There are a lot of “firsts” over the course of a child’s lifetime that parents get to enjoy. With my daughter living so far away from me, I missed out on many of those firsts. I’m sure as time goes on, some of these events won’t seem like such a big deal…but for right now, it was pretty special.
Last night I got to attend my first parent-teacher for my son, Ankle Biter. I had spoken with his mom a couple of weeks ago and she seemed surprised that I wanted to go. She had initially thought to schedule a time where I had him for supper so she could go. I expressed my feelings on going, too, and she re-arranged the meeting.
I met up with her and Ankle Biter last night five minutes before our scheduled time with his teacher. Other than the first day, I hadn’t met his teacher before…but she seemed very nice.
She first wanted to let us know that AB’s personality is second-to-none. He’s very independent, without having the need to constantly ask questions or be around an adult in order to feel safe. When it’s recess, he’s not asking when is it time to come back inside. If there are other kids around, he’ll talk to them. If there are adults in the room, he’ll talk to them. He’s not shy (I wonder where he gets THAT from?). In addition, he’s also quite independent…so if he’s working at a table by himself, he’s perfectly fine. The teacher explained that it was a really good blend of personality traits.
When he first was “tested” in the class, he could only recognize one capital letter out of the alphabet. She thought that he knew more, but he only came out and said one letter. Now he’s up to 18 and is retaining new information like a sponge. So she has been really impressed with his progression.
At this point, we explained to her that AB had to get tubes put into his ears a couple of years ago and that he has been in speech therapy for almost three years now. The teacher lit up…her daughter had experienced the same thing and Ankle Biter’s progression and current communication ability made perfect sense to her now. She seemed to immediately see him in a different light and almost appeared to be MORE impressed with how far he has come.
She then explained that with this information, she’ll better know how to interact with Ankle Biter and maybe help him along just that much more. She gave us some websites to visit and said that they’re informational AND fun. Now we can both continue to help in his learning process and be interactive parents, which is something I’ve never done before and am really looking forward to.
The one real concern for the teacher was AB’s inability to hold a pen or pencil correctly…his fingers just had a difficult time grasping objects that small. We were asked to start making sure his markers and crayons at home were the “normal” sized ones and gave us a couple of exercises for him to do that should help eliminate the problem.
Finally, the kid just LOVES his Star Wars…and at this point, I actually became MORE proud of him (lol). In the things he builds with blocks and lego to the pictures he draws of things that he’s thankful for (seriously), he’s all about stormtroopers and good guys vs bad guys. I quickly explained that it was my fault for introducing him to Star Wars at a pretty early age. But then I looked over at Ankle Biter (sitting quietly on a chair waiting for us to finish our meeting) and gave him a thumbs-up and a big smile. He gave the same thing back to me, and that was icing on the cake of a great experience.
Now I just need him to do this for the next 10 years or so until he graduates and it’ll all be good.