My elder son has always been keen to perform in shows/plays/musicals, but when it comes down to it he looses confidence when he is put in the spotlight. He did an amazing job in the school play earlier this year as part of the drama club, & has talked about wanting to take his ambitions further. However, although he is a very confident child for his age I’m not sure if in reality performing will suit him. Every other year the school puts on a musical & casts grade 4-12, which he is eligible for this time around. He found out about the auditions while he was away at camp last week & was very keen on putting his name forward. While we were with his teacher my younger son over heard that his big brother wanted to audition & immediately jumped on it asking if he could too. The disappointment on his face when he was told he was too young was so sad. But, it turned out that he could audition & if the drama teacher thought he was up to it, she may allow him to perform.
Over the weekend I asked elder child to sing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ – the song they had been told to sing, but he was unable to do this comfortably in front of me, & couldn’t do it in front of friends. He got better over the weekend but sadly didn’t really show the confidence that he really needed. He has been given a couple more days because he had a soccer tournament today. On the other hand, little brother totally nailed the song & the amusing poem he chose to recite, telling & singing to anyone who would listen, &… totally nailed the audition! Apparently the grade 9 & 10 students stood next to him, also auditioning, couldn’t even remember the words to the song, & , it turns out he is the youngest student EVER to audition. I am so proud of him for just putting himself forward. We’ll just have to wait now to see what happens…
This is my 2nd year as a class parent for my elder son’s year, grade 5. When I began this role I suggested to the other class parents very early on in the school year that we organise a parent social event. As I was the one suggesting, & I also have the right kind of house for that sort of thing, I ended up hosting it of course. It was a small gathering of about 16 parents last year, but was still a great success. This year I was asked by a number of parents if we were going to organize another one, so we did & it was held last night. It was an even bigger success than last year, so much so that I think we might organize another one in late spring before the kids finish early for the summer.
It is funded by the parents themselves. When we asked for their yearly contribution to our gala project & gift fund we requested an extra $10 to cover the cost of the food. We ask everyone to bring a bottle of their favourite go to wine, I bought extra cheese, chips, crackers when I was grocery shopping ing Costco, & we (my fellow class parent & friend) laid out platters of nibbles. We started the evening relatively early at 6.30, expecting it to be over by about 9.30. At 10.30 last night it was still going strong, which suggested people were enjoying themselves enough to not notice the time.
Some of those parents are either good friends, or I see them regularly at school, but there were some parents whom I never see – usually the dad’s. I tried to make a point of talking to those parents I don’t see all the time, otherwise what is the point in arranging a gathering to get know people better if you only hang out with the people you know well? I was complemented on being a great hostess, which is lovely to hear since I just make sure everything is kept well stocked & basically leave people to help themselves. It is meant to be casual & relaxed, which is why it’s works well to be in someone’s home. Everybody mingles freely without the pressure picking up their share of the tab if they want to leave early. I consider myself to be very lucky to have such a beautiful home to entertain in, & although I’m very particular & a typical type A in many ways, I have a very open door – as long as you don’t go anywhere near my craft room unless I am supervising you.
After waking up a bit ropey this morning, I am now finishing off leftover wine before facing another week of crazy life. I’m sure I will see several parents who enjoyed socializing, & what you realize when you get talking to them is that everyone’s left is just as crazy as yours, they just have a different calendar of craziness!
It is only in the last year or so that I am discovering the different types of ‘sports’ parent that are out there. I think the first time I began to observe parent behavior towards their budding young athlete was actually at a Track & Field meet last year. My elder son was in grade 3 at the time & had never done any track & field prior to entering that grade. As you can imagine it was competitive but in a fun way for that age group. In fact, my son came 5th in shot put that year, which was fantastic, & we expressed how proud we were, thinking it were the luck on the day… then he came 2nd at the same meet this year!
