As a long time educator who is closing out his first year as a school principal, I know the trials and tribulations that comes with the end of the school year… with the cumulative activity being the summative report card. The average school year is about 40ish weeks, which is a little over 10 months.
One of the key skills and sometimes the most underestimated abilities of an educator and also as a parent is the ability to self reflect. To be able to look back and identify strengths and weaknesses and areas in need of improvement.
While it seems unfair to grade oneself with so much left to unfold in the school year, I thought it might be interesting to see where I might be graded as a parent.
Usually when doing a self reflection it’s also helpful to gather others feedback as well. This way you can balance what you think of your performance against what others thing of your performance. Take away the very, very top marks and strike the very, very low marks and you usually can get a general idea of where you are performing. Unfortunately at this time Jackson’s penmanship is poor and Oliver’s fine motor skills are extremely limited; therefore, I needed to complete this review completely solo. So, I tried to be as fair as possible.
But I digress…
SUBJECT: HISTORY- GRADE: A-
Without a doubt my strongest subject. And it’s not even close. Think of it this way, I’ve have nearly three years worth of notes to work from. This blog is basically a how to NOT raise a child. All I have to do is cue up the same age range blog entry and I can easily make sure I don’t make the same mistakes twice. And by mistakes I don’t mean anything we did wrong with Jax. I mean things he’s done to us! This time around I haven’t been peed on… and I’ve barely had to change a poopie diaper. I’ve we’ve been really good about getting everything down so that there was documenting Jax’ growth and development which has in turn allowed me to know what to expect with. There is no doubt that I have not made the same mistakes twice. They say history repeats itself from those who don’t learn from their mistakes. And in this case history has proven to be an easy study for me… anyone whose been peed on learns quickly and doesn’t forget to cover that thing up!
SUBJECT: LANGUAGE ARTS - GRADE: D+ (Extra Credit Pending)
While it’s probably not healthy to take either blame or credit for how well or not well your child is doing in a particular area of development, it’s hard not to feel like you should be doing more when you see your child struggling. From the moment we had Jax we made a conscious attempt to limit the baby talk and to communicate in fully-functional sentences. He just is taking a little bit longer to get his point across.
We read multiple books with him every day… we listened to poems and music and sang songs. We used sign language and body language to support communication even though most of the signs were completely made up and not widely considered proper sign language. One could even go so far as saying it wasn’t true sign language st all… but for the most part Jax made up his own language. Yet, he still struggles with his expressive language skills. I feel like I’m close to failing this subject. Luckily an extra credit assignment is still available!!! Don’t fail me Ollie.)
SUBJECT: PHYSICAL EDUCATION- GRADE: B
Jax is ridiculously active. The boy moves at breakneck speed. He wants to shoot hoops (not accurately and he barely listens to the coach, but it is what it is at this point), he likes to kick around the soccer ball and run, run, run… and run some more. I’d say he’s going to an athlete and a damn good one at that. His motor skills were advanced from a young age and I’d have to say that Oliver is going to follow in his foot steps because he has a grip as tight as a vice. He must have some superman brute strength in him. Oliver is kicking and flexing whenever he is awake. He’s going to be on the move before we know it.
SUBJECT: HOME EC - GRADE: C
Jax used to eat anything in front of him. He’d eat veggies, fruits anything. In the beginning, he got 99% of the food in his mouth. Now he barely eats anything. His diet consists of chicken nuggets and pizza… he is getting about 40% of the food into his mouth and the rest goes to the dogs or the floor. The progress is slow-going and the messes are massive, I’m just hoping he varies his food intake as he grows. Oliver will not eat anything that isn’t directly from mom. He won’t take a bottle. He poo-poos it like he’s better than that. Yet somehow this kid is massive. He’s a gigantic meatball!
SUBJECT: STUDY HALL- GRADE: F
I knew that I had to end with the subject that I dread most of all… I wish I could skip this one, or at least take the college INCOMPLETE. But it had to be included since roughly 75% of the posts on this blog are about it. No one in this house is sleeping. Not the dogs, not the fish, not the humans. I’m pretty sure the stuffed animals are insomniacs at this point. I don’t know who screwed this part of the kids up… I’m not sure if it’s us… them… or the universe. But at this point sleeping (or shall I say lack there of) is the bane of my existence.
There you have it, an official Chronicles of a New Dad Parenting Report Card. I just hope I can coast through these few subjects until I got my grove or at least until I can get a tutor… anyone know if Super Nanny is available?