Monday, February 04, 2008

The Teacher is Coming! The Teacher is Coming!

My son's kindergarten teacher is coming to the house for dinner tomorrow night. It is an expected thing with Waldorf, that the younger grades host their teachers in the home.

I suppose this makes for a greater learning environment, when the teacher can truly educate the "whole child" which is the Waldorf way, to include knowing who this child comes from and what kind of home environment is shaping the little one.

To me, it means I need to clean the hell out of my house. NOW. All four kids are home due to snow (again!!) and if you could see my house right now - oy. Cleaning any big old house can be a challenge. But when you have four kids and a huge dog tracking in snow, leaving things everywhere, and the ubiquitous trail of wrappers, toys and hair in their wake - it's next to impossible.

I can count the times every single room in my house was clean at the same time on one hand. Typically, there are at least one or two shameful rooms (like one of the bathrooms used exclusively by preteens) present, even when the rest of the house looks great.

Will she want a tour? Will she judge me based on my functional furniture? How to explain to the woman that my children have used couches as their own personal Kleenex - and thus my decision to go leather in every room. A lot of animals sacrificed their skins so I could wipe off body fluids with ease, you know?

What do I cook? I want to cook something that says This is a nurturing, warm home and even though this dish is sublime, she didn't try too hard. You have no need to rifle through her medicine cabinets.

I plan on serving wine, since I know from other parents that this is okay. And I know on one level that I should take a chill pill.

But come on. She's human. And if she's anything at all like me, even a smidgen, she's consumed with curiosity. I know I would be - I love seeing what kinds of houses people live in. What they fill their 'fridge with, what kind of soap they use, what their kitchen looks like. Especially the kitchen - it is the heart of the home in my opinion. I used to run at night when we lived on Air Bases (you can actually do that, since the odds of getting mugged are like zero) and I loved running past homes where they had yet to close the curtains. I suppose I'm a bit of a voyeur.

Also, Waldorf is very very anti-commercial messages. Students cannot advertise anything on their clothing, including logos, and television is eschewed as a general policy.

We respect the policy while on school grounds, but if she wants to see Jacob's room (and you know she will) she is unwittingly going to set foot on the Death Star. His room is so saturated with all things Star Wars that if there was a way to make the toilet sound like Jabba the Hut when it flushed - we'd have it. Then again - maybe she doesn't know what Star Wars is. Maybe we can just mask it as a high level of interest in astronomy.

You never know - when I told one of the moms at school that I was writing for Nickelodeon she looked at me blankly and asked, "What's that? Is it a magazine?" Seriously, she hadn't even heard of Sponge Bob.

So I'm off. I will be cleaning and planning today. And food suggestions would be wonderful.

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30 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I always look at visits like these as great opportunities to get things done. If we didn't have parties we'd never get the yard spruced up or the outside of the windows washed!

Have fun.

jakelliesmom said...

When I'm madly cleaning, I make the kids stay upstairs to contain the new messes. I also give up at some point, knowing full well that no one expects the house to look like anything but my house, dog hair and all.

Hope it goes well.

I can't imagine what I'd cook, but I agree the wine is a good idea.

liv said...

dude. this is like my panic over being the only single parent (well, except my ex) at montessori school and having to have a home visit from peep's teacher. (gulp!)

it'll be okay. maybe.

bipolarlawyercook said...

Good luck with the visit. The chicken and leeks I cooked in this post are not low fat, but they are Teh Awesome and will make the teacher forget any smidgens of dust you miss.

http://bipolarlawyercook.wordpress.com/2007/12/16/saturday-is-cooking-day/

Life As I Know It said...

When I was in 2nd grade I invited my teacher over for lunch. I served tuna sandwiches and it was the best afternoon in all of my 8 years at the time.

I can only imagine how stressful it must be for you, but I bet your son will always remember having his teacher over for dinner.

Good luck.

You're writing for Nickelodeon? cool!

Beck said...

I'm trying to think of something to make for supper that says I Am A Warm And Nuturing Mother Who Feeds My Children Delicious Healthy Food. Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage, perhaps, and a big mixed green salad with lots of colourful veggies? And something soulful for dessert?

Karen said...

"Then again - maybe she doesn't know what Star Wars is. Maybe we can just mask it as a high level of interest in astronomy."

My cheeks hurt from laughing.

B2G said...

You're writing for Nickelodeon? Am I the only one that missed this?

Jen M. said...

It's not like I'm brainstorming Dora The Explorer episodes - just writing for their parenting website! But it's a paying gig AND I get to casually drop it in that I'm writing for them! Hey - a win-win!

Don Mills Diva said...