So what is my point, & what did I observe? Well…
- The ‘OTT serious I am living my own dreams through my child parent’ – They eat, sleep & breathe their child’s sport. Can irritatingly fuss over their child before they compete. Talks to them as if they are in the Olympics & appears more nervous & uptight than the child themself. Discusses equipment & training with other parents like they are stupid, & ensures the child NEVER misses a training session – even if they on a ventilator in the ICU!
- The ‘Interested, supportive & encouraging parent’ – Allows the child some space & promotes independence. No mollycoddling here, the parent will be there but the child must learn to take charge of their training with the parent watching from a safe distance, & always ready to step in when help or guidance is needed. Usually very friendly, chatty people who will enjoy & make the most of the adult social side to the sport.
- The ‘I like to be seen to be supporting my child’ – Will always be there appearing to supporting their child but really they spend the entire time their phone or tablet, or talking to the supportive chatty parents nearby. They can usually hold a conversation about the sport but are rarely able to be more specific about their child as an individual. They often have trouble identifying which one is theirs.
- The ‘passive’ parent – drops their child off at training or event, leaves, returns when training or event is over.
I would like to think that I am number 2. I have definitely not ever & never will be number 1. I have possibly been guilty of number 3 once, maybe twice, & I hope I am never number 4 (my parents were number 4 so I know how that feels). Tonight at swim club there were 3 number 3’s in front of me on the bleachers. I have them to thank for tonight’s post. At first it was amusing to watch/listen to, but after a while I found it quite sad that they couldn’t identify their children in the water, or, knew that they have 30 minutes of stretching after their swim session. They all appeared to have been on the club scene for a lot longer than me, & that wouldn’t be difficult as this is our first season, so they really had no excuse.
Despite sitting & writing quotes in my little quote book I was glancing up frequently so observe my boys progress & behavior. I knew that younger child had gone to the washroom & not returned for 10 minutes. Slightly worried I almost sent big brother in to see if he was ok, then I saw his head pop around the door when he thought his group was finished. When he realized they had 2 more lengths to do he retreated back into the changing room. The monkey later admitted he didn’t want to did the exercise his group were doing so he hid till it was over – which is what I suspected. This, among other observations I made throughout the session were discussed with both boys on the way home. They now know just how much ‘watching’ mum does even though she appears not to be looking.
Of course I am being very tongue in cheek about all of this, but have a look around, I bet you too find some of these parents at your child’s sporting practices & events.
Late post again.
Another BBQ, with more of our lovely friends. Kids are going to be disgusting tomorrow – & probably the next day, but hey, it’s summer & we all had fun with our friends. Can you you tell I’m in holiday mode already?
That is all…
After the success of hubby’s work event I have been in a persistent lounging state baking in the garden.
10.00 – Dropped hubby of at Canada place for his conference.
10.30 – Java’s house via Whole Foods to buy flowers to say thank you.
11.30 – I finally leave Java’s house because I required a caffeine fix first.
12.00 – Home… lunch… a load of laundry inserted into the washing machine.
12.30 – Lounger
13.00 – Lounger
14.00 – Suddenly remember the laundry. Chopped watermelon.
15.00 – Lounger (ordering school uniforms from Marks & Spencer online).
16.00 – Watch the boys fill the trenches under the swing set with water & dive bomb it with their feet as they sail through at top speed on the swings.
16.30 – Forbid the boys to enter the house in their filthy state & make them strip at the back door, wrapped them in towels & packed them off to the shower (very pleased with themselves at how disgustingly dirty they were).
17.00 – After showering myself I contemplate some sort of dinner concoction from the event leftovers (all cooked by a very good chef so there is no way I’m allowing any of it to be wasted!)
17.30 – Pasta dish concoction in the oven & where the hell is hubby??
17.45 – Younger child is melting down because he went to bed so late at the sleepover & was awake early.
18.00 – Hubby arrives very apologetic, we eat dinner immediately & younger child almost falls asleep in his!
19.30 – Tired boys in bed, time to drink leftover wine!
20.00 – Order new bikinis online because I’m not going to have time to shop before we go away.
21.00 – Pour more wine & wonder how I’m not pickled by now!!
