Friday, November 12, 2010

Your Teachers Are Coming!

I vacuumed.

I swept.

I mopped.

I vacuumed.

I swept.

I mopped.

“Does the house look okay?” I asked Tommy.

He didn’t bother to look up from his Nintendo DS. “I guess so.”

Ugh. That wasn’t a good response. I surveyed the room and sighed. Everything looked clean enough. It’s just, it had to be perfect. Or close to it.


Because Natalie’s teachers were stopping by for a home visit. Natalie got a grant that allowed her to go to preschool for free and one of the stipulations was that parent/teacher conferences had to be held at my house.

I know. I was baffled too when the teacher called and told me.

And it was on the tip of my tongue to ask, “Do you go room to room and make notes? Because I admit it now, I’m a pack rat and if I open my closet, things will fall out and attack us.”

I swallowed that back though. Instead I agreed to a visit and then cleaned like mad.

I even got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor. Natalie took this as an opportunity to jump on my back.

“Horsey!” she bellowed. “Horsey!”

“Natalie, no horsey right now. I’m trying to clean. For your teachers!” I thought she’d be moved by this but she wasn’t. She just rubbed my head and went, “Go horsey!”

I was nervous. On the day they were due to arrive, I kept cleaning. This is not easy when you have a three-year-old who feels that everything belongs in the living room.

“My Dora wants to be in here,” Natalie said, dragging her doll from her room.

“Fine. But no more toys. I need to keep this area clean. Your teachers are coming!” I must’ve said that sentence over 50 times. But it just didn’t seem to compute with Natalie, who wanted to continue bringing her toys down.

“Brobee needs to come,” Natalie said, racing up the stairs.

“No more toys! Your teachers are coming!” I sounded like Paul Revere. Only instead of shouting that the British were coming, it was teachers.

I knew I had an unrealistic expectation in my head on how the visit would go. In my mind, Natalie would be standing solemnly in the room, dressed in an adorable pinafore and she’d say, “Good day, *insert her teacher’s names here*” and then turn and walk silently to her room because she’d understand that we needed to talk without a child screaming in the background.

But that would never happen. For one, Natalie doesn’t have a pinafore. Two, she’s never been quiet for more than 5 minutes. Unless she’s sleeping. But even then, I find she makes noises in her sleep.

“Brobee NEEDS TO COME!” Natalie screeched at me from the top of the stairs. She even stomped her food. “BROBEE NEEDS TO COME!!”

She looked frightening. I had put her hair in pigtails but one was ripped out. And she had a smudge on her face that she refused to let me wipe off. The second I came at her with a washcloth, she had freaked out and told me NOT TO TOUCH HER!

Ugh. I didn’t remember Tommy being like this. Granted, when he was three he barely said a word and I remember wishing that he’d talk to me. I’d look into his blue eyes and go, “Please talk to Momma. I just want to talk to my boy.”

And then came Natalie, who started speaking early, telling me quite frankly that she was mad at the age of one.

“Natalie, fine, bring Brobee but no more!” I peeked out the window. The teachers would arrive any second.

A few minutes later Natalie returned with the entire Yo Gabba Gabba gang in her hands. I could barely see her face over the creepy characters that she held.

“Natalie,” I groaned. “I said just Brobee.”

“No! Everyone!” Natalie set them down. “I need my books.” She started to head for the stairs again but I grabbed her.

“No more toys. There is enough,” I said firmly.

She scowled and writhed in my arms. “I NEED MY BOOKS!”

My ears immediately started to ring. She’s been making my ears ring since the second she came out of me. Soon I’m going to be permanently deaf.

“Natalie, no more, okay? Your teachers are COMING!”

“I NEEEEEEDDDD MY BOOKKKKKKKKS!” Natalie’s lip began to quiver. Shit. This meant she was about to have a meltdown. T-minus 10 seconds. And…oh no, oh no, her teachers had just pulled up.

“Natalie,” I said frantically. “You can’t cry now. Your teachers are HERE. Let’s go say hello!” I steered her towards the door.

“NOOOOO!” Natalie shrieked. “I DON’T WANT TO SAY HELLO!”

