Today was an important step in the history of my daughter’s schooling. It was the day we met with the principal of the private school that I had chosen to send my first born.
As a mother I wanted to make a good impression and show the principal just how lovely my kids were and how we would be a great fit for the school.
What I got however was more like a bad dream.
In my mind’s eye, I saw the perfect interview lined up in front of us… my children who are two and four, dressed sweetly, hair neatly done with smiles on their faces. They smile sweetly when the receptionist introduces herself and while making perfect eye contact, tell her their names. The principle waltzes out of her office and upon locking eyes on my adorable children decides then and there that she couldn’t possibly go past having such lovely children in her school.
During the interview my four year old answers the questions posed to her and writes her name carefully with the poise of a calligrapher. With a highly impressed look on her face the school principal embraces me and tells me how perfect my children are and explains how her school could benefit with such amazing tiny humans…ahhhh I can dream.
Then along comes the reality… (Cue the theme song to Jaws….)
After a short introduction from the receptionist we sit down in the waiting room waiting for our appointment.
I try to look professional and like the perfect mother while my kids fight over which chair they are going to sit on.
A few minutes later we are escorted to the principal’s office by the principal herself, one of the sweetest people you have ever met, with a warm smile and kind eyes. She motions for us to sit down in one of four chairs arranged neatly in a circle. We sit quietly and the principal warmly asks us a bit about ourselves and says hi to Caitlin. She avoids eye contact and looks at me, where I prompt her to say “hi” back. The principal and I begin to chat, getting to know each other a bit while I try to make myself feel a little more relaxed.
My children, instead of sitting nicely in the two armchairs to my left decide that smacking each other in the face was a much better idea.
As the brawl gets worse, I quickly intervene and tell the girls in a stern voice to be nice to each other. Then come the tears. My two year old who doesn’t like being told “no” (regardless of how often she hears it) begins wailing at the top of her lungs. I apologise quickly to the principal and explain that we just arrived back from overseas and that my kids are a bit jetlagged.
As the screaming intensifies regardless of what I say to her, the principal suggests she gets some toys to get them busy. I agree with a simple piece of paper and some crayons. Within moments the kids are quiet (for a blissful minute and a half) while they use the brand new pencils handed to them. As the lovely lady and I chat she asks my daughter to write her name. I smile, knowing how easily she can do this but much to my surprise I am completely flawed when she proceeds to write her name completely backwards, as if in a mirror. I cannot believe my eyes. I ask her to write it again but this time the correct way. This time she writes it the right way but this time adds an extra “t”! What the??! I consider hiding under the desk.
The blissful minute and a half dissolve just as quickly as it started, with my toddler going back to her loud wailing. I have no idea what is wrong with her and cannot believe this is the time for her to try this. Eventually a lady comes in from another office with an iPad and tries to pacify my child’s loud sobs.
With nothing working I hit my last thread and carry my child to the back of the room and put her on the floor.
I tell her sternly that she will stand there on her own until she stops crying, then I walk back to the chair I was sitting in and pretend that things are completely normal…. They could not be less so.
At the end of the interview I pick up my child from the back of the room (who has finally stopped crying) and follow the principal out of the office towards the reception. She suggests another time might be more appropriate for a tour of the school. I nearly start crying myself.
As I get back to my car and carefully buckle the kids in, my two year old asks for a treat. A treat! After that behaviour!
A thought goes through my mind of selling her on eBay but I push it away and take a few deep breaths as I drive out of the parking lot…well they say kids are unpredictable!
Have you ever had a day like this? SHARE with us in the comments below.