Your Paw and I attended a Parent/Teacher Conference last week. Surprisingly, it wasn't our first one and you're only two. They gave us a few samples of your artwork and let us know how you're doing in class. Your teacher told us that you love to play with the trucks and Legos, and that your favorite area of the room is the Dramatic Center where you have mastered the art of cooking fake pizza and chicken legs while wearing a funny hat.
She told us that you are "the busiest kid in the class", which just made us look at each other and smile knowingly. You sometimes have trouble settling down for naptime, for fear you might miss something exciting. And you are always there when a job needs doing – cleaning up toys, pushing in chairs, greeting other kids as they arrive in the morning.
Her biggest concern is that you are having trouble listening. Hearing? No problems. But listening, well, we're working on it. Every day your class practices walking on a rope. The goal is to be able to take walks while everyone hangs on to the rope so the whole class stays together. I wish they would record this as all that comes to mind for me is what I assume is the most absolutely appropriate use of the term "herding cats". We get notes a few times a week — "Colt had trouble staying on the rope today. We're working on it."
Buddy, I know plenty of adults who have trouble "staying on the rope". Don't worry about it. You'll get there.
We're so, so proud of you and more in love with your little personality every single day. On the rope or not, you're our boy.
School pictures. Oh wretched torture. You have to dress in semi-uncomfortable clothes and try to keep them semi-clean until your class is scheduled to get in line and march down the hall to the cafeteria/library-turned-studio containing a colorful variety of backdrops and/or props that when combined with the "totally in" haircut you are inevitably sporting will create the masterpiece of dated awkwardness endeared as School Pictures. And it's all yours for somewhere around $65.
When I was a kid, we had a school picture tradition. When the pictures finally came in we would bring our prized envelope home from school and present it to Mom. Let the festivities begin.
Usually starting with Tom, Mom would take our respective frames down from where they hung in a row down the hallway. And we would have a living slideshow. She kept each of our school photos in those frames and each year the newest one went in the front — but all the ghosts of school pictures past were right there, in order, dating back to preschool.
As Mom turned over each picture, we would laugh at bad haircuts and favorite shirts. And make comments about who changed the most this year or that year. But then they'd all get folded back in to the frame, waiting for next year's slideshow.
If you go to my parents' house right now. There they'll be. Lined up in the hallway - Tom, Sarah, Laura, Becky from left to right. I wish I had them scanned so I could share. They're that good.
So I thought I'd start the tradition with Colt. Poor guy isn't even old enough to have a "grade" yet – not even preschool! – but he's already been subject to school pictures TWICE. His school picture slideshow is off to a roaring start.
Dear 16 year old Colt,
Sorry Buddy. But honestly, shouldn't you be used to this by now?