I Cried In a Preschool Teacher's Arms Today

Today at noon I am standing in my daughter's classroom crying while her teacher holds me.

Let's work backwards.

The taxes really aren't that big of a deal. I've been doing them for years. It's just that we normally get a nice big refund, so I perform my tax duties with a jaunty spirit. But, as you know, this year Uncle Sam is going to drive a fork through my hand instead, so I have understandably been putting this whole thing off. Not to mention, Chris and I are pretty fancy with multiple deductions and employment statuses between us.

Anyhoo, this morning I attempt to retrieve last year's taxes from the computer to get the bajillion categories we use every year so I can finish this mess off. But, wait! Chris got a new computer because the old one crashed three months ago! Watch me fling myself around the office wailing.

So, Chris, in his neverending effort to assuage me, races down to the garage to dig up all the old documentation, hoping it will help. Even though this does aid me slightly in this godforsaken project, I begin to rant about us not "being on the same page" financially and him not "holding up his end of the bargain" by helping me with tax time.

After poking Chris with a stick for a half hour, he finally snaps back. Whiiiich in turn makes me start to cry.

As you are so unfortunately aware, I've been feeling guilty lately about not working towards my goals and slacking on my responsibilities. So, now to lash out at Chris because of the stress of this tax crap just made me feel like I was really failing on all fronts.

So, imagine my delight when a half hour later S's teacher is telling me that she is "very concerned about S's homework" or lack thereof. She points me to a chart with every child's name on it. Every single name has about 10 gold stars next to it, indicating completed homework. My daughter's name has nothing next to it. Nada.


As I mumble an excuse about losing those little 2x2 scraps of paper called "homework" she begins to explain why it is so important that S. begin doing homework in a timely manner. You know, to make her more successful in life. And a better person.

Uh-huh. Uh-huh. I listen and nod. The recent tears are back with a vengeance. I try to look down at S. and help her with her coat, but it quickly becomes obvious to Mrs. Teacher that I am actually crying over this.

Then she does the worst thing possible. She starts to speak soothingly and hugs me. Which of course makes me stiffen like a cadaver.

Horribly. Awkward. Moment. Of. The. Year.

I swear I am not normally this emotional.

I'm actually much worse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Awwww! Big UN-awkward (what an awkward word) hug from me! I can totally empathize with you, having quit my job, reducing our income by a third, then not commiting myself to my new so-called career 100%. Or even 10%. Warm waves of unconditional support comin' atcha over the internet! ;-)

Posted by: Teri M. | 03/10/2006 at 12:10 PM

sorry you're having another crap day. the emotionality bites. i. hate. crying. and i've done it 20 times in the last 6 days. she IS as pretty as she looks and more. waaaaay awesome is that girl, and how jealous am i?!?!?!?!

Posted by: Chatty Kathy | 03/10/2006 at 12:37 PM

I can't believe they are now making kids do homework in preschool! Don't these teachers no that they will be doing this homework crap for the next 12 years for two hours a day!Why begin the torture so soon?!Anyways, I'm sorry you had a bad day! You must snap out of it! Now! When your depressed it makes us all depressed! Was the teacher at least hot?The cure for this is shoes! You must go buy a really cool(expensive) pair of shoes! Followed by a bag of chips! You'll feel better by morning!!! Have fun on your lunch date!

Posted by: hook | 03/10/2006 at 12:46 PM

Ugh I can relate I had a meltdown after dropping my daughter at preschool her FIRST week over my teenage son and all the crap he was putting us through. I felt like such a dick and all the 3 and 4 year olds staring at me didn't help!I hope you have a great time with the Nello !

