Teacher conferences for Baby and Monkey in the Middle were last week.
I went in pretty confident that I knew what the teachers were going to say.
Both boys are smart, do well, need to slow down, pay more attention to detail and write neater.
Monkey in the Middle (3rd grade) is all about structure and the rules, has a lot of friends and seems happy.
Baby Monkey (1st grade) doesn’t talk much, but enjoys his friends and seems happy.
I was dead on with both conferences.
However, at Baby’s conference, I was thrown a bit of a curve.
Nothing terrible. Nothing of extreme concern.
His teacher mentioned that they have a chart on the board where kids move their name magnets to show who is buying lunch and who brought their own lunch.
When the kids come in, in the morning, the first thing they do is move their magnet to the appropriate lunch space.
Apparently, if Baby Monkey doesn’t get there first, he rearranges the magnets so that his can be on top.
When they read books on the carpet, he makes sure he weasels his way in between everyone so that he can be front and center.
She said, “He never does anything wrong or breaks the rules, but you can tell that it is very, very important to Baby to be first.”
And, while it is age appropriate (what first grader doesn’t want to be first) the fact that he is rearranging magnets to be first and weaseling in-between people got me thinking.
He’s such a laid-back kid.
And he’s kind of had to be.
He has an older brother who has anxiety and requires a lot of our time and attention.
He has a younger brother who is a toddler and requires a lot of our time and attention.
He often gets his needs attended to second.
And he never complains.
It’s outside of his control, and so he goes with the flow and lets it go.
But, at school, by moving those magnets or smushing in-between his friends on the carpet, he can control being first, and so he does.
And as I thought about it on the way home, I started to cry.
This kid is such a good boy, and yes, there are great lessons to be learned in having to wait your turn and be patient and realize that you aren’t the center of the universe, but every now and then, we all deserve to be the center of the universe, and I want to be sure that he knows that he IS the center of our universe.
He’s not alone in the center of our universe, but he is there, and I don’t ever want him to feel like he’s hovering on the outskirts and we’ll get to him when we’re done with everyone else.
So, I gotta do better with my Baby Monkey.
Because he’s awesome.
And just as important as anyone else in this house and I want to be damn sure that he knows that each and every single second of each and every single day of his life.