Today I missed work in the morning to take care of a few things at home, and to attend the "multicultural potluck" luncheons in the boys' classes today.
I'd warned the boys I might not make it, which I later felt was a mistake -- I should have committed one way or another so their expectations were set. They were both so happy and excited I made it, which told me how disappointed they'd have been if I hadn't.
I almost didn't go today partly because I'm going back to the school tomorrow anyway, for Julian's class birthday party. Tonight we worked on his party favors -- he gift-wrapped 20 books with Katrina. His teacher told me today he likes leading and instructing people, and he'd be a good leader if only he could focus. He's social and scatterbrained and messes around a lot, except when he's reading. Then she has to tap him on the head to get his attention. I could see that commanding instructive side of him tonight when he was showing Katrina how to wrap presents.
I also made banana-blueberry muffins for his party (no "cake" allowed).
We were able to do this tonight because we finished his "Heritage" project yesterday. Incredibly, this project could have been even worse: other first-grade teachers were giving this project to do over the next two weeks. Holiday weeks. Julian's teacher thought having it done before the holidays was better.
The doll came out nice, thanks to my friend Cris. Julian liked this part better than the writing, though, well, you know, I'm repeating myself: I object to the school imposing this sort of work on parents.
The writing work I feel is appropriate, even though it was much harder to get him to do it. (Actually this is still a lot to ask of a 6-year-old, at least, mine.)
I've asked myself if my feelings about what sort of work is right to assign a first-grader are objective, or if those feelings are based in my own skillset. Crafting and writing both require parental supervision and effort after all. But objectively, I still think the writing could be done entirely on their own, depending on their ability, but the crafting can't. It still needs supplies and guidance and planning and watching to make sure they don't make a big glue puddle, even for crafty sorts of kids. And given a choice between one or another, I think the writing really is more important.
I can safely say this has been my worst week yet as a working-school-mom. Friday after school can't come soon enough to try to salvage some holiday spirit.