This afternoon I went to pick up my 6yo son from school. As the children flowed out of the classroom I waited with anticipation to see his big wide smile that lights up his face each time he sees me pick him up from school. Today he was the last to walk out of the classroom and was followed closely by his teacher. I walked over the the classroom door to meet up with him when the teacher cut off my path, looked at me and asked if she could speak to me.
I have to say that my heart skipped a beat. I was a little worried. What could she be wanted to speak to me about?
Our first born son is in his second year of school which is known as the first grade in our region of the world. This year he kept the same teacher that he had last year in kindergarten and both my wife and I were pleased with that because he really likes this teacher. But this came with a catch. Because she is involved with some extracurricular activities such as organising the regional sport activities and some other administrative duties, she is the teacher of his class on Wednesday through to Friday with another teacher who is doing job-share being his regular Monday and Tuesday teacher. This was the teacher who asked to see me today.
The other teacher, his one from last year had set up a meeting with my wife last Friday morning before school but seeing that she now works on Fridays I was the one to attend this meeting. This was a little discussion to talk about how our son had “an accident” because sometimes he still gets a little nervous when things are a little different. Two weeks ago his class had a substitute teacher who didn’t know that our son has an agreement with his regular teachers. Should he need a bathroom break, he has permission to interrupt the teacher or simply run out of the classroom straight to the toilet which is in view of this classroom. We think we’ve found a solution to this, but we’ve packed a change of shorts and underwear still, just in case.
I have to admit that I thought it was going to be this topic that she was going to discuss with me. I was fairly certain that although this is one of the teachers that is in the know about the agreement, he may have had another accident today and had to change into his spare shorts and undies. As we entered the classroom she looked at me and said;
“I just wanted to talk about his homework sheet from last week that was handed back today.”
Hmmmm. I sat with him for at least a third of it and it was the last third that he completed with me so I know it wasn’t about him not completing it. She went on;
“At the top of the homework sheet on the front it says ‘teach Cadel to tie his shoelaces’ and I thought I would ask you about that…”
I laughed. Not out loud. Well, out loud, but not in an “lol” type manner, but the sort of laugh you do when you find something funny but not hilarious. Maybe a chuckle. Or a chortle?
My wife is notorious for writing herself little notes, but more often that not on the most random of places. She’ll write a shopping list on the back on an envelope that we haven’t opened from a charity or sweepstake. She’ll write a to-do list on the bottom of an email that I printed out that is sitting on my desk either finished and waiting to be filed, or that I need to work on the next day. As I work from home she has access to my work space which we often share. And she’ll write herself a reminder on some random piece of paper sitting on our dining table. In this case, our son’s homework.
Thursdays are sports days. Every other day our son wears his black shoes with Velcro tabs. It’s easy for him to put these on by himself and adjust the tabs so that his shoes are comfortable and they won’t fall off. But on sports day he wears his running shoes. Joggers if you will.
These shoes are
a bitch to get on, a p rick to get on really difficult to get on. Even once we’ve undone the laces and opened the hole where the foot slides as wide as possible, getting his foot in is a battle. And then once his feet are in and the laces are pulled tight, doing the shoes up is easy. Well, that is, for either me or my wife. But not for him. Last Thursday morning my wife sat with him at the dining table and encouraged him to do another lot of his spelling words while he was finishing off his breakfast, and while she was having hers. As it is many mornings, it was a madhouse so I was rushing to get the little one ready for preschool while finding the older one’s joggers.
As soon as I got his feet in the running shoes, I remember saying to my wife – or was it her that said this to me?
“We really need to teach him how to tie his shoelaces now.”
I am sure it was at that point that, seeing the closest bit of paper – that being his homework sheet – my wife grabbed a pen or pencil and wrote herself that reminder. On a random piece of paper. That being one that we handed in for marking the next day.
Of course, the teacher didn’t know the back story. She didn’t know about this
obsession infliction my wife has with writing random notes on random pieces of paper. And how did she interpret this reminder? You might have already guessed. She thought that we were asking the teachers to teach him this. Which we weren’t…
But why the hell not? I mean, what are we paying our school fees for? Of course, I’m joking there. But you know what? I won’t be forgetting to teach him to tie his shoes this Thursday…