What a Hoot

The other night was the first PTA meeting at Hannah’s school.  Seeing as she is in Kindergarten and I will be walking this school’s halls presumably for the next 8 years, I decided it would be a good idea to become involved early.  I looked forward to meeting a few other moms, and learning how the school operates.  I was excited when I walked into the school library and saw Hannah’s teacher standing there.

You see, I had this special relationship with Hannah’s preschool teachers.  She was there since 7 months old and I had no problem laughing with them about the silly and crazy things she did during the day.  I trusted them to tell me if she displayed horrendous behavior.  I was comfortable venting to them about the hard days.  And crying to them when I was in complete despair, unable to cope with the stage she may have been in at that moment.  I saw them Every Day.  I understood how and what she was doing Every Day.

And now, at Kindergarten, there’s none of that.  This was the first chance I was going to have to see how Hannah was doing.  What the teacher’s very first impressions were of my girl.

Honestly, I was terrified.  Was I going to hear she cries every day?  That she visits the nurse each morning for some ailment?  That she bosses other kids around? That she doesn’t say a word all day?  Or worse, would Mrs. G tell me, “Oh, she’s doing Fine.”  (I have this love/hate relationship with the word fine.)

I hesitantly approached the teacher and reintroduced myself to her. “Hi, Mrs. G.” I started, unsure whether I was supposed to address her with the same name Hannah does or call her by her first name.  I decided to err on the side of caution.  Luckily the teacher is close to my mother’s age so calling her Mrs. wasn’t too uncomfortable as it may have been if she was ten years younger than me.

“I’m Hannah’s mom, Becca.” I continued.

“Oh, right, HI!” she responded.  Phew, at least she knew which one Hannah WAS.

“I just wanted to find out how Hannah is doing?  Is she doing ok?”  Usually I would have added something sarcastic here, like, “she hasn’t punched anyone in the face yet, has she?”, but I (surprisingly) was smart and decided to keep it safe (and normal).  I didn’t want to be that “weird mom”.

“Oh yes, she’s doing just fine!” Ugh,  Just Fine.

“She’s a HOOT!” A Hoot?

“She actually correctly informed me today that I was wearing a Cowl Neck shirt.” That’s. My. Girl.

I beamed with pride.  At first.  I mean, really, Mrs G. must now know how BRILLIANT Hannah is for knowing this.  What Kindergartner knows what a Cowl Neck is?  Huh?

But my pride quickly faded as I realized the teacher wasn’t quite beaming along with me.  Because maybe that’s just ODD that a Kindergartner knows what a cowl neck is.  Maybe the teacher was actually Judging me as a mom, thinking that I find it necessary to tell my little girl all of the different types of shirt styles.  Little did she know that Hannah as a matter of face WOULD be able to identify a “halter”, “strapless”, “spaghetti strap”, “3/4 length sleeve”, “mock turtleneck”, “boat neck”, “one shoulder”, “off the shoulder”, and empire waist”. Maybe she was thinking how materialistic that is of me to talk about such drivel in my home.

Or maybe I was overthinking.  (Who me?)

But that’s all I got that night.  That Hannah is doing just fine, is a hoot and is up on the latest fashions.

Did I want to hear that Mrs G was impressed by Hannah’s reading skills, large vocabulary and ability to count by 10’s?  Yes.  Did I hope she’d tell me how sweet Hannah is and that everyone loves her and wants to be her friend?  Of course. Did I dream of her pulling me aside and whispering to me out of earshot of all the other moms, “Hannah is actually my favorite. I’ve never had a student as wonderful as her.”  Um, well, yeah.

But she might not know any of that. Yet.

So for now, I’ll be proud that Hannah HAS made an impression.  Any impression.  Is making her personality known.  Isn’t shy to speak up about what interests her.  And gave the teacher the opportunity to use the word, “Hoot”.

I’m doubting she says that to all the moms.

