Friday, November 10, 2023

Parent/Teacher Conferences

If there was ever any question about the differences between our first and second child - though in my experience there never has been - that question could be quickly answered in how they address school. Cyrus, now 5, started preschool in the elementary school building this fall, while Caroline began second grade.

Our daily after school conversation goes something like this:

“How was your day?” I ask as we take off jackets.

Caroline jumps in, “Great day! We started a thing about apples that goes along with our field trip, and you know I love apples. We did cheer the whole time during recess until our legs got tired but it was good because the teacher came over and told us we couldn’t stunt. So that was ok. I really wanted to stunt then I remembered I had a skirt on so we didn’t stunt at all.  I ate all of my lunch and drank most of my water. My water bottle opened in my backpack and it's like, really wet. We got new spelling words today. Do you see this bug bite on my leg? It itches and the whole time we were reading all I did was itch it. Ms. Emily told me she liked my black and gold sweater. Did that cow have her calf yet? When we were coming up the road on the bus, she looked like she was still pregnant. Unless I was looking at the wrong cow. They’re all black so they all look the same. Well, most of them. Briella let me sit with her on the bus. It was a great day!!!”

“Cyrus, buddy. How was your day?”


And with that, he walked into the other room to carpet farm.

All summer he tried to convince us that “farmers don’t go to preschool.” That kicked me into gear to tell the farmers we encounter: If Cyrus asks, you went to preschool. The majority of them were not willing to lie for my cause because learning to color inside the lines hadn’t advanced their farming career.

To our surprise, he has enjoyed preschool. It helps that they’ve done units on farm animals and equipment, so the curriculum is right in his wheelhouse. Still, every day when he gets home, he acts agitated that he had to attend because he still has so much farming to do. It doesn’t help that the school bus has been passing multiple combines and grain carts in the afternoon trips. Everyone always beats him to the field.

We have no idea how he acts at school, though we’ve received no negative reports, so our assumption has always been good. He has mentioned new names of children; we know he’s talking to and playing with someone. Hopefully, they are not invisible.

Earlier this week Cyrus overheard Caroline and I visiting about the approaching Parent/Teacher Conference.

“What is a Parent/Teacher Conference?” he asked while unloading beans at his carpet farm.

Big sister responded without hesitation, “It’s where Mom and Dad go to school and the teacher tells them how you act when they’re not around.” Oh, the dramatics.  

Cyrus froze. “I don’t think you should go, it doesn’t sound fun.” He reported upstairs.

He’s was curious about this “meeting” all week, asking questions about how long it lasts, who is in the room, if he can come. Cody and I began to get a bit nervous, wondering what we were going to walk into.

On Friday morning I went upstairs to wake him.

“Is this the day?” were the first words out of his mouth.

“What day?”

“Parent/Teacher Conference.”

“Yes, that is today.”

He slowly whispered as he watched the ceiling fan, “Today is going to be the worst day.”

I’m happy to report there were no alarming behaviors discussed, in fact they said Cyrus does well in school, though he has let the teacher know his aversion to coloring.

I guess some kids just can’t stay inside the lines.