Thursday, September 30, 2010

Explain yourself

This might be the greatest thing ever created on the subject. (Thanks Tracy!)

Nipper Knapp and I had our first parent teacher conference last week. I KNOW! He's 3! It was more of a "getting to know you" kind of meeting, not a "Jack is not meeting our academic standards" kind of meeting. His lead teacher is a very sweet woman who has a kid starting junior high this fall, so she's very understanding about kids in transition. But as we told her a little about our family, about our lifestyle, she started to glaze over and say "ohhhhhh", in a very "NOW, I understand everything", kind of way. 

We explained first that we are actors, and don't real have a regular schedule. She nodded. We went on to explain that we're never really rushing out the door to go anywhere, so it's possible that Jack might not really understand about "being late" or moving on to the next task. "uhm-hum" she said. Then we told her about our nanny situation. We told her that Jack was with us full time even going to auditions with us until he was 18 months, and then we have his nanny Brenda, who lives in the neighborhood come over a few hours a day. They go out and go to the park, or to the soda fountain for lunch. Sometimes they ride the train or go to the 99 cent store, where she let's him buy whatever he wants. "I see". We tell her, and as it's coming out of my mouth I see the error in my ways, that we basically have no schedule, Jack calls the shots on what his day is going to look like, we are together all the time, and he has experienced very little loss, estrangement, nor crying, in his little lifetime. "uh-huh, yes, ok, I see".

Then she drops the Socratic BOMB "Does Jack have many friends". "uhhhhhhhhhm". What do I say? "Well, I'm not really into, you know, talking to people", or "All that mommy talk with strange women sort of makes me want to tear my face off", or "I don't even like the people I like"? Or do I just tell her the truth? We are terrible misanthropic, semi busy parents who haven't made socializing with other families a priority. We socialize. It's just with the same three people. Playdates are not our thing. Mommy and me classes always felt like the 7th circle of hell to me. We did them when he was little, but neither of us were very interested in them, and so eventually we stopped going. 

I started nervously looking back and forth between the teacher and Nipper, trying to explain myself, and saying things in a voice that I was hoping was determined and not cowed "We need to have Nate and Bob over more often". It's true. I know it. 

I don't want to raise some freaky deaky Howard Hughes type. I know this is common with first born children. My friend Merideth said that her oldest son was the 1st grandchild on both sides. In other words he was the second coming of the Messiah. She said somedays she had to close the "kid museum" to visitors. She then informed me that her youngest and third son, is just happy to be alive, and showed me a video of him just swinging by himself on the porch, happy as a clam. 

My mom told her friend Carol about some of the problems Jack was having adjusting to preschool. She laughed and said "Oh they had the same problem with Harry and William. The other little princes. Sigh...


  1. Oh my goodness. Poor, poor UBER loved Jack. How do you think he's going to turn out having such loving, artistic, faithful and wonderful parents. I need to flip the rolo to get that Child Services phone number...'s all a big funnel and soon, Jack will tumble down into it with all the other kids....and there they will be, all together, a mix-mosh of snotty noses, sticky fingers, attitudes, playdates, laughs, tears, hugs, pushes, skinned knees, bumped heads, artwork for mom, artwork for dad, wish-lists for Santa, little tic-tac chicklets to put under pillows and through it all, pants will get shorter and shoes outgrown -- so, if you have him at home, enjoy it. If you parade him around to "expose" him to life...have fun with it. For the love of Peter Pan, he's a dynamite kid with dynamic and wonderful parents.

    It's not a Taco unless it's filled with the good stuff and you got yourself quite a little Taco.

  2. Some people will just never understand, my dear.

  3. I love your honesty and I love even more "I don't even like the people I like"! This made me laugh so hard because I completely understand that feeling, but have never been able to articulate it! Not to mention the play date hell I have also been a part of! Your sweet Jack will grow up to be a unique and interesting adult- two characteristics that I think are most important and most lacking in many adults. Keep on being unpredictable- its refreshing!