Thursday, 19 June 2014

'That parent' strikes again...

What better bridge to use?  I hope Sarah's looks exactly like this one.
So today I became 'that parent' again.   The last time I think was just before Issy started school.

'That parent' hides in all of us.  In fact, some people don't even hide theirs, they're out there all the time.

Now I am not pushy.  It usually takes a stick of dynamite to make me face any type of conflict and when I am forced to, I'm in shock for days, even weeks.

In nearly 7 years at the school, I've probably approached a teacher with an urgent problem five times. And that's for all three kids.

I'm not saying the way I operate is good or bad.  It's just how I operate.  And today it happened again.

This morning is our school's yearly Information Morning.  All the prospective parents for next year come and have a little tour of the school, meet some teachers and watch some of the kids do their thing.  It's very lovely and I remember coming when Sarah was 4 and at preschool and being blown away by the stuff the kids could do.

This year the Concert Band and Senior Choir were performing.  Sarah is in both of these.  She is a big participator our Sarah.  Not a trace of the lazy cynic in her.  I can't believe we actually share DNA.  

Sarah also has Science on a Thursday morning. The science teacher has created much excitement by giving the kids a project to build their own bridge out of craft materials.  Sarah was to build hers this morning.  First thing.  While simultaneously playing in the band.  

To add complexity to the situation, where normally I'd force her to rummage through the house for stray bits of potential bridge material, I'd been at Spotlight the weekend before (disco party purchasing).  So she got lucky.  I was able to purchase her entire wish list of required items.

She has a glue gun with spare sticks of glue (oh what fun!), balsa wood, cardboard, pipe cleaners and goodness knows what else, I may have got a bit carried away.

The squeals of excitement when she saw what I had bought made me feel a little better about what I had spent.

(We also now all have our own set of knitting needles and are knitting scarves.  No scarf has yet made it past two lines before needing to be unravelled. Don't you love Spotlight?)

As I write this I'm realising that I was already financially and emotionally invested in this bridge, which may account for my actions this morning.

(Maybe I should have been a psychologist?)

So, the terrible clash of the science project and the compulsory band and choir performances at the information morning was a situation I was blissfully unaware of until this morning when Sarah came downstairs looking very crestfallen.

In her tragic, seldom used (and therefore very effective), nearly crying voice, told me she wouldn't be able to build her bridge because she had to play in the band and sing in the choir at the info morning and now she'd never get to do it and she'd been looking forward to it soooo much.

Then she sat at the kitchen bench and a single tear rolled down her cheek.  Just one.

Well didn't that just break my heart.  Trying so hard to keep it together because she is a big girl, but still utterly devo.

And out came my inner tiger.  She WOULD build her bridge.  Mummy would make sure of it!

Yes I know many of you are wanting to tell me to 'build a bridge...and get over it'.  Someone has already said it to me.  Yes, everyone is a comedian.  I tried to say it to myself too but I wasn't listening.  I had become 'that parent'.

Up to school I marched.  Saxophone in hand because Sarah couldn't carry her bag, bridge materials and a sax.  And because I'm surgically attached to the bloody thing.

Sounds good but very heavy.  Unless compared to a Euphonium or a Tuba.  
I found her teacher.  She was sympathetic.  They had only learned about the band obligation yesterday.  Science had been planned for weeks.  I said I totally understood.  Was there anything that could be done?  There were at least 5 kids in this situation.

She was totally kind and said they could build bridges in her class after morning tea if they so wished.  She suggested I also saw the science teacher.

So off I went to the science teacher.  Who said they could build bridges with her other year 5 class in the afternoon.

Two very feasible solutions. 'That parent' went back into her box (just a shade annoyed at how little she was needed).

I found Sarah peeping out of the after school care/warm up band room.  Told her.  Face lit up.  Brow still slightly furrowed but that's normal.  Sarah is mostly carefree, but always slightly worried (does that even make sense?)

.  People who have known her since she was a baby will know this face.

Job done. I marched out of school.  I have no idea if any other kids were even worried.  I have no idea if Sarah's class teacher and science teacher think I'm an absolute nutter.

She doesn't carry on much, my Sarah.  So when something upsets her I take it seriously.  I know I have to let her sort stuff on her own, and I'm learning to be hands off with reminders for homework and bag packing.

But that tear just smote my heart.   And I became 'that parent'.

She's back in her box now.  Anyone else had 'that parent' come out lately?

Photos courtesy of M-pix, Simon Howden