with a drawing of a "what the hell is that?" on it for Christmas. I'm really pretty pissed off with this, both as a regular parent and as an active PTO member. I feel like the art teacher sabotaged the fundraiser, and I'm pretty upset about it.

Here's the biggest dilemma -- as far as I know, there are no "redos" of this. Even if there are extra pieces of cardboard around I could pull strings to get, I can't see Katie sitting down and drawing a picture to my order without a fight. And I'm trying to rein in my reaction so as not to hurt her feelings -- it's not that it's a bad picture, it's that the subject matter is out there. I'm just so frustrated with all of this.

Any and all advice welcome.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dave's Parental Failings

Dave is in the doghouse for failing to back me up while I was disciplining the boy. His downfall? Ian saying quite seriously and with an incredibly fresh tone: "Mommy. Come. On. You are not in charge of my butt."

Laughing doesn't help -- even if you cover your face when you do it!