Parent Teacher Conference – By the Numbers

1236465_612764895442080_848344258_nThe Parent Teacher Conference is one you either look forward to because your seven-year-old little bundle of joy is reading at a college level thus providing you with the opportunity to sit back, sniff an Elmer’s glue stick and bask in the praise being heaped on your budding genius.

For others the conference event ranks right up there with getting your annual pap smear.  As a veteran of many Parent Teacher Conferences I will confess that some years it’s all good and other years, if given the choice, I would pick getting up close and personal with a speculum.  As your kids get older the whole parent teacher conference vibe changes.

No longer do they just have one teacher, they have eight. This leaves parents hanging out in the hallways waiting their turn for the various teacher meet and greets. To make this occasion even better no one closes the damn door when they go in to meet with teacher thus giving people like me (curious and concerned) the chance to share in everyone’s conference experience.

Due to my superior knowledge gathering abilities I’m able to present to you this edition of: Parent Teacher Conference By the Numbers.

11 Moms in yoga pants.  The time has come to “out” the yoga pant. It’s just the 21st century version of the black stirrup pant risen from the fashion ashes of the 1980’s (I’m sure the stirrup pant had to bitch slap the shoulder pad to see who would climb out of the ash heap first) and reborn, stirrup-less and with a trendy, sporty name. Ladies, we all know yoga pants are super comfy, but sometimes you have to peel off the cotton/lycra athletic wear and put on some real clothes. Trust me, if you can insert your legs and then use your super toned arms to yank those yoga pants up and over your firm butts all the way to the land of flat abs then you can do the exact same maneuver to get yourself into jeans, cords or gasp, a pair of dry clean only pants.   It’s exactly the same except you also have to work a zipper and a button.  I know it sounds really hard, but hang tough.  Don’t let a little thing like a zipper and button get you down. I’ve got faith in your fine motor skills and by golly it will give those nifty opposable thumbs a workout too.

For the two yoga pants on the bottom, athletic bra on the top moms that “worked” the conference into their running schedule you get a special shout out.  Please note, I have nothing against marathoners. I applaud their dedication, self-discipline and resting heart rate. It’s that I just don’t care to hear people proselytize about their workouts.  These two chicks over shared, again and again, that they had just “road slammed 13 miles” because they were “training for the New York Marathon in an effort to BQ”.  Which I found out means qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Silly me, I thought they were talking about BBQ.  Imagine my embarrassment when I asked them, “Wow, they have that good of barbecue in New York City?”

The marathon mom with terminal torpedo nipples that looked like they were trying to drill their way out of her jog bra sneered at me with disgust and said, “God, how would I know.  I haven’t had beef since 1992. Besides I said B.Q. not BBQ.”

I said, “Oh sorry” and then asked her if I had any gristle in my teeth. (Seriously, what a witch.)

Those moms needed to run along home, shower and come back. Their beef free sweat stench combined with what I’m pretty sure is urine was making me queasy.  I think one of them may have an incontinence issue that’s been aggravated by pounding the pavement.  May l suggest “Depends for the Girl on the Go” or at the very least a full coverage panty with a deluxe cotton crotch lining instead of the thong peeking out of the back of their yoga pants. With all that running I would think the thong would really irritate your butt crack.  Lord, think of the friction.  I’m surprised it hasn’t worked like a saw and cleaved both women in two or at the very least given them a case of double crack or as it’s referred to in medical terms – a double vertical.  That’s when you have a butt crack that’s twice the normal size.  Just another reason why I don’t run.

Here’s a brain teaser for you – What’s the maximum number of family that can show up for one child’s conference?  According to my data the answer is 8 Family Members.  That’s one mom, one dad, one step-dad, one dad’s girlfriend, two grandmothers, one aunt, one adult step-child.  Yes, indeed it was a blended family festival.  I struck up a conservation with the chatty paternal grandmother and praised her for being so involved in her grandchild’s life.  As predicted that sweet statement got her talking.  She explained that she was here less for the grandchild and more as a support system for her “poor” son who got the “shaft in the divorce.”  As for the adult stepchild and the aunt they were both “certified education professionals.”

