Countdown to Peace and Quiet

by Venomous Kate

We just got back home from meeting my son’s 5th grade teacher. Sheesh, I still can’t type 5th grade without pausing, squinching up my face and thinking “No, that can’t be right. He can’t be that old. I CAN’T BE OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE A FIFTH GRADER!” But the school is convinced otherwise because yes, indeed, his name was on the fifth grade class roster. So now you know why public school kids suck at math: the schools are obviously wrong since I cannot POSSIBLY be old enough to have a fifth grader.


The ‘Meet the Teacher’ day is always a turning point for the Big-Eyed Boy. That’s when he makes up his mind whether the end of summer is a total drag worthy of a major meltdown, or whether he’s actually looking forward to going back to school. The answer always depends on his first impression of his teacher.

If she seems nice and friendly he assumes that means she’ll be an easy teacher and he looks forward to class starting. If she seems aloof and reserved, well, that’s enough to convince him she’s going to make his life a living hell for the next nine months and, naturally, he’ll claims he’s getting “strapped throat” or “typhoonoid” — ailments which, he assures me, will lead to his untimely demise if I actually force him to go back to school this year. Oddly enough, he hasn’t figured out that each and every year his impression of how easy his teacher would be have been 100% wrong.

His no-nonsense 3rd grade teacher? She made the kids popcorn every day in class, turned my book-hating kid into someone who’d at least put up with reading a book once a week, and inspired my kid to increase his math skills by THREE grade levels. By the end of the year, he adored her.

His hip-hugger wearing 4th grade teacher with the multiple earrings and spiky blond highlights? When we visited her class on “Meet the Teacher Day” he didn’t speak a word but blushed furiously the entire time. Afterward, he’d sigh whenever he spoke her name, and it sure seemed like he came up with a lot of reasons to be speaking her name. Then school started and he discovered her fondness for piling on the homework on TOP of a half-hour of assigned reading nightly, even over Christmas and Easter vacations. By the end of the year he’d taken to grumbling whenever her name was spoken.

Today it was a real treat watching him meet his new teacher. See, she’s about my height and about my build. Her hair’s about the same length and color as mine, and we’re maybe 3 years apart in age. So in this year when my son’s hormones are most likely to kick in I can rest easy knowing he’s probably not going to get a distracting crush on his teacher (and if he does I’m afraid I’ll never be able to look him in the eye again). Now, before you go thinking his teacher’s a carbon-copy of me, let me assure you: she seems VERY nice and VERY easy-going. I’m not like that at all.

Halfway to the car my son announced that someone as nice as her couldn’t possibly be a mean teacher, so he’s now looking forward to school. Me? I just chuckled, considering his track-record. Either way that now makes two of us looking forward to the alarm clock going off at 6:30 Wednesday morning.

One Comment to “Countdown to Peace and Quiet”

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