Taking Stock with Rob Stocks - May 16, 2011

There are many firsts in parenthood. First teeth, first smile, first words... the list goes on.

This week I found myself passing another milestone at the Munchkin’s first parents’ evening.

The fact she’s three and only attends nursery should surely preclude her from such activities, but it seems these days it’s never too early to start with the parental feedback sessions.

I’m still not entirely certain what I was supposed to get out of the session. Nursery is hardly school.

There are no exam marks or grade cards to talk over.

Come to think of it, there aren’t really that many structured activities.

So, the whole meeting really boiled down to whether or not the Munchkin is a rotter and, I’m glad to say she’s not.

She plays nicely, listens attentively and clears up after herself. It might sound, at this point, like I’m bragging, but I assure you I’m not.

In fact I did contemplate asking if they were talking about the right child, as this didn’t sound at all like the Munchkin I know and love – particularly on the issue of tidying up.

There, she rivals me for the ability to create mess around the house and leave it safe in the knowledge it has become somebody else’s problem.

I have seen her playing nicely. But then again I’ve also seen her repeatedly poking her baby sister, and still carry the bruises from the time she elbow-dropped me in a Wacky Warehouse ball pool.

I’ve come to the conclusion she’s either completely different around other people or, and this is the more likely, I just don’t realise what a good girl she is – most of the time.

It’s easy to see your little one as a terror but, in truth, there’s no point of reference.

Until you’ve seen how others compare you can’t know whether you’ve spawned a little angel, an evil genius or a terrible mixture of the two.

I have to admit the whole parents’ evening experience was a little bit surreal – not least because I can still remember waiting home, filled with a feeling of dread, waiting for my own Old Folks to return from my own appraisals.

So certain was I, on one occasion, a reprimand was on the way, I took pre-emptive action and sent myself to bed while they were still in the school hall.

Hopefully The Munchkin hasn’t inherited my mischievous streak, and when it comes to school parents’ evenings I’ll be coming home having heard glowing reports.

From my past experiences of parents’ evenings that would most certainly be a first.