Friday, 16 January 2009

That time already...

..Parents evening last night.
Me, Sy and Darling Daughter's Dad trooped off to the school.
(click on 'school' under the label section, and you'll see why this is always such an adventure.)

Five minutes late for the first appointment, and we had 4 teachers to see.
The school is heaving.

We find the English teacher and take stock of the queue of parents waiting to see her.
She is running 15 minutes late.
I turn to the men.
'Let's go and find the R.E teacher. Perhaps we can then come back to Mrs English.'
The two of them look shiftily at each other.
They know this is a bad plan. If we don't get back to Mrs English on time, we will lose our slot.
But they follow me anyway.
Mrs R.E is smashing.
She is ready for the fact there are 3 parents, and has 3 chairs ready.
Massive improvement on last year, and i'm impressed.
We spend 10 miutes with Mrs R.E and speed back to Mrs English.
There is still a huge queue.
I adopt my alpha female pose and ask the parents waiting what time their appointments are.
She is still 15 minutes behind.
'Right- lets go and see Mrs Geography. Come on men, keep up.'
i'm on the way out of the room as i'm saying this.

'Yes Miss' comes this little voice.
I spin round and glare at the men.
'Which one of you said that?'
They both stare at me innocently and as i turn to belt up the staircase, i hear them sniggering behind me.
Feckin schoolkids still, both of them.
'Don't you hate her when she's got her bossy head on?'
'Yeah, some things never change..'

I'm kind of used to this now.
Sy and DDD get on so well, that they will happily trade off stories about me to each other.
But i'm watching them.

We sit to see Mrs Geography and have to wait a few minutes.
While waiting, another dad appears.
Mrs G is now free and i launch myself at her desk, but as i get there, Single Dad is too fast for me.
He slides easily into the chair in front of her and i feel like the loser in a game of Musical Chairs.
But only for a second.
i tap him on the shoulder.
'I'll think you'll find we were before you.'
I'm not sure what actually made him vacate the chair.
Could have been one of four options.

1.The tone of my voice may have been enough to unsettle him, without him actually turning to take a look at me.

2.It might have had something to do with the fact i had ben to a funeral earlier and i was still dressed in head to toe black with my big black (Captain Jack from Doctor Who's) coat billowing around me, and my red hair looking very windswept.
I like to think i had an air of Cathy from 'Wuthering Heights' about me, but to Single Dad, i probably looked like a mad version of somebody from a Dickensian novel.

3. Maybe it was because DDD was stood behind me, and seeing as he's six foot tall, shaved head and has the air of a door supervisor (well, that's what he does do actually.)

4. All of the above.

Anyway- he moved.

We saw Mrs G, all went well, and we scurried back up to Mrs English.
Who was still running late.
'French teacher!' i cry.
We find her room, there are ten sets of parents waiting to see her.
Bugger this.
Darling Daughter had told us that her cookery teacher was most upset that we hadn't wanted to see her.
So, we went and found her instead.
All on her own, in the Library.
Nobody seems to want to see the Cookery teacher.
She was so chuffed to see us, even though we had no appoinment, that she offered to make us a cup of tea.
Poor soul, i think we must have been the only people she had seen all night.
We declined the tea, but had a quick chat about DD's cooking (which is rather brilliant, actually)and made our excuses.
'One more shot at Mrs English?'
The men are looking thoroughtly pissed off by now, and i lose my rag.
'Look you two- this is your daughter's schooling we are here to talk about. It's not about you two. Now grow up and be the dads that you are supposed to be!'
The parents that were privy to this outburst must have gone home and talked to their children about this.

'Have you a girl in your year with a surrogate father? Only we heard.....'

Mrs English still had a queue.

We had been trying to see her for nearly an hour.
'We're pulling out, men..'
I felt like William Wallace. If only my face was blue. Actually, i'm glad i had my coat as it was bloody cold in there. So my face could possibly have had a tinge of the aforesaid colour.

On our return, DD was waiting nevously.
'Everything alright?' she asks while chewing her nails.
'Yep- you're doing ok. Don't worry.'
I went through to the kitchen to put the kettle on.
'One thing though- we didn't get to see a couple of the teachers. Can you get them to call me to talk about your work?

There is no way i'm going through that again.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx


  1. I hate parents evenings! I'm luckier than you though, because, as she is only 9 1/2 I only have one teacher to see!

    It makes life slightly more difficult that it is in French though, so maybe we are quits after all!

  2. I hate parents evenings and it always annoys me when teachers can't keep to time at these evenings - and it is always the same ones. They know they only have 5 minute slots and they can see all the parents waiting - if they need to spend much longer talking to a parent they should make a separate appointment. I usually whizz round like you and dive in early where I can. There are a couple I boycott because I am not prepared to hang around all night waiting ... my eldest sweetly told her history teacher that I didn't want an appointment to see him because I never managed to actually do it!

  3. I remember parents evenings very well, exactly just as you described!! Having 3 children at the same school on one parents evening is truly a NIGHTMARE, I laughed at the bit about musical chairs, sooooo true!

    You have yourself a great weekend whatever you are doing :-)

  4. Hi Kat-
    Ye gads...i think i would rather wait for hours to see a teacher who can speak English, than have an immediate appoinment with a teacher who only spoke French- i would'nt stand a cat in hells chance of knowing what was being said!
    so glad i'm not the only parent that does this.
    3 children?? Don't they split the evening per year for parents evenings up there? That must be sheer hell all on one night...I bet your musical chairs is more exciting than mine!

    SH xxx

  5. SH - you should try our ones. I keep meaning to blog about it but I'm always too traumatised. Appointments? What are they. We just turn up and hope. The usual is 3 teachers in 4 hours and I have to go through it all twice - and in French. I'll trade you any day. VLiF

  6. VLiF- I hope the kids are doing well at school-i guess you have to live with that hope to make it worth hitting the parent's evening battlefield!
    SH xx

  7. SH - the thing is, the cookery classes are actually bloody useful. We cook every sodding day, at least once. Don't you think that people should value the cookery at least as much as the academic subjects? That's what I think anyway! Loved the thing about the black coat too - very Matrix. RR x

  8. Hello Red Rum!
    I agree- cookery is a valuable subject.
    We cook all the time at home from scratch and DD's teacher loves the fact that Sy is vegetarian-she has to take Quorn into any practical that involves meat.
    Most of the kids have never seen Quorn, so she relishes the fact that she can show them something that isn't meat!
    Re my black coat...i'm working on the climbing walls thing.
    SH xx

  9. SH,

    The "Yes Miss" comment was too funny. That comment coupled with your running the guy out of the Geography seat had me picturing you as a Dominatrix-type with 2 dutiful men following you around and others respectfully moving out of your way.:) Female power...gotta love it.:)


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Put some of them together, and leave me a comment...but don't worry if it takes me a few days to get round to reading them- i have nine jobs and a writer who needs me!

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