According to grandma, “One was a substitute teacher on occasion and the other worked as a day care helper, but they both know a lot about school stuff.”  As for that girlfriend the Dad brought, and couldn’t seem to keep his hands off of, I never talked to her, but I pretty sure she was dragged along for the sole purpose of being a “F You” from the dad to the mom.  I wish you could have seen this crew.  They couldn’t even walk through a door without bickering about who would go in first and where they would sit.   The geometry teacher gently suggested that the biological parents of the student sit in the two chairs provided and the rest stand.  The grandmas didn’t like that one bit. They both got the chairs.

7 Violating the school dress code moms Yes, I know I’ve beaten this horse to death, but, too bad. I’m back on the subject of hot moms. I stopped counting when I easily reached 7 moms who were in violation of the school dress code.  At what age do we get over the fact that we have breasts?  I ask this because it seems that we have a need to bare our middle to lower boob well into middle age.  Do we do this so we don’t forget we have them? Do hoisting our girls up and way out of our tops serve as a fleshy post it note? A “don’t forget these are yours” reminder

I also encountered a new species of hot mom during the Parent Teacher Conference. The Harley Mom. This bad girl was decked out in Harley gear.  Which can best be described as a bedazzled Harley t-shirt and a ridiculous biker hat that has all that skull and crossbones crap all over it. But here’s the thing that propelled this mother to the Hot Mom Hall of Fame – She was in shorts, flip-flops and chaps. Yeah, that’s right, freaking chaps.   (Please note: This is my second chap sighting in less than 3 months. I’m getting alarmed.) Not just any chaps, mind you but black chaps with a hot pink stripe down the side. I was mesmerized and had to strike up a conversation with this Biker Babe.  As an ice breaker I commented that her “hair sure looked good for just getting off a motorcycle.”

She stared at me for a second and said, “I didn’t ride a motorcycle here.  I drove my car.”

Intrigued, I blurted out, “Really, then why the chaps?”

She quickly answered back, “Oh, I’m breaking them in.”

Still curious I go for it with, ”You have to break in chaps?”

“Yes, they’re leather and you need to wear them so they can form to your shape.”

Now, the whole shorts thing makes sense so I ask, “Is that why you’re in shorts so the leather can form to your legs better?”

She gives me a confused look and says, “No, I’m wearing shorts because they match my shirt.”  With that statement the Harley Mom is catapulted to Stupidest Hot Mom status.

6 Really Important Parents  Congratulations you have a very demanding job that requires your constant and steadfast dedication to your phone. I get it, your better than the rest of us moron parents who can actually holster our communication devices for something as mundane as a parent teacher conference.  I saw this repeatedly – parents walking into the classroom for their conference still taking on their phone.  The teacher goes to shake their hand and introduce herself, but the dumb ass parent for some reason, I’m guessing helping land a jetliner that lost all four of its engines or doing brain surgery via their iPhone, won’t hang up.  One parent was even having a conference call with their phone on speaker.  (BTW, your sales numbers in Des Moines sounded awfully low.) She kept on giving the teacher the 1 minute sign with her finger.  I think the teacher was extremely nice not to give that parent the 1 minute sign with her middle finger.  I know I wanted to.

There’s no better time than standing out in a hallway waiting for your turn with the Algebra 2 teacher to strike up a conversation with other mothers you have never seen before.  This all leads to 2 Awkward Confessions.  I found out that one mother’s “dead beat of an alcoholic husband drank away all of their private school money.”  This mom in a Burberry trench coat and handbag was bemoaning to me that her son after “9 years in private school was reduced to a public education and now he’s failing because he’s distracted by the large class size.”

I asked her what grade her son was in and she said he was a freshman.  That lead to my follow-up question which was, “Why is a freshman taking honors Algebra 2?  It’s a sophomore course.”

She explained that because he’s from a “private school background” she felt he would “be at least be 2 years ahead of any public school curriculum.”

