“She’s a Day Dreamer” By: Stacey Honowitz

     Well, its that time. The parent teacher conference has finally arrived.  I was nervous, anxious, and concerned about what I was going to hear. Prior to having my daughter, the only progress report I had ever received was on my dog Stella. It was from the trainer who informed me that she does not listen, and failed obedience school. That’s what I had to go on at this point. I knew my daughter’s strengths and weaknesses at home, but now I was about to find out what she does when she is away from me, with real discipline staring her in the face.

     I am now fifty, and I can remember nursery school like it was yesterday. I remember the location of the building, who was in my carpool, and even the songs that used to play on the radio (Crystal Blue Persuasion). What I do not recall is if my parents were called in to discuss my progress as a toddler. I went right to the source, my mother. I asked her if she was called to the school formally to discuss my skills. “Are you kidding”? she exclaimed.  The only thing they did was sent home a piece of paper letting me know that you napped beautifully and your coloring skills could get you into the Louvre.

     Now, with all the competition to get your kid into an Ivy League, we are learning early on what they excel at, and on the flip side what they will need a tutor for later on. I was fully prep.ared, or so I thought to hear about a kid who could do no wrong. I was waiting for them to hand me an application for Harvard on the spot and tell me to early enroll her.  Now, you know I  being completely tongue and cheek, but at her age, what could they tell me that I didn’t hear about during the school year?  I had the opportunity the day before the conference to watch my daughter in her “karate” class. They are not teaching her to be a black belt, but they are taught certain moves and they have to line up and pay attention. All I know is that I spent the entire time gritting my teeth and giving her the “get back in that line” look. While all the others were lined up  at attention, my daughter was twirling around holding her skirt up and trying to talk to the teacher via a private conversation. At this point, I am pretty much starting to guess what remarks the teacher will have for me the next day.

     The conference has arrived, and my ex husband and I walk into the class together. (ugh, having to fake like him is a whole other story).   He is over six feet tall so watching him try to fit into that little chair is making my day.  My daughter screams out “my mom and dad are here” and we toss her a wave with a “get back in the circle” nudge. The teacher comes over  and sits down with some papers. She shows us some “testing’ she has done with regard to letters, seasons, and numbers. She proceeds to tell us that our daughter is “excellent”  in those fields. We are told that she knows all the letters, she can explain all the seasons, and when asked to give a word starting with a certain letter, she shouts one out. At this point I am feeling a scholarship coming her way, until I  hear the but…. I look over at my ex and wait. I knew what was coming.  Your daughter is a day dreamer. She engages at first and knows all the answers, but then likes to do her “own thing”.  I asked how often that happens and she said oh, everyday. She is the type of kid that is going to have to be stimulated all the time.  She then  continues, “her penmanship is not good” as it appears that she has a hard time with coordination when she is writing. Now, I know at her age she is not writing a thesis so I chose not to panic at hearing that she has lousy handwriting. She is a lefty like me, and I hate to say it, but it’s not going to improve that much. She also told me that she likes to correct other kids in the class when they are wrong. Again, I am thinking, “is that so wrong?” If she is getting wrong information, and she knows the right answer, I guess I don’t see the problem. A few weeks ago we went to Philadelphia and learned about the Liberty Bell. We studied the facts about it, and she went a little bonkers in talking about the bell. When she went to school the following week, ironically they hung a picture in the auditorium of the Liberty Bell, WITHOUT THE CRACK!! I did not hear the end of it. “Mom, there was no crack, where’s the crack? ” This went on and on. She kept telling the teacher “that’s not right, there is NO CRACK” . The teacher discounted it at first, and then realized that she is observant and she was right. Two days later someone drew a crack on the bell. That’s my kid, and she will correct you if you are not right.

     So here’s the deal. She is smart with bad handwriting. She goes off and day dreams during class. She’s a chip off the old block.  They say like mother, like daughter. My ex  just sat there and nodded. There, for once we were in agreement. He turned to me and said “she’s you”.  I thought to myself “YIPPEE”