A is for Awkward

Last week we attended the parent teacher meeting at the newest Kindergartner's school. This is the sort of activity my husband finds painful but that I live for. Met her soon to be First Grade teacher. Previewed the room.

Upon noticing that my soon to be First Grader would be sitting next to her five year old equivalent of an arch nemesis, I inwardly cringed.

As arch nemeses go, this kid's pretty tame. He's not mean or obnoxious or anything. Just doesn't seem to know how to play with other kids. Like maybe he spent the first 5 years of his life alone at home all day with his grandmother and never learned how to socialize with kids.

I'm sure he's very sweet. He just seems to frustrate the other kids. And by other kids, I mean all the other kids not just mine. I'm not even entirely sure what the issue is but there's been some mention of tattling and periodically throwing people under the bus. As an example, if people don't want to play with him, he'll chase them around the playground. And if they tell the teacher he was chasing them he'll say he wasn't. He also likes to promise he won't chase you again and then go right back to chasing you.

Not a big problem but not the newest First Grader's favorite person.

Over the summer, she saw him at a birthday party and he told her he was going to chase her again. Last week, when discussing the upcoming start of school with her she burst out crying over the potential chasing. I assured her we'd talk to the teacher and let her handle it and that if the teacher failed to address it we'd elevate the issue to the principal and/or the kid's mother. The newest First Grader felt better. No more tears. Back to nothing but excited to start the year.

Cut to the parent teacher meeting. Soon to be First Grader finds her seat. Arch nemesis' mom is standing at his desk and excitedly asks her to guess who she gets to sit next to. Chick clearly assumes my kid will be excited to sit next to her kid. My kid realizes who she will be sitting next to. My kid immediately looks disappointed and sighs. Arch nemesis' mom immediately looks confused. And I immediately look like a deer in the headlights trying to figure out how to spin my kid's reaction into anything other than, "Crap. I can't believe I'm stuck sitting next to your kid." It was awkward, people. Awkward.

I decided it was important to avoid eye contact in that situation. Too much eye contact and arch nemesis' mom would think she needed to delve into it further. We didn't need any delving. Nothing good would have come of it. The only thing worse than my kid's crestfallen reaction would have been her actually announcing to his mother that she doesn't want to sit next to her kid and that his existence in and of itself could potentially ruin her entire life. Bursting into tears probably wouldn't have been good either. Thankfully, she hadn't found her BFF's seat yet and locating it successfully distracted her. Talking to the teacher didn't hurt either.

But, sheesh. This school year hasn't even started and the playground politics are already wearing me out.

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