Monday, February 10, 2014

Smelling Like A Salad

"Why are you putting makeup on?" Tom asked.

"So I don't scare Natalie's teacher," I answered as I put on some blush. I'm rather pale so without makeup I can resemble Wednesday Addams. I sniffed my pits. "Ew, might need some deoderant too."

We were about ready to leave for Natalie's parent/teacher conference.

"Natalie," I called as I applied some lip gloss. I rubbed my lips together as Natalie appeared in the doorway. "Do you have anything you want to tell me?" If she danced on top of her desk Riverdance style, I wanted to be aware.

"Yes," Natalie said seriously and my heart clenched. Oh no. What was she doing? At home she could be stubborn. And bossy. I pictured Natalie handing a worksheet back to the teacher while saying, "I am not in the mood to practice my spelling words. But thank you."

"I don't like math," Natalie finished.

Oh. Phew. Me either. Math sucks. But I couldn't say this to Natalie.

"Well, just practice and it'll get easier." Lie. Lie, lie, lie. NO matter how much I practiced math, it still wouldn't compute. I remember tossing my math book across the room while shouting, "Find your own damn Y value."

"It's just not fun," Natalie continued with a shrug. She sniffed. "Why do you smell like a salad?"

A salad indeed! I had just spritzed on a fruity scent. Unless she meant a fruit salad.

We went downstairs and as I pulled on my coat I asked Tom if I smelled like a salad.


"Natalie said I smelled like a salad."

Tom sniffed around me. "I don't know. You smell like a girl, I guess."

I suppose that was a good thing?

As we drove to the school Natalie told us about the orange folder she made. "It holds my important papers. I drew you guys and Anna and Elsa, only I didn't know how to spell Elsa because it's a weird name."

We didn't have to wait long. We were called back and the teacher showed us the orange folder.

Inside were Natalie's reading scores. I wrote about how her scores were low at the beginning of the year. She was a late emergent reader. She has moved up and is nearly at grade level. She still gets extra help in reading but her teacher is not as concerned as she was.

"I read to her all the time," I promised. "She sees me reading all the time. I make sure she knows how important reading is."

I felt like the teacher's pet rambling on like that. But, well, I love reading. It pains me that my son doesn't like to read. Natalie HAS to like to read. She just has to. A mini Rory Gilmore, maybe?

Natalie has issues with math, but she understands the basics.

She behaves at school. She doesn't refuse to do her work as I feared.

She is a chatterbox at times.

"Sometimes my friends are talking to me!" Natalie said.

"Tell them you can't talk," I replied.

That's probably tough for Natalie. Especially if someone is talking to her about Frozen. She's not about to say, "Shh, we can't discuss Anna and Elsa right now."

Bottom line? She's doing well. She's getting extra help where she needs it. Her teacher is pleased.



  1. I so related to this. Before every single conference I ask my children if there is anything I should know. It sounds like she is doing great, and her folder is adorable! :)-Ashley

  2. I can't imagine the nervousness that happens before a teacher conference for your own child. I would hate to be lectured. I supposed it would feel like a form of judging depending on how it comes off.

  3. I hated parent teacher conferences. Even when I'd get good news about Son, I'd end up in tears.

    So glad yours went so well!

  4. I always hated those conferences where they make you sit and the little seats! Nice to know the extra work is paying off. But girls are chatty that is normal and the best part of that age! It's the lack of talking and eye rolling that is scary!

  5. I'm attending college to become a teacher! Right now we just finished learning and studying the stages of reading! Don't worry, every kid's timeline is a little different!!

  6. Glad to hear she is doing well (she sounds so adorable!!!) You should be an incredibly proud salad Mom! Haha xo

  7. Glad it was a good conference!!!
    Funny that you smell like a cross between a salad and a girl!!!

  8. Glad it was a good conference!!!
    Funny that you smell like a cross between a salad and a girl!!!

  9. You know hat I live most about your blog? You keep it real. You paint a real picture of your life and your family. You let us see that you're not the cookie cutter family that I feel like a lot of people try and portray through their blogs and social media. I just thought you should know! I love reading it!

