Parents’ Evening….not sure who it strikes most fear into. Technically, given it is not my first parents’ evening rodeo, nor Ros for that matter….we should be fine. Ben though is still in the infancy as to the horror of what these can be. He seems to skip into them like Bambi crossing a busy road…a happy/go lucky approach right up to the moment of recognition that this near death experience is really happening and he is in the headlights.
I have witnessed some parents’ evenings where they serve wine, not sure if it is to take the edge of things for the parents or to help the teacher reach a level of honesty “…I really can’t do anything else for your child…” or “…Have you considered home schooling…” maybe the types of thing that can only be uttered after an excess of Merlot.
As it is, Ben goes to the local state school – so they don’t have the budget for wine. Which begs the question can you bring your own? And it is not so much of an evening more just five minutes to sit down with his teacher on seats far too small for adults. She in turn either gives the nod of approval that your child is normal or to report the immortal words that yes, Houston we have a problem.
I’m fairly sure the teacher visually assesses every parent that walks in the door….I mean that problem child making her life a misery is only the result of bad parents. So on reflection.….why did I not shave, maybe worn a suit, possibly brought flowers or something to thank her for being the catalyst that means my child simply loves coming to school. Instead I probably looked washed-out, washed-up, borderline psychotic and struggling to keep a middleclass addiction to coffee under-control….I mean we all get eye twitches don’t we?
I have done worse. Ros instructed me once to go to Jocelyn’s parents’ evening without adult supervision. I was under the impression it would be just a quick five minute chat….I got that detail so wrong! I dropped in straight after the gym. The room felt uncomfortably hot and so I found myself sweating like Donald Trump at a meeting of the local Women’s Institute. To make matters worse I was going down with Bronchitis at the time when meant I had a hacking cough every 30 seconds. This was no five minute chat, it was a full blown social evening with all other parents of the nursery…and yes, wine was being served because…well we have to pay for nursery! I looked like a man with a life expectancy evaporating in front of him. Sweating buckets and coughing like a TB patient on the way out I struggled to make many friends that night. I left very early!
Back to Ben – he has the displeasure of joining us for the meeting with his teacher. He literally sits at the table as we discuss him – I mean Ben could potentially audition with Harvey Weinstein and feel less violated in those five minutes. All I can say is I hope my son never receives a death sentence as I think it would be the waiting that would affect him most! As things went though, we got the nod – he is normal. He does not run an organised crime ring within her classroom and he does not have the manners of a Somali pirate when it comes to human interaction with friends and teachers – he is simply a happy 8 year old doing his best in life. The bonus being the teacher said she really liked teaching Ben and she has no idea about his drinking or gambling issues – Amen to that!
Afterwards….Ros and I gave our son full and hearty congratulations, and later once he was in bed we cracked open a bottle of wine probably more in relief than celebration!