Mr. Attitude has "Kindergarten Roundup" tomorrow afternoon, where next fall's kindergarten class gets to see the classroom, meet the teachers, and get evaluated for readiness. Mr. Attitude of course has already been to the school many times for Calvin and Starflower's conferences and activities, so he knows the ropes, and I think the teachers already know him.
Accompanying this event, of course, is a pile of paperwork which I am completing right now. Some of it is mandated by the state: what language do you speak at home (I'm thinking of writing in "Saami and Gaelic"), what nationality/race/ethnic background the child is (do you want the full or abbreviated pedigree?), etc.
The pink form in front of me right now is called the "Kindergarten Readiness Checklist", which puzzles me because nothing on the entire first side has anything to do with readiness. It asks for basic info such as address, birthdate, then an ominous bold headline reads: "THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS NEEDED TO PUT ON YOUR CHILD'S PERMANENT RECORD" ("child's permanent record" underlined for added emphasis). Wow. Serious stuff. THE PERMANENT RECORD. I remember being too afraid to speak up in class because every time I was wrong it might go on My Permanent Record.
Anyway, here's the stuff they are requesting for THE PERMANENT RECORD, and some of the responses I'm tempted to fill in.
Parents' nationality: Father Samoan, Mother Laplander
Parents' health: I'm tempted to go into excessive detail...actually I'm leaving it blank. None of their business.
Parents' denomination: tens and twenties? Really, are they prohibited from writing the word "religious" on the form to clarify the question a bit? Another blank. I'm not even sure myself.
Parents' occupation: Occupied.
Business address and phone: I don't work for a business, I work for the State.
Marital status: They have blanks for both "Married" and "Living together". If we're married and living together, are we required to check both blanks?
Brothers and sisters: name, sex,age, birth date, and birthplace... Okay, I can understand name, sex and age. But why would their birthplaces need to be on Mr. Attitude's PERMANENT RECORD?
Members of household other than parents and siblings: Name: Sally Sex: Female Age: 1 Position in household: Dog, often curled up on the bed.
Dwelling: They didn't have a category for "undersize cabin".
Do you live on a farm? This one actually made me think. I wrote yes.
Does your child have a room of his/her own? Yes. under construction. If not, shared with whom? 4 family members, two dogs, two to three cats, etc.
Special interests or hobbies: Bidding on eBay items from sellers in the UK. Watching "The Big Lebowski".
A few more basics, then: Is your child extremely shy or quiet?
just ask any employee of any store he's been in with his dad. :)
What types of control are most frequently used? Mostly remote and Game Cube. Oh, you mean behavior control? You mean I'm supposed to CONTROL my child, as if he were a TV or Game Cube? I prefer unconditional love, respect, and openness myself. But I've been known to yell sometimes.
And, finally after a couple mundane health-related questions: Is there anything special that you would like the kindergarten teacher to know about your child?
Yes. I love him. Even when he drives me nuts. Good luck, and remember I'm trusting you with the most important person in the world.