Posted by: WendyWings | 03/10/2006 at 01:00 PM

This is PRESCHOOL. F'ing PRESCHOOL. Kids in pre-school don't need to do homework. Do you know what kids in preschool need to be doing? Playing outside, drawing pretty pictures, learning the letters of the alphabet, counting to ten, and enjoying games that they made up in their own imagination.DO NOT LET SOME UBER-PARENT PRESCHOOL NAZI PERSON SCARE YOU, Lena. If your kid can say her ABC's and count to 10 before she goes to school, she's FINE.I'm saying this as the parent of two gifted kids who both read well above grade level. My son could BARELY do the things I've named when he started kindergarten. You know what his teacher told me? She worries about the kids who are already ahead of the game in kindergarten because they often wind up getting bored in school and don't do well.Don't wig. you're a great mom. You're bright, funny, articulate, and gorgeous. I'm sure your daughter is the same.She'll be fine, and so will you.

Posted by: Trouble in Shangri La | 03/10/2006 at 01:06 PM

Um yeah, I'm with the above poster. It's preschool, not grad school. Have a FAB weekend; you deserve it.

Posted by: mama_tulip | 03/10/2006 at 01:29 PM

I'm so sorry - I wish I could help you in some way. Or make it all go away!

Posted by: Lisa | 03/10/2006 at 02:30 PM

Lena, Lena, NO need to get so upset. As everyone has pointed out, it's ONLY preschool and while I know exactly how you feel and I'm sure nothing I will say will change anything for you, YOU are an awesome mom with a daughter that is extremely bright and loving.She is going to do great in kindergarten, she knows her ABC's and it'll take no time to do the homework, because she knows it already.I know you have already worked out some of these "issues" and soon you will bounce back stronger than ever.Your lovely Lena, don't let problems distract you from that. Your family loves you and appreciates you too.

Posted by: Virenda | 03/10/2006 at 02:39 PM

1st off, I thought I told you not to post pictures of me anymore.2nd, I just love you and miss you. I hate that things are shitting emotionally right now. Just yesterday I was crying at work and got all the awkward “like why the hell are her eyes bulging out of her head” stares. Rumors inevitably followed of course. Call me this weekend when you are free.(Chips, 2 types of dip, Tissue, Ice Cream, Roses, Water and Rum are going to be delivered 10am – 12pm this Monday. I couldn’t order a good mag for you though)

Posted by: Freakren | 03/10/2006 at 04:40 PM

homework in preschool????? i can relate to you with getting a hug when you're feeling very upset. it's like the straw breaking the camel's back! I know you wanted to say....BACK THE FUDGE UP lady! Hey, don't forget to come look for me at the park!

Posted by: Days Like These! | 03/10/2006 at 05:32 PM

Sorry to hear that your day sucked. I hate taxes. And computer crashes. And what on earth kind of homework is your preschooler supposed to be doing???I'm with the posters who suggested ice cream.

Posted by: Amanda | 03/10/2006 at 06:09 PM

You know, my 13 yr old son came home from school the other day in tears. He was crying because he was totally stressed out with all the homework that had been piled upon him. Mind you, he's a straight-A student, and always gets his work done on time. But this day he wailed, "Why Mom? I'm just a kid. I give them six hours a day! Why can't I just come home and play?"And so I said, "You're right, you are just a kid and kids should be given time to play. Six hours is plenty enough today ... you go out and have some fun, the homework can wait."He turned to me, smiled, and said, "Thanks for understanding, Mom."And so, I blabbered on about my son just to say to you ...S is just a kid ... in Preschool, mind you ... she doesn't need to be stressed at such a young age. You tell that teacher thanks for the hug, but my daughter has more important things to do ... like teaching her father how to play "hide-n-seek".Love ya, Lena! Sorry I'm late in reading your posts. I hope things are looking up for you, and the tax nightmare is over.

Posted by: ~ Stacy ~ | 03/10/2006 at 09:33 PM

You guys are all so cute. Thanks! Or as my ex-boyfriend used to say "Spanks!".I'm totally over this and back to making mayhem ;).Renee - these are the reasons we stay tight. You always know just what I need: carbs. I will wait excitedly by the door Monday. You rock!And WHY OH WHY has no one mentioned this scary picture??? Did you think I painted it? You guys must know I'm not serious by now. ;)

Posted by: Lena | 03/10/2006 at 11:52 PM

Oh No! A teacher hug!!!!I had the same thing happen to me (without the hug) about my daughter. I never had her do her homework and the teacher berated me (was not nice about it at all) If she had been nice I would have felt Guilty. As it was, I was furious. Homework in kindergarten? Grrrr.Oh well. I suppose she had to learn sometime. And the good thing is now (she's 11 & she comes home, sits down, and does her homework before doing anything else.) Nice robot. Nice robot.