You can't go wrong with a fresh roasted chicken, garlic mashed, green beans, brocoli with cheese sauce and salad.

Good luck!

Just Seeking said...

Defintely calm down. She's surprisingly laid back in "real" life and has had an interesting past. Also, no matter what you serve, it will be better than what I did---here's the first time: frozen Amy's pizzas, fresh fruit, and carrots with dip. Yeah? see? Second time---my "famous" easy tomato sauce---pureed tomato sauce (pomi) heated through with butter, served with white flour noodles,and a fresh salad (plus wine). Simple! Also, on that second visit, J wore her batman costume the whole time! so no matter how you do it, it's bound to be more "waldorfy" than mine!
Good luck!

zhinkadinkadoo said...

We put off our visit until the spring because I knew I'd be doing the same thing as you, stressing out big time, and I wanted to have a lot of time in which to hone my stressing and get it exactly right.

But you, you shouldn't worry. I've seen your house, and it's lovely. Nothing to worry about. And I'm sure she's not so naive as to think that no one has "characters" at home.

Me, I'm going for that a-bunch-of-messy-gnomes-live-here look. Hopefully it will come off as charming rather than unorganized and cluttered.

Beth said...

Ack! The thought of hosting a teacher for dinner scares me poopless!

Can you order out for pizza or would that be considered a cop out?

Jennifer said...

I would freak the hell out if my kids teachers visited our home, especially if I were serving dinner. I like the "We're good, decent and responsible parents" facade I can keep up from a distance.

Good luck!

Sophie's Mom said...

Oh the stress! I'm a 'take me the way that I am' kind of gal. Oh sure, I'd clean up, but what you see is what you get. This woman is just a teacher (no offense to teachers!), not royalty. I'd make my homemade spaghetti sauce, and some homemade italian bread - yum! I'm sure your evening will be just fine. She wants to get to know you and your family, not do an 'inspection' of your home. She probably cares way less about the things you might be worrying about than you do. Show her your 'real' family, girl! ;)

wheelsonthebus said...

It's a shame it isn't Montessori, in which case you could explain that sweeping the floor is the "work" of one of your children, getting extra points for allowing them responsibilities around the home.

Doug said...

Despite my valiant attempts to avoid it, even I know who SpongeBob, Dora and the Wiggles are (and my kids are in their teens).

And if she doesn't like the Star Wars decor, you can light sabre her or hit her with a blaster (BTW blasters make less mess).

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Ugh - the whole scenario sounds awkward to me. What do you talk about? Maybe you should hand out conversation cards...and how do you get the kids to keep their mouths shut? Because you know they are going to embarrass you: "Mommy made us clean the whole house today, even the bathroom!" "Mommy hid all our toys because they are too commercial." "Mommy, why don't we have food this good all the time?"

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

Um...maybe it will be fun. Or, entertaining. But I am with you, I would be a TOTAL stress-case, no matter what. Good luck!!! And I agree, keep the food simple...why complicate things more???

Nancy said...

Since you plan on serving wine, start serving around 1:00 PM. By dinner time, you won't have a care in the world what the house looks like. =)

BetteJo said...

Nope. Wouldn't even do it. Uh uh.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Oy, how can you NOT know who Spongebob is?!? I cannot speak to people like that---they make me feel all dirty and illiterate.

Have fun and don't worry. Unless she also belongs to PETA and shrieks at your leather couches (kidding!). (and coolness about your writing for Nickelodeon---I think you should take a stab at writing a Dora episode though---I'm sure it'd be hilarious!)

Marie said...

It also makes for a lot of free meals for the teacher. :P

Missy said...

I also like looking in windows while I am our walking at night - not because I am looking for people, but I love to see what people have in their homes. Is that weird??

My guess is that the teacher has probably seen it all - a few dust mites and a million Star Wars is probably pretty tame compared to what could be at other people's homes

Mary Beth said...

I wonder if she is as nervous as you are? I hope it all went well:)

Kimmykay said...

I am so snorting on the Jabba toilet. I was reading about the Waldorf way and we would get F's for sure. We have a huge desk in our "formal living room" with 3 (that's right) 3 working computers.

Can't wait to hear about the dinner.

Kimmykay said...

http://kimmykayakagumby.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-was-my-day-yesterday.html

P.S. Here is how my teacher visit went at the beginning of the school year. Good luck to you!!! LOL.

Daisy said...

I feel for the teacher. She's giving up a lot of her time, too, that could be spent with her own family. Waldorf has a strong philosophy and many strengths, but maybe this extra time element is the reason I'm teaching in a more traditional setting.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I don't think I could handle that. Oh the pressure!

dawn224 said...

Your link is wrong :) There's an /s/ at the end of review :)