Now that we’re nearing the end of the Little Kidlet’s time at the preschool at the private school, I keep crossing things off the list as being the last time we’ll do it.
Today was the last Open House. Every year, they do a spring show called an Open House. Not sure why they call it that, since to me, a school Open House is about meeting the teacher and seeing their schoolwork.
But each class sings a song and then at the end, all the students since a few songs. It’s the same format they generally use for their Christmas program, but this year they tried something new- so the Open House was the only “big” program for the year.
This is our third Open House. So I’m pretty familiar with the madhouse that they can be, especially when you’re dealing with parents who are considerably wealthier than say the parents at the public school the Oldest Kidlet goes to. I don’t mean to generalize. Because in my time there, I’ve met a ton of wonderful parents (and in all my years in the arts, I’ve met plenty of wealthy people were unbelievably awesome). But the people who are inconsiderate are on a whole different level than the parents from the public school- so I assume that it has something to do with the mindset that they pay for the privilege to be there, forgetting that everyone there pays for their children to attend.
Any time the kids walk in, you’d think it was a red carpet affair. Cameras are out, flashes are everywhere, and parents push other parents. But for the most part during the shows, it’s pretty civilized. Some parents sneak up to get a picture of their child’s class, but take care to stay out of the line of sight.
That wasn’t what happened today. Parents stood during the individual class songs to get video on their iPads or phones. And when it came time for the group songs, they mobbed the stage, rows of them sitting on the floor, blocking the aisles- God help them (appropriate since it is a Lutheran school) if there was a fire.
I could barely see the Little Kidlet because of them, though I did get to see him sing- which is a first. He usually stands there and occasionally does the signs that go with the songs, much too shy around the crowds. But he either looked at me or his teacher, and performed for the two of us.
Thankfully the school records the performances from up in the choir loft. I discovered it the first year and quit trying to record, letting myself actually enjoy his performances. (When I record the Oldest Kidlet’s stuff, I set up a tripod, hit record and actually watch it instead of watching the screen)
But this is the first time that I knew I’d need to buy the DVD to even get the chance to see my son.
If you’re a parent, or plan to be one… please commit this next phrase to memory. Tattoo it on your arm if you must. Every person at the program is there to see their child, too. It is not solely your child’s special moment.
This year has been especially bad for entitled parents. At the Easter Parade, I tried to record my son’s class for my husband and wound up with a video of a parent talking loudly to his family while his youngest son stepped on my foot. It wasn’t usable, and I tore the father a new one in between the classes (without resorting to any foul language since this was a school thing and I am a lady).
If you want to get a good seat at these things, get there early. But don’t stand up, don’t block the aisles, don’t shout to your child to look at you. It’s embarrassing. To the school, to the other children.
Don’t be those parents.