Parent-Teacher Conference (Long—Probably Interesting Only to Me)

On Tuesday, Ian and I went to a parent-teacher conference—the first of many, I’m sure. It sounds like Lucas is doing beautifully in the kindergarten; he’s well-liked by all the children, shows remarkable gusto and stamina for a child his age; and he really has fun there. There have only been a couple of days when he has said that he wants his Mommy, and when that happened, he was quickly consoled by the teachers.

They are impressed with Lucas’s fine-motor skills, as evidenced by his sewing beads onto his Indian crown and his drawings. They showed us a very detailed drawing he made of gnomes working underground. Some of them hold tools like saws and hammers, or maybe pickaxes. Lucas is able to play with both boys and girls, and really enjoys dressing up during free play time.

He is also paying very close attention during story time, the puppet shows, and plays. Each time he is given a role to play, he is happy and really captivated by it. He lives into the experience, they said. I know that he’s recently played the part of a baby bear, an Indian, and a gnome.

During outside playtime, Lucas likes to play in the sandbox—in fact, that was his primary occupation at the start of the year. Now that he’s made more friends, he is joining in with other children to play squirrels or puppies, or whatever.

The teachers are collecting his artwork (the pieces that don’t go into birthday books for children who have birthdays). They’ll give it all to us at the end of the year, I guess. He is painting again this year (at his last preschool, they didn’t paint with watercolors).

So, although we were all a little bit unsure how he would cope with such a big group, being so young, he’s doing great and they are delighted to have him there. I’m feeling so great about our decision to place him in Red Rose. Even though sometimes I freak out about the tuition, I can’t really think of anything else we’d rather spend our money on.

I had to fill out a questionnaire before the conference:

What are your most immediate concerns? Is Lucas thriving in Red Rose? He seems so happy! How do we best integrate a new baby into our family? We’re considering whether to have Lucas share a bedroom with his brother. They’ll be almost five years apart, which might be too big a span to share space…

What changes have you noticed over the past few months in your child’s development, behavior, and rhythms? Lucas has all but given up napping. But, we maintain a rest period every day. He’s very tired by 7 p.m. and he’s in bed most nights by 7:30 p.m. He has been singing more and playing in new ways. We’ve noticed more pretend play, more talk of magic and fairies and gnomes. A little more gun play too. 🙁 Generally, he’s easier now than he was four months ago.

Are there any changes in your home over the past few months, or anticipated, that could create new rhythms or stress for your child? We transitioned from a summertime schedule to a school schedule with a normal amount of bumps, I think. We are expecting a new baby in early February 2007, so we anticipate some rhythm and schedule upsets and some stress because of that. We don’t want Lucas to feel displaced. We’re glad he has school to help keep the rhythm.

What would you like to change? We would like less arguing! Lucas is very opinionated and would like to run the show. We work hard to keep boundaries clear.

What is a favorite focused activity of your child? Playing with trains (though less that he used to), drawing (tons of drawing), writing (he’s practicing his letters on his own), making “play sets” of various toys that come with elaborate scenarios.

What are his favorite foods? Least favorite foods? Does he like to snack? Macaroni and cheese, stir fry, yogurt, salmon, broccoli, pomegranates, soup, cold cereal, tofu, fruit (especially apples). Yes, Lucas likes to snack, but eats with gusto most of the time. He is great at trying new foods, and has a varied diet.

How easy/difficult is it to dress your child adequately for warmth and protection? It’s easy in that he only rarely has an opinion about clothing, so we choose for him. (Sometimes I worry that he’ll get too hot at school and not be able to take off layers by himself to be comfortable.) He’s great about wearing hats! Dressing in the morning can be challenging because he would rather play and doesn’t like to be hurried.

How is your child typically coming home from school? Is there a rhythm after school? The hour and a half after school is flexible. He is often happy to come home and play with his toys. Occasionally, we do errands or go on a walk or visit a park. At 2:00 or 2:30 he goes down for a “nap,” which is really more a rest period in his room. Two days a week, Lucas goes to a day care for aftercare. I’m not exactly sure what the rhythm there is, but I know he has a rest period there too.

How is dinner time (time, everyone there, hungry/picky)? It’s between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. most nights. We all eat together. Lucas is a great eater who tries new foods and eats a balanced meal. He doesn’t refuse foods very often. We say a blessing before dinner. Lucas loves to help cook, so we involve him in food prep whenever possible.

How is the bedtime routine? Is it working for you? What time do you bid goodnight? How does he go to sleep? Is it through the night in his own bed? We’ve had the same routine for years. It goes: bath or shower (his choice), brushing teeth, pajamas, stories with Dad, candle prayer all together, songs and cuddles with Mom. He goes to sleep with me in the room most nights (Usually there is no arguing or stalling. With no nap, by bedtime, he’s really tired.) He sleeps alone in his own bed all night. He often wakes up once, sometimes twice. He comes to our bed early in the morning (6:00 a.m.) for cuddles, or else plays quietly in the living room until we wake up.

How is the morning rhythm? Is the child able to dress himself? Sleepy? Alert? What does your child eat for breakfast? Is he hungry for breakfast? Lucas is almost always up by 6:30 a.m. He’s usually alert and ready to play or is cuddly and lovey. He eats cold cereal or oatmeal and cheesy eggs for breakfast. Sometimes fruit too, but not often. Yes, he’s usually hungry right away. He does not yet dress himself. Sometimes dressing is a bit challenging (see above).

Does the child help regularly around the house? Is this working for you? Not as much as we would like! His chore is to feed the fish. Picking up toys is difficult. Sometimes Lucas mops or dusts. He likes to cook. I liked Mrs. Klocek’s idea of having an after-dinner clean-up time, but we don’t always have enough time. Saturdays we do household tasks together. Anytime Lucas can help his Dad with a project, he is very happy—especially if the project involves tools.

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    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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