Sure, I wanted to strangle her with her $3,000 trench coat, but she wasn’t worth it so instead I said, “Maybe he’s not N.P.S.M.”

“What’s that?” she asked trying to raise her eyebrows without success due to excessive botoxing.

I replied very matter of factly, “It means Not Public School Material.  You know kids who can’t hack it in the real world.  It’s okay, don’t feel bad or anything.  I just hope you’ve got a family business where he can find a job someday.”

Another mom confessed that school is really a “waste of time” because the most important thing a kid needs to learn to succeed is to “not take crap off of anyone.”  I felt I was doing a public service by attempting to disabuse her of the notion.  I gently pointed out that being a successful adult means being able to judge when you should take crap off someone and when you shouldn’t.  On a daily basis any adult will have an occurrence when they’re taking crap. You have to metaphorically weigh that crap and decide “Yeah, I’ll take that” or “That’s a no can do” and begin redistributing said crap.  If you went through life never taking crap you wouldn’t ever get behind the wheel of a car, fly American Airlines, get an education, hold down a job, stay married and most certainly never ever have children. Taking crap is a life skill.   I don’t think I convinced her.  She told me I was “talking crap.”

Beware of 1 Mom Bearing Gifts.  This mom is not just a suck up she’s a show off.  On the first day of school and during Parent Teacher Conference time you can see her up at the school with a red wagon full of treats for the teachers.  In elementary school this is tolerable. When you have middle school and high school aged children and you’re still dragging a Radio Flyer red wagon filled to the brim with your “world famous chocolate chip pumpkin bread” down the hall then you need to roll yourself and that wagon to the closest in-patient mental health facility.

The Wagon Mom is a confused ass pain. Confused because why in the hell would you give high teachers pumpkin bread?  If you really want to suck up try some hard liquor. She’s an ass pain because she parades her Merry Sunshine self up and down the halls stopping every few feet to answer parent’s questions about “What’s in your wagon?”  (I’m I the only one that thinks that sounds dirty?) She’s very eager to answer, in voice that sounds like a Disney Princess after taking too many hits of helium, how she’s got goodie bags for all her kids teachers filed with the “Smith Family Secret Recipe World Famous Pumpkin and Banana Bread.”  Each treat is in a cellophane bag tied with school themed ribbon and pencils that say, “The Smith Family Loves Teachers.” Gag.  One dad at this year’s conference, God bless him, told her,“I can’t believe you still do this.”

She, of course, took it as a compliment and asked the parents standing around “You mean none of you bring treats to the teachers?”

That was my cue to reply, “No, because our kids can stand on their own feet and don’t need pumpkin bread shoes to prop them up.”  Oh my, she took her little red wagon and stomped right down the hall.  Is it wrong to hope she suffers crippling injuries due to a runway red wagon ramming her into oncoming traffic in the near to immediate future?  I sure hope not.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

20 thoughts on “Parent Teacher Conference – By the Numbers

  1. momfog says:

    Oh my. I want you to come to the next PTSO meeting with me. Please?

    N.P.S.M and pumpkin bread shoes! You are my hero.

    BTW, HATE running moms with the sports bra shirts. Seriously, kiss my fat butt (which, I’m sad to say, is currently wearing yoga pants.)

  2. KellyO says:

    Well, I would totally forget I had breasts without the daily squish and lift. Of course there is the possibility I would be reminded by the what-the-hell-is-that-dragging-on-the-floor trip and fall maneuver.

  3. Christen M Campsey says:

    omg! i remember being a student in high school and my friends and i saying this stuff. my mom boycotted pta because of this stuff. you crack me up lady! also i now have a 4 year old who is in pre k. she loves it but the mom’s if u want to call them that are horrible. so i in turn because my mom taught me soo well am boycotting the pta in stead my friends and i sit in the corner and talk crap about the ones we cant stand. i think i should blog about it. lol

  4. Kirsten says:

    I have inside information–teachers never, ever, ever eat those homebaked goodies! They end up in “file 13” at the end of the night.

