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Know your limitations

It’s the time of year again; Alex has been asking me for the last week if we are coming for the parents evening at school. Rob is working and I – well to be honest am not looking forward to it.

Last year he was still at the small Welsh primary school, the kind of place where everybody knows each other and parent evening means having a short chat about your child’s progress with their main teacher who will think nothing of writing down the words I struggle with. This year however Alex is in the big school and I was handed an A4 with names of teachers and the subjects they teach in. I envisioned an evening of hard work.  But by the time I arrived at the school to meet Alex I had managed to build up a semblance of a positive attitude, mainly by promising myself a glass of wine at the end of it.

However by this time Alex had got cold feet. ’Let’s go home,he said.’ When I asked him why he calmly replied I shouldn’t worry about it. Apparently he had changed his mind because he thought I wouldn’t be able to understand them. ‘It’s a waste of time,’ he insisted.

Of course I had to prove him wrong and I marched in to see his teachers and prove him right…..Darn it!

The hall was laid out like a speed dating event with rows of single tables, a chair on either side and the name of the teacher prominently displayed. Alex had given me a list of the teachers and the subjects they taught and off I went to find each of them, starting with the familiar ‘I am deaf, but I will try and read your lips,’ followed by, ‘I’m Alex’s mother.’

It was a shambles to be truthful, as not only did I not understand most of what the teacher said, but I didn’t understand what Alex was saying either. Simply, there were so many parents to see the teachers, there was no time for writing things down for me or repeating words five or six times. No one were rude, they simply didn’t have time to be helpful.

Next year Chris joins Alex in the big school and I shall make sure I get one to one time with each of their main teachers. Where’s that glass of wine?