  10. I love meeting with the kids' teachers, but it's different for me because they are my stepchildren, and I feel like we miss so much of their daily school lives. Plus the teachers usually have some entertaining stories for us about something the kids did!

  11. I send my husband to these things. It's just too stressful.
    My middle daughter's teacher keeps explaining that we need to stress the concept of Personal Space with her.
    I wanted to give the teacher a hug - you know, shared pain.
    I guess I missed the point.
    I would not end up smelling like a salad. trust.
    salad smell would be better.

    Good for her doing so well though!

  12. Yeah for a good parent teacher conference. Hope you didn't smell like a salad. I can imagine your husband's face though. He's probably smelling for ranch dressing!!

  13. Math EW it never got easier for me HATE IT! I am a teacher, well kind of, I have my degree. I'm still declaring I hate math and I don't have to apply any of that crap other than the basics in my adult life. Yeah you're going to need algebra in your future PSH!!!!!

    Glad your daughter is doing well, and that age is chatty no matter the subject or person lol I swear my child will talk to himself before he sits quietly!!!

  14. That was a good parent-teacher conference. I'm always so nervous before one of these, glad it all went well.

  15. My parent/teacher conferences are always a breeze with my older son. My youngest starts kindergarten in the fall. He'll be the one I ask if there's anything he wants to tell me before I go! Glad to hear Natalie is doing well.

  16. I forgot to mention -- I noticed there is an iTunes Frozen game in the app store. It's called Frozen Free Fall and its' kinda like Bejeweled I guess.
    anyway, it's free so if you have an iphone, ipad or mac - I am sure your daughter would love to play it.

    now, I gotta go wrestle my iphone back from my girls. :)

  17. If I had a kid and they didn't like to read, I'd be flabbergasted since I read all the time, it's so ingrained in me!

    As for your girl, it sounds like she's doing great. And seriously cannot be faulted for math. Because as an almost 37 year old adult woman, I can say math is still the pits!

  18. Natalie is just fine in this world. Especially the colors she used to draw Elsa! And she speaks like a witty 20-year-old.
    And she's gorgeous beyond belief. And loved.
    We had Scarlet's conference last week and I was nervous. Nervous! She's four. But I was.

  19. i would also ask my 5yr old if there was anything i should know before we met with the teachers but K is pretty upfront about her daily goings on at school so for now, there are little surprises. it's good that she's doing well!

    Vodka and Soda

  20. My youngest is a reluctant reader. I seriously hope he learns to love it like I do.

  21. It sounds like she is doing really well. My guy has trouble with chatting with his friends.

  22. I was getting nervous FOR you leading up to the final part of the post. Whew, great news for Natalie! Sounds like she is progressing along wonderfully. I loved math and excelled at. English to me is what Math was for you...except for creative writing which I loved. I laughed out loud at the smells like salad part and then your husband sniffing you. Good post, Amber! :)

  23. I just found your blog today! I love it. I am a mom of two little boys and the writer of a blog called Outmanned. My true love, though, is novel writing. I am on my way now to check out your novel on Amazon. I was a swimmer in high school and college, so I'm sold on the title! I also lived in the UK for 5 years. I'm starting to sound stalker-like, so I'll leave it with "Love your blog!" I'm new to the blogging world so I'm always excited to meet new bloggers especially ones with potentially so much in common. Anyway, I'll be reading from now on :-)

  24. Always great to leave a parent teacher conference with good news. I am with you on the totally pale thing, and I live in SoCal!

  25. Yeah for Natalie! I'm glad to hear she's doing better in reading too!

  26. My middle son gets in trouble in PE. So much so that his teacher asked for my cell phone number so she could call me when he misbehaves. Today she texted me and I started to freak out. But it was two cute pictures if him doing gymnastics. I guess I'm glad I ave her my number!

  27. You referenced Rory Gilmore! I love you!


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