*You may be wondering why I have Olivia pictured about.  Olivia the Pig marches to the beat of her own drum.  She frustrates her mom and dad to know end, makes up crazy stories and torments her younger siblings.  But she’s HER.  And if she were my little Piggie? I’d be damn proud.
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14 Comments

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14 responses to “What a Hoot

  1. That’s more than I got the other night. My son’s kindergarten teacher said that she wouldn’t talk about how anyone was doing until the conferences.

    I would have been happy with “fine.” 😦

  2. It wasn’t until my girl had a sub one day that I heard that she is wonderful. Which I know, of course. But it’s nice to hear.

    Oh, and my girl is a hoot too. Yeah for being themselves.

  3. I have no doubt Hannah is going to excel where she is, but sometimes I think not every teacher is in tune with the parents to know what to say to give parents the peace of mind they need.

    My girl is only in daycare but it still warms my heart to hear the stories her caregiver has for me. After all, she’s the (lucky) woman who gets to spend all that time with my child, I’m hoping she will notice all the little things that I am missing and let me know just how she’s doing beyond the “she’s just fine”. I can see how you’re irked with a statement like that.

    By the way, good pick with Olivia. My daughter’s favorite blanket now is an Olivia quilt made by a dear friend of mine. I should start reading her the stories…

  4. “Smart” “Well-behaved” and “Polite” are all fine (there’s that word again…), but I think being a hoot is much better. As you said, she’s made an impression and she’s clearly comfortable enough to assert her own knowledge. I’d say she’s off to a great start!

  5. Miss D. reminds me SO much of Olivia. And often when you speak of Hannah, I think they’re kindred spirits. I’ve heard a lot of euphemisms from teacher where Miss D. is concerned: busy, energetic, vivacious, full of personality, unique, spirited…

    Luckily, we moms know that all of those things = awesome.

  6. I agree with what Gale said. Being a hoot is great! Her personality is shining through and I think that’s wonderful.

    And very impressive that Hannah knows what a Cowl Neck is… I don’t even know what it is! Now I have to go Google it! 😉

  7. As a teacher, I think having a hoot in class makes things interesting and fun…Fine is just boring…And for the record, I would have been mighty impressed if any Kindergartener I ever had would have correctly identified what kind of sweater I was wearing. For all you know, you might be raising the next Vera Wang!!!

    I hope she is excited and happy. I always loved teaching Kindergarten because of all the amazing changes they went through by the end of the year…

  8. Kindergarten is such a big step. I remember Javi’s teacher telling me, “We’re getting along just fine” at our first little talk after school started. It was frustrating at the time, but as the year wore on, I realized she never rushed to a judgment or statement. Getting along just fine was the most she could tell me that first time. It turned out to be a great year!

  9. I think that being a “hoot” is an awesome compliment. My little Andrew is a hoot and he sure keeps things lively around here. I love it.

  10. Oh we love Olivia books at our house. And a “hoot”? I’d take that as a huge compliment!

  11. Nicki

    I have to tell you I was ready for a post on PTA. I remember my first meeting which I went to with a friend. I thought the other mothers were cliquey and I was sure I was NOT going back. LOL!

    My daughter – who is in an early kindergarten class right now – sent home notes at the end of the first full week to all the parents. It took some time on her part – and she is only there for the first five weeks of the school year as the regular teacher is coming back from maternity leave then – but she thought it was important to let the parents know.

  12. I remember the feeling I had last year when I walked into Daredevil’s class for the first time and just clicked with his teacher. It was an amazing feeling and, now that he’s 8, a feeling I have come to realize is a rare one.

    Hannah is very lucky to have the right mommy for her. And you’re lucky to have the right little girl for you. 🙂

  13. I love this post because I hate ‘fine’. Fine is not bad. Its just not good. It’s fine. And I’m not just that. And, I’m sure, neither is your daughter.

    This is just a ‘fine’ example of how much meaning our words have. She meant nothing bad by this interaction. But she did not know how much you would hang onto these words.

    She is brilliant. I don’t even know what a cowl neck is.

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