Posted by: Sam | 03/11/2006 at 01:16 AM

Like everyone is saying, it's Preschool, so don't stress so much.Here we have Junior Kindergarten for 4 year olds as part of the school system. When my daughter was in Junior Kindergarten she had a teacher that was a homework fanatic. My 4 year old daughter brought home more homework than all of her brothers combined (my sons were in grades 1, 4 and 6 at the time).I thought I was going to go crazy in the mountains of homework she brought home. When teachers give that much homework to a child that young they are more or less proving that the parents know how to do homework - not that the child does.

Posted by: Undercover Angel | 03/11/2006 at 08:06 AM

I creid at daycare the other day. It was because they refused to take my son. I did not need another unscheduled day off from work.Sorry about the teacher...I would have lost the homework as well. I always do, not matter what, I cannot keep track of that stuff.

Posted by: Ditsy Chick | 03/11/2006 at 11:57 AM

I'm so sorry you are having a crappy day. At least you are not bottling up your emotions, that makes it worse. Cry it out, it's okay. and then treat yourself to a nice ice cream date with your family. I checked out Diary of Nello, she is so funny! I get the best links from your site. Stay strong girl and feel better.

Posted by: Chic Mommy | 03/11/2006 at 01:23 PM

I kind of like the scary painting.Am I always contrary?I hope you are having fun with Nello and Virenda.I need a friend like Freakren... you are one lucky person to have someone send you treats and flowers!

Posted by: Jessica | 03/11/2006 at 03:30 PM

I totally understand that you are not crying over your daughter's incomplete "homework" (paaalllleeease, she's four!) but the statement you think it's making about your role as mom (with some extra baggage about not feeling like you're pulling your weight financially). O.k., here's the deal...preschool didn't even exist when I was little and for some crazy reason I think I turned out o.k. Little S. will be fine and you're a great mother. The fact that you worry so much is a testiment to your great mothering. I think this is all part of the passage of motherhood, tears included so stop it, have some Ruffles with onion dip, rum and diet coke and all will be better in the morning.

Posted by: Smom | 03/11/2006 at 04:29 PM

I have so been there. I have been the parent and I've been the teacher. That is such a funny/sad story. WIsh I could give you a HUGE hug. I hope you have a good, relaxing weekend. Cheers,Kdubs

Posted by: Kdubs | 03/11/2006 at 06:12 PM

The more I think about this, the more bugged I am. Why, oh why, do they require four year olds to do homework? That's crazy. Preschool should be about structure, order and socializing. There will be plenty of time for homework in the twenty plus years to come!

Posted by: Smom | 03/11/2006 at 07:41 PM

Ugh. Teacher hug. Ugh.How cool that you get to meet the Nello! Be sure and post about it.

Posted by: Lucinda | 03/11/2006 at 08:23 PM

You know the worst thing - when therapist give you a hug. There's something so condescending about it - like I just paid you 60 bucks and you stayed half awake and offered a hug. In other news, i didn't even go to college and other than being a dumbass I'm doing just fine.

Posted by: Stefanie | 03/11/2006 at 08:36 PM

um, homework in preschool is a big no no. then to show who does what is another no no.if my kid was in that school i would address it and if they didn't change their ways i would pull my child. preschool is for playing not doing homework. sorry you had a bad day.

Posted by: Mrs. Fun | 03/12/2006 at 05:22 PM

OMG I'm sorry! That totally sucks. I'm not usually a crier either but you know what? Sometimes shit just gets the best of you and you can't. help. it. dammit.

Posted by: TheIdleReceptionist | 03/13/2006 at 06:24 AM

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