Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ostrich Parents

Last night I figured out what kind of parent I am (yes, it's only taken 17.5 years to put my finger on it...)

I know...I know... I said I hate labels. I know... I said I particularly hate parenting labels. And without exception I still stand by my previously professed hatred but the thing is, my label is just too perfect. So, I hereby give myself an exemption from my aforementioned ban on parenting labels. You can do that when you are living in a single-person dictatorship. It's a tricky balance holding all the power and yet being oppressed at the same time. It's a wonder I can sleep at night.

Anyway, last night was Curriculum Night for all three of my kiddos. That, too, was tricky since I am only one person and Superdad was not available to act as my alter ego for the evening. Even a split-personality-single-person-dictator has their limits and time travel is mine.

So, I had to make a choice. What I really wanted to do was to just attend Annie's 2nd grade Curriculum Night. Why? Because her school is two blocks away, and I work as a substitute teacher there so I already know her teacher and the curriculum quite well. In short, easy peasy. Nothing scary, no surprises.

But, for those very same reasons, I knew that where my presence was really required was at the high school both of my sons attend. I'm quickly discovering that Senior year is a never ending string of forms, dates, deadlines, "don't forgets" and late night panic sessions. And while I have done the Freshman year thing before, it's amazing what you forget in three years and Tim has some different classes then Jack had so prudence suggested that I get on board with the 9th grade curriculum as well (you know, that Prudence is always suggesting stuff... no offense, but she can really be an annoying busybody).

So, I got myself into my car and drove the 30 minutes to my boy's high school only to leave two hours later feeling slightly nauseous and missing my pants because they got scared off me during Block 1 of my eldest son's schedule.

In looking at the boy's schedules I had to decide which of their classes I felt were most critical to attend. Because, as I mentioned, I am only one person and have not mastered time travel. The one class of Jack's that I knew for sure I wanted to attend was his cohort class for his Senior Thesis.

Does the word "thesis" not immediately make you get a metallic taste in your mouth? No? You're lucky then because I thought I was on the verge of a stroke as soon as I started reading through the Thesis requirements.

I was so proud of Jack when he told me he wanted to take the Senior Thesis cohort the first quarter of the year so he could "get it over with". This was one of those times when I thought Prudence had interjected her thoughts and we were all the better for it. I'm starting to wonder if Prudence was just looking to set me up for a big fall (I've always suspected Prudence of having passive-agressive tendencies...).

I guess I was under the impression that the Senior Thesis was due at the end of the year and that you could take the cohort class any of the four quarters. I guess, now that I think about it, that doesn't really make sense. As it turns out, your Senior Thesis is due at the end of whichever quarter you've opted to take the cohort class. What does all that mean?


Oh lordy... my mouth tastes like pennies again.

So, after I peeled myself up off the floor in Jack's Block 1 Senior Thesis cohort class the rest of the night kind of went downhill from there.  Not because anything I heard the rest of the evening was anywhere near as terrifying as the Senior Thesis due date but because I felt like it was all a never ending litany of everything that was going to come along in the next nine months to wreak havoc on my otherwise happy, peaceful home. A single-person dictator really doesn't care for feeling out of control, it's in the job description.

And so that's when it came to me. I'm an Ostrich Parent. I want to stick my head in the sand and ask someone to come along and tap me on the rear when the school year is over. Hopefully by that time I will get to re-enter the world only to find out that Jack has graduated, been admitted to college, and has started remembering to wear his retainer on a nightly basis. In addition, I will be delighted to discover that Tim made the high school soccer team, continued his academic excellence, grew three more inches and got his braces off. And Annie... well, now I'm going to miss watching her grow up over the next nine months. But an Ostrich Parent has got to do what she's go to do. Hopefully she won't have grown so much that I won't recognize her and she will still ask me every single day, "Mom, what kind of dog breed do you want to be today?"

Now you know where to find me if you need me. I'm the one with her butt up in the air and her head in the sand. It may not be flattering, but it's way less scary.

1 comment:

  1. "It's a tricky balance holding all the power and yet being oppressed at the same time. It's a wonder I can sleep at night." made me laugh out loud.

    If it were possible to see through sand you would see my head stuck right next to yours! I am ever thankful that Reagan is applying to just the university in our town. First of all, I know I can pay for it. Secondly, it's just one form and one deadline to worry about. Since she's pre-approved for admission I don't even have to sweat that. God bless the girl!