Friday, August 25, 2006

Parental progress

We made it to school with time to spare this morning, allowing Hayden to complete his before-school tasks. He is required to carry his own backpack into school and to place it on his hook in the classroom. Unknowingly, Jimmy had helped him one morning and Mrs. Constance, shown at left, quickly set Jimmy straight, telling him that Hayden's family already needed some work; that those were Hayden's responsibilities and Dad needed to stand back. Jimmy says he got the first failing grade of the school year. The verbal lashing also rendered Hayden's stunned dad speechless, a highly unusual state for those of you not familiar with the obvious extrovert.

This morning I was cautious, especially after our near-tardiness of yesterday. Hayden carried his backpack, placed it on the hook and then preceded to fret that he needed to get his desk ready before chapel, a necessary task I was unaware of. I instinctively went to help him and then quickly thought better of it, as Mrs. Constance might be lurking about and I didn't want the second failing grade of the school year. I stood close by only to have Hayden proclaim, "Stand back, Mom. This is my besponsibility."


We hesitantly walked into chapel were Mrs. Constance was already lining every child up. Hayden sat down but she wanted him to move further to the left. He moved quickly, without blinking. (If I had asked him to move, he'd still be sitting in the wrong place.) The lady demands an immediate, correct response.

I watched as she also gave Keaton some specific directions without even a hint of a smile. Keaton, too, unwilling to tangle with such a formidable figure, scampered, hoping to promptly remove herself from the center of attention.

Landon and I turned and began to sneak out when I hear, "Excuse me! Excuse me!" My heart skipped a beat as I tried to convince myself that the voice wasn't Mrs. Constance and she wasn't talking to me.

"Excuse me!" the voice seemed closer and more stern.

I turned with a smile, hoping to disarm this teacher-on-a-mission while running through a mental checklist of any possible Mrs. Constance rule infractions.

I think I forgot to breathe as she came up to me in her business as usual demeanor, leaving the whole grade school teacherless. This must be bad.

"Mrs. Jones, I just wanted to tell you...," (I brace myself for the uncertain, definitely unsavory, message to follow), "...what an outstanding job Hayden is doing."

Huh? For real? My Hayden who screams and hollars and refused to learn his Bible memory verse last night, and balked at completing his homework until I bribed him with chocolate chip cookies. (I know, I'm a pathetic excuse for a mother with that move.)

I think I responded to her and thanked her for the unexpected compliment. I'm not sure, though, as I had to wait several minutes for the blood to return to my brain and the strength to return to my knees.

Mrs. Constance was nice to me. I can't wait to tell Jimmy that he still has the only failing grade of the school year.

No comments: