Parent/Teacher Conference

This afternoon I will go meet with Katie's wonderful teacher. I am sure she will completely reassure me, and then I won't have these thoughts swilling through my head. Without the swill, there is no blog, so I blog now.

They say parenting is full of tough choices, but that hasn't strictly been true for us. Natural childbirth? No question. Breastfeeding? At all costs. Plastic electronic toys? Not on your nelly. We have comfortably and confidently navigated our way through all sorts of potential parenting dilemmas. The two sticklers have been vaccinations and schooling for completely opposite reasons. With vaccinations we feel there is no right answer, with schooling there is no wrong answer.

Before Katie started school we did a lot of research into homeschooling. A wonderful homeschooling family lives across the street. Their five (!) children are all exemplary models of poise, intelligence, confidence, and familial bonding. Who wouldn't want that? I figured we could homeschool pretty effectively as long as we co-opped with other talented parents to play to our strengths. Andrew could teach kids to build and launch rockets, I could teach them naughty songs in French. By not sending our girls to private school (the only other choice we were considering) we would save enough money to study pyramids *IN* Egypt and hot air balloons back home in Albuquerque (which I still want to do). Ultimately, we decided Katie was, for better or worse, our daughter. Our kids would do better where we ourselves would have excelled. We are bookish, academic people who like raising our hands first with the answer. Private school it is, then. (Confusingly, private school is called "public school" in England. To keep it straight, I just say private school and state school to everyone. That way everyone is a little confused but no one slaps me upside the head for not talking right.)

We had to book Katie's place for September 2005 way back in January. She was still taking long daily naps, but surely the next eight months would take care of that. Well, it didn't. She would still take a nap if she could, and she's exhausted by the time I get her. I feel like I rush her around in the morning, don't see her all day, then try to clean up this crumpled and very grumpy lump of tired girl until she passes out in bed at 7:30. That's not a lot of time with one of the most precious people on the planet. The kicker is if we still lived in the States, we wouldn't have even considered school for her yet.

I'm torn. Maybe I should just pull her out and live out our homeschooling fantasy - must break to stop the baby from eating the trash. Okay, back. I gave her my checkbook to eat instead. - Katie absolutely loves school. The girl who kicked her in the face is no longer in school, and the girl who says she's going to cut the lips off all the pretty girls rather seems to like our Katie. The meeting with Miss Fry tonight is to allay my fears. She'll tell me Katie is popular and bright and I will be a very happy mommy with no more worries and nothing to blog about. I really just want to hear that she's happy and school isn't doing her any real harm. How bad can it be? She reads anything and everything you put in front of her and can eat with a knife and fork. Even better, she says "staihs" and "haih" like a proper little middle class English prep school girl. Money well spent.