Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More martini than soccer

I've always considered myself a relatively laid back parent. Sure, The Kid gets reprimanded for bad behavior like tantrums or hitting or - his most recent discovery - gettin' lippy. But eating something off the floor? Have at it, my child. Baby monitors? Didn't use 'em. Sanitizing everything that comes within a mile radius of my child's grubby little hands? Puh-lease. And that whole call the doctor at the first sign of a runny nose thing? Nuh-uh, not gonna happen. People tell me that this is the way I'm supposed to be with my third child, not my first.

Dear The Kid,

Welcome to child #3 status. Please sit down and get comfortable, 'cause it ain't gonna change. You're a kid, not a fragile Renaissance-era sculpture of the human form. (And be glad about that, because those guys? Always missing their penises.) You're meant to get dirty, eat bugs, and remove the snot from your upper lip with your tongue.

Much love,

I went on the first of two school tours yesterday in preparation for The Kid starting kindergarten in the fall. I did a little bit of homework and checked the relevant test scores. And I've talked to some parents who have children in the two schools on my list. Beyond that, I go to the tour, read the pamphlet that's handed to me, listen to the principal, and get the general vibe of the place. And done.

Apparently this is because The Kid is my third child.

The proper response, as far as I can tell, for the parent of her first child, is a little different. First, these parents come to the tour equipped with pen, clipboard, printouts of test scores for the entire school district, and a list of asinine questions for the principal to attempt to answer without making them look like idiots. Then they scribble notes furiously on their clipboard, interrupt the principal repeatedly to get more clarification on points that are already perfectly clear, stay behind to quiz the kindergarten teachers even though they're technically in the middle of teaching class, write down the titles of all the text books being used by the third graders, and otherwise behave like general pains in the ass. I'm pretty sure one woman recorded the whole thing. Either that, or her husband "conferenced in" via her cell phone.

I understand that selecting the best school for your child is an important decision. But It's KINDERGARTEN people, not med school. Put down the clipboard. Take a deep breath. And lighten the hell up.

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