It’s parent-teacher conference time again. And besides all the wonderful things I heard about my son (she’d like to clone him—our parent-teacher conferences for that kid are really fun), I also learned a crazy thing about myself. Apparently at the beginning of the year when we were checking out John’s classroom and tucking his brand new pencils into his desk—apparently that day I also signed up to bring treats to the Halloween party. I italicize treats because the fact that I signed up for that task is critically absurd.
I look back on that girl—and just shake my head. I know what she was thinking, the silly thing. This is the year I’ll change. I’ll be super involved. I’ll find a way to volunteer at the school despite the fact that I can barely get my work-at-home hours in just taking my kids to and from. I’ll read every paper carefully and never throw away anything important (aside: I cannot find my password to check their grades online), and apparently I’ll learn my way around the kitchen and grow a new personality in which I don’t save crazy tasks like classroom treats until midnight the night before. (Aside again: Cookies for John’s birthday treat? Bedtime. Night before. Pillsbury Ready-to-bake.)
She showed me that reminder somewhere between “I want to clone him” and “Here’s his reading score”. I did keep listening, but I kept one eye strategically scanning that sign-up sheet searching it for my name. Surely she was wrong. I wouldn’t have signed up for treats. I’m the cups and napkins girl. I’m really good at cups and napkins. But there was the proof right in front of me. Maybe I read it wrong or skipped a line or something. But no, I think it was that first idea. I signed up for treats like the person who buys the smaller size and vows to diet their way into it. I think I was telling myself to step it up. So now I’m furious with myself as any normal person will be at their motivator now and then.
It’s not that I never enjoy making special things in the kitchen for my family. It’s just that I know my limitations, and Halloween treats for twenty 8-year-olds is way over my stress threshold. Darn that first-day-of-school feeling! Stick a new box of crayons in my face and suddenly I think I can take on the world. Or, you know, popcorn balls. Is that a Halloween treat? I don’t even know.