Monday, September 14, 2009

Of Apple Trees and Parent Teacher Conferences

Today I signed up for Avee's little preschool Parent-Teacher conference.
I remembered so vividly longing for one with Bo's preschool. I wanted to hear the words, "Your boy is a genius". I wanted them telling me they'd never seen a child with such brilliance, and that it was obvious he got it from me. I wanted them to tell me he was perfect, and we were doing everything right.

The preschool he went to didn't have their conferences until March or so. There they told me, "He's really quite bright. He can't tie his shoes, he can't hop on one leg 4 times in a row, we love him, he's pretty much like every other kid in our class."

That sort of knocked me back to reality. I forget sometimes that we all think our kids are adorable geniuses with the great potential to be walking advertisements for our parenting prowess.

So, here it is, not quite two years later, and I'm going to a conference for Avee in a week. The funny thing is...

Before I went to Bo's, I could have recited every little thing they would tell me.
He loves letters and numbers. He plays alone a lot. He gets along with everyone, but doesn't single out any one person as a friend. He has a great sense of humor. He cannot keep his hands to himself. He really hates those kids up the road who stole his scooter 6 months ago...

I know that boy. Backward and forward. I know what will delight him. I know what will amuse him. I know what will hurt his feelings. I know what he loves. I know what makes his lower lip tremble. I know he'd choose an American Flag birthday cake over a balloon or rainbow one (although, a rainbow one would be a close second). I know that 90% of his waking thoughts right now are about Harry Potter and Professor Flitwick, and Snape, and Voldermort. The other 10% are "how can I get more junk food" and "How can I annoy Avee the most."

And then there's Avee.

I wonder WHAT in the HECK her teachers are going to tell me. She's sweet? That's generic. She insists that the Y at the end of her name goes in the middle? Hardly a character definition. She wants to be a princess? When it suits her.

I truly pride myself on what I know about that girl. When I find the right angle to get her to eat her food, or wear a more seasonally appropriate outfit, I literally feel like I've won an Olympic gold medal. I've figured her out, if only for a brief moment.

I barely know what makes her tick. I don't know what motivates her impulsive and frequent bear hugs and "I love you so much mom's" through clenched teeth. Clenched with so much love. I don't know why she won't stop crying sometimes when she gets upset. I don't know how she manages to be so forgiving and loving with Danyo. I don't know if she really thinks she is his mom. I don't know if she knows any numbers past 13. I don't know if she really doesn't know the letter "J" exists. I don't know why sometimes she sneaks upstairs and puts on diapers. Or why sleeping in her old toddler bed thrills her. I don't understand her obsession with the word "butt". I don't know a lot about this girl. The truth is, I don't understand her. She is a mystery. Sometimes she seems so easy to understand, predictable even. But whenever I really start thinking I have a handle, I'm almost always mistaken.

As I'm thinking about these things on my ride home, I realize....

I've pretty much summed up J's experience of being married to me. It's all so very clear in my head, but I'm afraid my apple, Avee, hasn't fallen far from this tree.

I'm sorry J. For what you have to work with, you are amazing.

11 comments:

Rebecca said...

no way..

Rebecca said...

I guess its true.. I am first.. that never happens..

Rebecca said...

I think you know your avee.. more than you realize..she just different in her approach to life.. which is what makes her so precious!! The joy of different personalities!!

Yvonne said...

As a mother with a daughter--I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND. Or should I say, AS A WOMAN I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND.

mycurlyhairdays said...

My children ARE all genuises!

Ok, really, it's so fun to see how fun and different my kids each are. Sometimes I get them and most of the time I don't!
Girls RULE!!!
And so does Nobody!

Klin said...

Make sure to tell the teacher that Avee is much smarter than most adults. If she can fumble you imagine what she could do to me?!

You know Avee. Better than anyone else. I think you secretly know how to out smart her, but just can't bear to crush her tenacity.

OH, and I knew my first child lots more than my others. He and I spent a lot of time together. Or maybe it's that the youngest 2 are girls..............

Emily said...

All I have to say is, J is one darn-lucky guy to have landed such a woman! . . . (even if you do sneak upstairs to try on diapers.)

Seriously, though.
I love how well you KNOW your children, even when you don't "get" them. I love how much you love J and how often you acknowledge him. Nicely written, Nobody.

Oh, and I love that Avee.

Sketchy said...

Just think of all the fun years of discovery you have ahead of you. Who needs to know everything?

ucmama said...

Your kids are geniuses. And I can say that, since I'm a genius too.

Tori said...

When I read your posts about Avee it's like I'm reading about Liv. She is the same way. It's crazy. I thought of Avee the other day when I asked Liv what she wanted to be when she grew up. "Um... a princess."

Carrot Jello said...

Please tell me you don't sneak upstairs and put on diapers.
Please.