Tomorrow morning we’re going to Phaedra’s parent-teacher conference, and I’m so nervous I could barf. On the one hand, I want to go because I’m dying to know what this woman thinks of my brilliant, beautiful, wonderful child. On the other hand, I absolutely don’t want to know what this woman thinks of my brilliant, beautiful, wonderful child.
I’m kind of afraid I’m going to find out that school isn’t as rosy as I think it is. I mean, besides the stories I hear from Phaedra, I don’t really have a clue about what happens at school or how she behaves during the day. She tells me she is good, that her behavior is at “Super Star!” level a few times a week, but what if she’s leaving out all the parts where she’s a total asshole the rest of the time? This is the same kid that once told me with a straight face that her infant sister was probably the one who pulled the curtains down off the window frame.
What if our belief all these years that Phaedra is a crazy-smart kid was just a narcissistic parental self-delusion? What if she’s not really all that smart, but is instead waaaaay behind the other kids? She’s not really into writing and working on her homework pack; she’d rather watch TV or draw pictures of the new Lalaloopsies she makes up in her head.
We’re not exactly pushy with the academics at home. We try to keep good, educational stuff around and available, but they watch their fair share of crap TV. There’s no flashcard time or mandatory writing practice in our house. I’m just going to put it out there: about 50% of the time, I can’t stand reading books to my kids. Phaedra hates doing homework, and detests independent reading time at home. What if the teacher has figured out that we’ve been slacking off on the at-home reading and homework?
It’s like we’re facing our first big exam as parents. We’re getting graded as parents, which is kind of unnerving, since I know exactly what kind of parents we are. It doesn’t help that her teacher seems like a pretty good one, too. This woman is going to take one look at us and say, “What the fuck have you two been doing for the last five years?”
Here’s the thing: I am allowed to admit that my daughter isn’t perfect. However, nobody else on Earth is allowed to believe that she isn’t perfect. Also, to quote nearly every guest who has ever graced the stage of that great modern-day oracle, Maury, “you don’t know me.”