Oh man. It’s times like those when I wished I could afford a nanny. Then I could have asked the nanny to take Natalie into another room. Kelsey Grammer’s ex-wife admits to having four nannies. And she only has two kids. Surely she could spare one?

I held the door open for her teachers and pretended everything was peachy even though Natalie was wailing in the background.

“Good morning,” I said cheerfully. “How are you?” I scooped Natalie up and she sobbed into my shoulder.

“Hi,” one of Natalie’s teachers said. “Aww, what’s wrong Natalie? I’ve never seen her upset before.”

This is because she tricks them at school, behaves like an angel, and the second I pick her up she starts in with the whining.

“She’s had a rough morning,” I explained.

Natalie sniffled.

We all settled down on the couch. Natalie broke free of my arms and ran into the dining room. Oh well. At least it would be quiet.

It turns out Natalie is doing well at school. She’s eager to try everything and is even speaking up more. Before she would barely speak, which is amusing to me, considering that she likes to make my ears ring. The teachers also mentioned that she’s one of the most popular girls in school. Everyone wants to be around her. I sort of hope this doesn’t carry through till high school. I’d get annoyed if teens were all over our house, messing with our food, calling and texting all the time...

So bottom line is, Natalie rocks at preschool.


And she eventually even came back into the living room and said hello to her teachers.

Before they left, they gave me this report on Natalie:

I’m still laughing over the fact that she has to be reminded to speak up in class.

She definitely does not need any reminders at home.

My ringing ears can attest to that.


  1. Yes! What is up with that? I had the same problem with Colin. He talks my friggin' EAR off at home, but his music, art, and P.E. teachers all told me they'd hardly heard him speak. WTF?

  2. Well done Natalie.. funny how they behave differently at school and at home.

  3. Why can't my students be quiet at school? They come to class and screech the place down. They're probably quiet at home...

  4. just will get even better when the teen years hit :O)

  5. You're her mom, so she knows how to work you.

    Same thing happens at my house.

  6. I worked as a pre-k teacher in FL! I'll tell you that its totally normal for them to act different in school!

    I had one parent who threatened her daughters to go to bed, clean their rooms, or just plain listen with "I'll tell Miss Britt tomorrow if you dont....." lmao! :) Apparently it worked EVERY time :)


  7. What a great report! Way to go Natalie!

  8. Pinafore! You crack me up! This was hilarious!

  9. Excellent report, Natalie. You deserve a reward. I'm thinking a pinafore. =P

  10. Congrats Nat! It's so funny how some kids act completely different at home and at school. My kiddies are all quiet at school. At home, I sometimes feel like i'm in a battlefield, bombs, warcries, and all...

  11. Yay for doing well! My boys are the same way. They make my ears ring at home but are quite little "angels" around others.

  12. That's great that Natalie is doing so well in school! Congrats!

  13. I hate it when people come over to my house. That means not only do the kids have to be but I do too.

  14. At least she didn't hit them. My preacher came to the house once when my youngest was a toddler and walks up and and hits him! He was so used to playing like that with his older brother that he thought it was okay. I.was.mortified!

  15. I hope she gets into "free-school"! When will you know?

  16. I wish my kids' teachers would come over. It would probably explain a lot to them about my kids.

    I am glad she is doing well.

  17. They are always completely different kids for other people. We are the ones that get the possessed demons. I have seriously had to repeatedly question whether my sister was talking about the same kids when she would watch my stepson and my husbands nephew for us because they weren't anything like the kids I had at my house!

    PS - Where would you find a pinafore nowadays anyway?

  18. Did you ask why the conferences had to be at home, just because you had a grant?

  19. That's interesting. I'm glad I didn't have to do home visits when I taught, but I imagine they got a good idea of her behavior outside of the classroom.

  20. So that thing about kids acting better for other people than their parents is true, huh? ;)

    Yea for Natalie (and mom)!

  21. 1) I thought it was hilarious when you said she "stomped her food", because I'm 96% sure you meant "foot" but that version was funnier.

    2) How come none of the other comments pointed this out? I'm the only reader that cares about your funny mistakes. D:

  22. My theory is that its a conspiracy! Kids know exactly how to act when their moms aren't around. You should be proud of her report and "coolness"!