  5. Jen says:

    I’m looking for an “about me” page or something that says whether you’re a teacher or simply another parent taking the stance of the observer. If you’re a teacher and you don’t know when to use its instead of it’s and you’re saying “off of” instead of “off,” then it seems more continuing ed and less critiquing of the style choices of your students’ moms might be in order. I love your humor, but nothing undecuts a good snark like an error that makes you sound less informed than the person you’re snarking.

    Then again, I knit scarves for my child’s teachers and aides. 😉 Belive it or not, some of us do it out of gratitude and thrift–not to show off. When you have a non verbal, non self-toileting ten year old in special ed with two teachers and six aides, you really must say more than “thank you” at the end of the year, and purchased gifts gets expensive.

    • snarkyinthesuburbs says:

      I’m an idiot who is punctuation and grammar challenged. I obviously don’t proof-read my own work. I write most of it with my thumbs on my phone and then e-mail it to myself. If you ever see anything henious tell me and I’ll fix it. You are a super mom Jen and I’m sending love to you and your son!

    • April says:

      Not trying to be mean, but there is a little bit of irony in pointing out errors in the blog post. Check out your last sentence. lol 😉

    • Donna says:

      Nothing undercuts a good ol’ fashioned grammar critique like misspelling “undercut”. 😉

      Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

  6. normalmom says:

    Jen, totally agree–it is possible to do something super nice for teachers without being a show-off about it. It’s the “look at my awesomeness” brand of parents that are completely annoying.

    I witnessed a parent like that at a tennis tournament recently. AnnoyingMom was a barky cheerleader for her precious snowflake. But more cloyingly, the AnnoyingMom brought homemade apple pie to the tournament director, and proceeded to engage her in a long conversation about her life. During the convo, AnnoyingMom discovered that the director had an injury she was nursing, The next day, AnnoyingMom brought a special lineament for the director, AND VOLUNTEERED TO GO INTO THE RESTROOM AND PUT IT ON HER BODY FOR HER. I had to leave the vicinity for a few minutes in order to compose myself.

  7. Angela says:

    As a teacher, I receive “home baked goodies”, once in awhile. The phrase that chills my bones is “special family recipe”. Usually, that is code for “inedible”. Somebody, at some time in the past, may have been able to make an edible confection from the recipe, but the current practitioner most certainly cannot. Most go straight to the trash.

  8. Tori says:

    Our conferences are even more delightful because they are in the GYM! Imagine having an important discussion (albeit brief) with your child’s teachers with all the other parents standing in line right behind you! Awesome.

    As a side note, I really find it offensive that parents ask “Why are you here?” at a conference just because your student does well! I think at this point in my life I have earned the right to hear some praise for my kid too!!

  9. sherry tucker says:

    I am on my 3rd kid (who will graduate this year–yea!) and I am wondering where the hell were you when I needed you? LOVE LOVE your stuff. & LOVE good public schools.

  10. Jill Co (@Jill_and_Doss) says:

    I must belatedly jump in here. My son had the pleasure of going to several years in Elementary School with Mrs. Snarky’s son. It was a smaller school so it kept the mom’s jumping. On Mrs. Snarky’s behalf, she is a great mom and very involved…in an appropriate manner,…in participating at school events and making sure the teacher feels valued and appreciated. She’s even been known to bail out an unnamed friend I just happen to know, saving the Christmas party that the previously mentioned friend wasn’t able to follow through on her part. No worries, Mrs. Snarky jumped right in, without even having to be asked or needing accolades for doing it….She just did it to make a good party for the kiddos. I think the key is doing what is best for the kids, and appropriate recognition for the teacher. The issue I think s when it becomes about the Mom, and attention for doing x, y, z….lots of pats on the back, instead of the focus being on the kids. Silly, focus on the kids for their classroom activities. Who would do that. 😉 I used to teach Elementary school, Mrs. Sparky was a Journalist, but I’m issuing a disclaimer…this has not been proofread, nor does it necessarily reflect the opinions of Snarky, Inc. )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s