Crazy day getting the house in order for hubby’s work event that we are hosting. The kids & the dog are having a cheeky sleepover at Java’s house. The caterer’s are doing their thing setting up. Hubby is holding board meeting. The sun has decided to show up for the evening, & I’m on the wine before 50 people descend on us!
Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean we can’t have friends over, BBQ, sit outside & drink wine!
I love summer!
You may remember I became the owner of a disabled parking permit a little while ago, something I have been using more than I would have liked due to the ongoing knee saga. The place it is used most is at school. My boys school has no on-site parent parking, only street parking & if you’re feeling cheeky enough, underneath London drugs/IGA is a great spot. Needless to say wherever you park, unless it’s your lucky day for a spot right next to school, you have to walk a couple of blocks.
When I talked to the head of the junior school way back at the end of last year when I had the fixed brace on, about my obvious difficulty in with walking, she arranged for me to use the disabled parking spot in the staff underground parking lot. Now, to give you some idea of what a big deal this is to a random parent at the school, every year they give away one of these spots away in the live auction at the winter gala. The first year we attended the gala that spot – which you can only use for one school year – went for nearly 20 grand! Yes 20 thousands dollars for the privilege of parking your nice shiny Ferrari (because lets face it only someone who could afford fancy wheels would be stupid enough to drop that kind of money on parking it for 10 minutes to pick their kid up!). So as you can imagine when I was given this privilege for free I didn’t advertise the fact.
Now, most mornings I just do drop off outside the front of school, which in itself can be as traumatic as trying to find parking. A local security company controls the ‘flow of traffic’ & takes it a little to literally for my liking because they don’t actually let you stop your vehicle to let your kids get out. They should be thankful I’m not one of those Grade 12 helicopter parents who stop the car right outside the door, physically get out to retrieve their young adult’s’ bag out of the trunk & then watch them go inside! Nope! I’m a terrible mum, I open the automatic door with the flick of a button, bid them a good day, tell them to hurry up, & then quickly move along with the door half open (usually because the security guard is shouting at me for safely allowing my children to leave a STATIONARY vehicle!)
Then there are choir days like today. Younger child & I drop off elder child outside the door at 7.30, but younger child can’t go into his classroom until 8am. So we trundle around to the parking lot & hang out in the car while he does the reading he didn’t have time to do the night before because of field hockey. This is the most interesting time to be in the staff parking lot…
The same people arrive at the same times, park in the same spots, & proceed to follow the same routines. It’s hilarious to watch if someone has taken their spot, which is usually a chain reaction that started with one person parking in a different spot causing everyone else to.
Usually just after we arrive, teacher mum arrives with her 2 kids. Then, one of the kindergarten teachers, who has a great sticker on her rear window ‘Caution! Driver singing!’ She parks up & drops her sun visor down so she can put her face on, she starts with concealer…
Then the office receptionist arrives, she’s the school equivalent of a doctors receptionist but much much nicer & very approachable. She parks, get’s out with 2 bags – her purse & her lunch – then clicks her heels so they echo across the concrete, waves & smiles at us, then disappears up the stairwell. Meanwhile Ms. Kindergarten is applying blusher…
A senior school teacher arrives on his bike & enters the changing room looking like Lance Armstrong & reappears 5 minutes later looking like a Calvin Klein model. Ms. Kindergarten is applying lip gloss…
Various office staff arrive & a grade 5 teacher who also remains in her car enjoys a quiet breakfast while supping a coffee. Then she too applies lip gloss, picks up 3 bags & makes for the stairwell. Ms. Kindergarten has now got out of her car & is changing her comfy Toms for a pair of pumps – todays were sparkly. Then she too picks up 3 bags & heads for the stairwell.
It’s a good job my 7 year old reads very well & is advanced for his age. We have tried to read in the library but he finds it distracting, I actually find it more distracting people watching in the parking lot. I sit there listening to him of course, but I play games with myself, predicting what each person is going to do next – there hours of fun to be had, & it’s important that one finds some entertainment in being at school at 7.30 in the morning!