Tuesday, March 29, 2011

At least we're not *total* failures

Today was our first parent-teacher conference for the kids.  I don't know why, but I was terrified.

Not about Josie, who is a total rock star in her class.  She's perfectly behaved, easy going, everybody loves her.

But I was a little worried about Zeke.

Not that I actually think there's anything wrong with Zeke.

He's just so... 3.

And if you've ever spent significant amounts of time around a 3 year old, you know that "annoying," "difficult," "infuriating" and "unpredictable" are words that come to mind when asked to describe them.

So are "adorable," "hilarious," "sweet" and "effervescent."

But quite often, the former qualities overwhelm the latter.

And Zeke is a lot like me -- not a huge joiner, not one to prefer a big noisy crowd when a quiet corner with a book is an option.  Except that I'm old enough to know when I need to suppress my own preferences and do as I'm told, whereas Zeke doesn't really have the maturity to have mastered that particular skill.

So I frequently get reports about how he doesn't always participate in group activities and likes to do his own thing.

Which is fine.  It's not like he gets grades.  And that's not a trait that bothers me.  But that observation is frequently presented to me as a "concern."

And then lately he's totally regressed when it comes to potty-training.  He's gone from having no accidents, like, ever, except when he was in a situation in which he truly couldn't get to the bathroom in time, to having 3 or 4 a day.  Nobody can figure out why.  When I ask him about it, he shrugs his shoulders.  We've had conversations about it, I've scolded him, I've threatened with the return of "baby diapers, because big boys don't poop in their pants."  Nothing works.  So now I'm trying bribery -- I bought a big bag of M&Ms -- every time he uses the potty, he gets one.  I don't know what else to do.

So, the parent-teacher conference.  J and I were nervous that we were going to get reports that our kid is woefully behind and that somehow it was all our fault.

Of course that didn't happen.  The teacher said she is concerned about the potty training thing, but that we'll work on it together, and it will right itself eventually.  Other than that, he's fine.  He's really smart.  He has the emotional maturity of a 3 1/2 year old.  Which he is.  And that's OK. 

We drove away relieved, not just that our kids are doing well, but that we weren't branded as parenting failures.

Until we drove from the preschool straight to McDonald's for dinner. 

Hey, nobody's perfect.


  1. Ha! That last line cracked me up. And potty training -- ah, the mystery of it all. We get the shrug too, and we just have to figure she'll be okay by the time she's in kindergarten. Fingers crossed.

  2. That's what my mom said -- he's not going to be in kindergarten in diapers. So I guess I should stop worrying.

  3. Susan O.11:59 AM

    Zeke sounds like Ryan at that age... wonder where they get their stubborness from??? :)

  4. It's a mystery. ;)