Mother's Work · Motherhood · Parenting · Toddlers

Meet the new student in 205

At the beginning of the school year, it took me a few weeks to realize that I needed to check out the bulletin board outside of our daughter’s classroom and sign up for a bunch of stuff. There’s show-and-share, presentations, fruit & flower days, mystery readers, holiday projects… The kids are asked to give presentations on a variety of topics, mostly holidays and seasons. I signed her up to do a presentation about winter. The day was approaching, so I thought it would be a good idea to check in with the teacher to find out what the presentation should entail. I was totally clueless. I quickly learned that she would not be playing a big role in this presentation – but I sure would! For 20 minutes on a Friday morning I would be the new student in 205, presenting about winter. Our daughter was invited to contribute “in whatever way she could manage.”

Alrighty, winter… A few days before the big day, I started having sporadic conversations with her about what makes winter unique. What are things that we only do in winter? Things we eat only in winter? (“Cookies and cupcakes, Mommy!”) We slowly patched together a presentation that involved sitting on our plastic sleds, wearing silly hats, showing a bunch of other hats, reading Jan Brett’s “The Hat”, passing around a picture of an awesome snowman our former nanny built with our daughter last year, giving the class a box of clementines for their snack time, passing around packets of Swiss Miss Marshmallow Lovers for each kid, and finally reading Jan Brett’s “The Mitten”, as well, per several students’ request. It was awesome! And I was so pleasantly surprised to see how engaged our daughter was in helping out. She was game to sit on a sled and pick a silly hat, and she helped turn the story pages and pass out the hot chocolate packets. So proud! I think we were a hit.

So far I don’t feel the pressure to be a perfect, über-involved mother. I would place myself somewhere in the middle. I volunteer on prospective parent tours and class projects, but I’m not quite ready to be a room parent again (I was one last year), or join the parents association. As our three children grow older and move up in grade, I’ll be curious to see what expectations await me.

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