Category Archives: People watching

Crazy multi-tasking among mad people!

A day at home doing stuff & catching up with myself now that our renovations are finished & I begin painting – again. This sounds great doesn’t it? Just me, Tessy & the cats on our own schedule, but then…

An email from the distributor about the graduation hoodies we are organizing had the graphics of all the kids signatures so I looked for my elder son’s. It was my other class parent who kindly went into school & organized this part of the process so I hadn’t seen it. I looked over it about 10 times to find his name but I was sure it wasn’t there. I only counted 42 names & there should have been 44. I sent a panic email to my other half so she could check. She found 43 names & was also sure my son’s was missing. So, while I was making dinner in the slow cooker, running up & down to the laundry, folding laundry, wiring that bloody elf on a shelf so he can be bendy when he returns next week, packing up the swimming bags & making smoothies because it’s club night, I must have returned a million emails about these wretched hoodies.

In the end my other class parent half went into school early so she could identify each signature & establish who was missing. In the end my son was there he had just decided to sign his name ‘fancy’ so it looked nothing like his name at all. Why? I have yet to discover, but whatever.

I finally placed the order while at the pool during a bit of drama regarding a mentally ill lady who was causing a bit of bother in the lobby because she thought someone was trying to kill her. The cops arrived & everything but the kids still swam up & down the pool non the wiser, I continued my conversation with the hoody lady on the phone, & the world kept turning…

 

 

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The ‘sporty’ parent…

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.

The parking lot…

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!