Tuesday, September 21

Tennis Balls

Dan and I went to our first Meet The Teacher night. Typical of us, it wasn't easy. We had arranged for Mum to babysit. This enraged our little darlings. The twins had imagined that they would attend the Meet the Teacher night with us, and perform a song or two for all the parents. When they were informed that they weren't invited, they had a fit. Dan and I were forced to revert to our tried and true escape plan: toss mini-cupcakes at the children and then RUN to the car!

Once in Miss N's classroom, Dan and I were separated immediately. I didn't have a problem with this until I realised that we were the only parents who had been separated. I couldn't think why...until it dawned on me that the teacher knows our children. Miss N probably thought to herself "If these people are anything like their daughters, they need to be seated in opposite ends of the classroom!".

We sat through Miss N's presentation. She mentioned that the class had come up with a name for their mascot. Some children cried when the names that they had suggested hadn't been chosen. Miss N looked at Dan and then at me. I guess she meant to say that our children had cried. Oh, well. Then she asked parents to teach their children how to correct their jacket sleeves when they are inside out. Some children, apparently, just stare at their jackets and looked confused. Miss N looked at Dan and then at me. Oh, it's our children who have no clue what to do when they are faced with a jacket with one sleeve inside out. Miss N mentioned that some children struggled with opening their lunch containers, and that some children needed to practice their writing. Sigh. Can you guess which children she was referring to? This fun little game continued. Miss N didn't want to name names, but both Dan and I knew who needed some extra work and encouragement.

At one point, I had enough (so very unlike me!) and I got up, walked across the classroom, and sat next to the father of my children...just like every other mother in the class got to do. Miss N chatted on about kindergarten being a time where the children need to learn to focus and to pay attention and to listen carefully ("with their eyes, their ears, and their hearts").

Dan got distracted. The legs of every chair in the kindergarten had tennis balls on them. Dan whispered to me, "How come there are tennis balls on the chairs?". I explained that the tennis balls protect the floor from being scratched and that they prevent that awful noise chairs make when they are pushed around.

Dan then said, "How come all the chairs have tennis balls except for mine?". I didn't know, and I didn't care. I explained to Dan that I was listening with my eyes, my ears, and my heart to Miss N and he was being a nuisance.

After a moment or so, Dan leaned over and whispered, "Didn't you buy any tennis balls for the twins?". I replied, "Yes, I did. But Miss N probably put them on chairs randomly, not paying attention to who bought some tennis balls and who didn't.".

Well, this was too much for Dan! He said "If you bought tennis balls, then they should be on the chairs that that our girls use. Katie has tennis balls but Bethie doesn't!". To which I responded, "Oh my God, grow up! Are you in kindergarten? If it will make you happy, I will go out and buy some more tennis balls for Bethie! But PLEASE STOP TALKING!".

During the few moments of silence that Dan allowed before something else caught his attention, I realised that Miss N was quite right to separate us. We are exactly like the twins. If we are seated together, we don't pay attention to the teacher, we talk when we are supposed to be listening, and we fight constantly.

Finally, the evening ended. I went up to Miss N and asked how my angels were getting along in school. Were they happy? Was Bethie transitioning nicely? Was Katie making any friends? Are they alright with not being seated together? Miss N said that there have only been 12 days of school and she couldn't tell them apart yet. She has no idea which twin is which. She did say that she appreciated that they always had different head bands on. Sigh. That's all I got from the teacher.

Know what she got from me? The next day, the twins were dressed exactly alike. Even their headbands were identical. This was done on the girls' insistence, but I am sure that Miss N will simply think that I am a jerk. Sigh. I am a perfectly nice and normal person. I am kind and good-natured. I aim to please. However, I happen to live with 4 crazies who are Hell-bent on making me  look difficult. I can't win for trying.

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