I am thrust a newsletter from the school. Of course I was supposed to respond two days ago and sign an indemnity form. Now Cheri is demanding that I fill it in immediately. I dread these school notices it is as if they have – to the bad mother – written in invisible ink at the top.
The problem you see is that I am not one of those super efficient mothers that thrust all their ambitions onto their offspring. I have no ambitions for my offspring. Well I want them to do well - but am not going to run behind them with a stick.
I often remind them that if they fail they will end up on the street and often give them a lecture on the privileges of a good education.
But I stopped doing homework with them in Grade 2 when the maths became a challenge ... for me!
I have no need to be on the PTA, school committee and prefer to be in the car outside the school reading a book.
I am one of those mothers that stumbled into motherhood unprepared and lost. I am always mildly surprised when my children score well on tests and if they pass – Bravo! I dread these school newsletters as they seem to be proof of my dismal failure as a responsible parent.
Requests for cakes, donations and tuck shop duty are my idea of hell. I would gladly host a water bomb fight or man the pie-in-the face stand than have to stand around the school tuck shop and make small talk with these other mothers that seem to have nailed the super mommy role.
I dread any school meetings with the teachers as it seems to me that everything that is wrong with my child is invariably MY fault. I also get that feeling that the teachers treat me as a “special” case and are quietly sorry for my children.
The offspring of the poor mother who is slightly batty – of the artistic temperament and not quite A grade material. If the kids have two wrong socks – it is my fault for not spotting it before they get to the bus. If my child has peanut butter sarmies invariably the others have chicken mayonnaise – it is my fault – of course.
I suspect my resistance to school may have been induced in me at an early age when I was never one of the star pupils at my school. My own mother was busy always and her mother was a teacher - which instilled in her a hatred of school.
I didn't hate school. It was okay. My survival tactic at school was to fly under the radar and do enough work to pass but not enough to get noticed.
I see one of my children has adopted this strategy. Greg said: “Mom – they want me to be a prefect. That’s so uncool. I don’t want all that responsibility. All my friends will think I am a jerk!”
I hear myself saying : “Oh come on, it will be good for your CV one day.”
He would much rather be captain of the rugby team than a prefect. Priorities ....