  23. This alternate reality business is why I think we should just rotate our kids around. Then we'd always have one on good behavior, and we'd trade them off before they could learn how to push our buttons. (Not that anyone cares, but I hate that expression. Makes me feel like an elevator.)

  24. Great report! Good thing a teacher didn't drop anything on the floor and have to bend over to pick it up - it's possible Natalie would have jumped on her back and yell "Horsey!"

  25. It's funny how kids can show a different side of their personalities at school. Sounds like she's doing great.

  26. What a great job she is doing!

    My kids are the same way with being quiet out of the house...never that way at home

  27. Good job, Natalie! My kids are always better at school than at home - thank goodness!

  28. Isnt it funny how they have a completely different personality at school?

  29. Teachers coming to your house? That is frightening. I AM a teacher, and I find living in my house WITH myself frightening.

  30. Apparently my kid is a queen bee at school too. All the kids flock to her.

    However, at school she is a model child. Listens, uses her hand, puts things home, not so much.

  31. Are you SURE you ddin't have my Maggie at your house instead? 'Cause I'm pretty darn positive that you did. WOW! I could have written that story word for word...well except for the whole parent teacher conference with preschool part. But, her preschool teacher has said she's SUCH a perfec angel at school and so quiet. WHAAAAATTTT? Who is this Maggie of whom she speaks?

    Anyway, great story. Glad natalie is doing well, and totally popular!

  32. So true about kids behaving better for other people. And yes, the meltdowns do always seems to happen at the exact moment you don't want them to.

  33. Home visits are the best! My good friends are preschool teachers, and they come back with the best home visit stories. Don't worry, from the ones I've heard? YOu passed with flying colors. They have one where they have to change clothes after they go, you know, because they come back with BROWN stuff or worse on them.

  34. Oh if I ever had a home visit I would be scrubbing every inch of my house! Maybe my little man needs to grow up real quick for a second, then the house would at least be clean!! Haha. Glad she is doing so well in preschool!

  35. Home visit ... nerve wrecking!

    At least she is an angel at school. When you save her progress report, write her a progress report at home, so she knows she was only half angel when she grows up.

  36. Gotta love those preschool parent/teacher conference. We just had our first one recently. I was so nervous that I made my husband take me to a bar to have a drink before we went!!
    I cannot even imagine the heart attack I would have been having if the teachers were coming to our house!!

  37. Yeah what's up with our kids being completely different at school than they are at home?!

    When I had a conference with Cole's teacher she said, "Oh, he never whines in class. In fact, he's very respectful and so polite." WTF? Is this the same child who constantly whines at me, "I want juice NOW!"

    When I heard Camille Grammar say she has 4 nannies, I almost puked in my mouth. Oh and then did you see she took the kids on vacation to Hawaii, yet they never once showed her with the kids??? I love to hate her.

  38. Well done, Natalie! I find that children act up more at home than they do at school. I help out at my son's school every week and I marvel at how, between 2 teachers (plus 3 educational assistants), they are able to keep 60 students in line and behaving rather well, when I could barely manage with only 2 at home! :)

  39. At home visit? I wonder if I could get my house clean enough...though, if I didn't have to pay for preschool, I could afford a housekeeper! Hmmmm...

  40. I think that's awesome. I wish all teachers would take the time for a home visit. Hell, even a home call. I'd be THRILLED if my kids' teachers called or sent notes home for something other than misbehavior. WOuld it be so hard to hear or read, "Your son aced his multiplication tables today!" or "Your daughter played with a lonely girl on the playground today."

    hmph. Sorry, can you tell I"m displeased with my kids' school? GRR.

    Stopping by from SITS. I bet you wish I hadn't! LOL

  41. It is funny how kids are different at home than they are at school. I hope Natalie continues to rock at school.

  42. 1. it is amazing that your preschool teachers come to your house.

    2. my son's teachers always say the same thing about him. he is quiet in class. we need to bring him out of his shell. seriously? WTF?? his shell? what shell? he must completely shed his shell and hide it in his backpack when he is home.


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