Tater Tot brought home his first report card this week.
In 10 years of teaching, I’ve never been on the other side of a report card until now. It’s a whole new world. When I saw the brown report card envelope in Tater Tot’s take-home folder, a few or six dozen butterflies flew right across my stomach. Because let’s face it. It’s a known fact that a child’s academic future can be determined with 99.7% accuracy based on his first 3-year-old preschool report card.
Fortunately, nothing too surprising showed up. He’s doing very well in calculus and world history, but we may have to hire a tutor if he’s going to bring that B- up to an A in physics.
What? Do you think I read too far into the fact that he doesn’t recognize six or seven of his letters, a couple of his numbers, and that he has yet to master snapping, zipping, or skipping?
One of the things he hasn’t mastered, either, is “practicing self-control.” Really? A three-year-old hasn’t mastered self-control. Shocking! Honestly, I was more worked up over the fact that he doesn’t recognize the letter P. When we play with our foam letters in the tub, he never misses it. Why in the heck he can’t pick it out at school is beyond me.
Tater Daddy, on the other hand, was all over the self-control thing. That was surprising to me, mainly because neither he nor I have exactly mastered the skill ourselves. You all know about my addiction to diet coke, and Tater Daddy has never met a TV he didn’t like. And if you’ve ever seen that man in a store that sells Tennessee athletic wear, Katie-bar-the-door. There have been times when I was sure we were one UT sweatshirt away from bankruptcy. I’m just sayin’.
Tater Daddy, who from here on out will often be called by his real name (David) because I’m outing him, too, asked Tater Tot about his report card Wednesday night.
“Hey, Tater. At school, are you supposed to do something that your teacher calls ’practicing self-control?’” he asked. (Yes. Yes, he did use those words. Because all three-year-olds know what “practicing self-control” means.)
Tater Tot looked up at the ceiling, put his hand on his chin, and said, “Um…no, Daddy. I don’t have to do that at my school.”
With that, I poured myself a diet coke, and David sat down and turned on the TV.