I have survived another round of parent teacher conferences. Or I should say, I have survived Parent Teacher Conference Day. It’s not the conferences that usually do me in, it’ s getting to them with all the kids home from school. This year, the school decided that it wasn’t enough to give us yet another four day week (I can count one full week of school since early October), but this year there was going to be a new twist on conferences: they were going to be student-led.

That’s right. As annoying as the day-off was, as least I got to have a 20 minute chat with the one person with whom I could really talk smack about my kid. The teachers don’t only see the good (like grandparents), or only see the bad (like grandparents), but they usually know my kids pretty well, and this was often a good time to download. No longer. Now the student walks the parent through his day and his work, while the teacher either walks around the classroom or busies herself with something else. I actually get the value of it — and the kids really enjoyed it for the most part — but the whole experience was completely draining. Mostly because while I was in a conference with one kid, the others were waiting in the library. Also in the library was the book fair.. or if I’m really being honest, the lots of crappy toys and a few books fair. So, each time I went to pick up a kid, I’d get bombarded by requests. If they were going to insist on this setup, the very least they could have done was install a bar right next to it: Of course you can spend $6.99 on a flimsy Barbie fashion book (gulp a gin and tonic), sure, buy that Star Wars pencil case that will likely break in the car (gulp another), hey, who doesn’t need a Phineas and Ferb spy kit (you get the picture). I was on my last legs by the time the whole thing was over.

And it was only noon.

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