Teacher Conferences...Oldest Son vs. Youngest Son
If you don't believe me, here's a little experiment you can do. Listen to a mother and father's conversation after their oldest child's preschool teacher conference. Then, several years later, listen to the conversation after their youngest kid's teacher conference.
So that you don't have to eavesdrop, here is a convenient transcript:
Conversation between Husband and Wife after Oldest Child's Preschool Teacher Conference
Wife: (Sobbing.) His teachers said he (sob sob sob sob) doesn't listen to them. He just does whatever he wants. I think he might be (sob sob sob) deaf!
Husband: Maybe we should have his hearing checked.
Wife: She said he runs around wild, wrestling and roughhousing. I think we should have him tested for ADD, too.
Husband: Maybe so.
Wife: And blindness, while we're at it.
Husband: (Rubs back.)
Wife: I can't believe our son is deaf, hyper and blind!!!!! (Wahhh)
Husband: Let's eat dinner and talk about it later.
Wife: I couldn't possibly eat at a moment like this.
Husband: (Brow furrows. Looks worriedly at son.)
Conversation after Youngest Child's Preschool Conference
Wife: (With sarcasm.) Wow. I was suprised to learn that our three year old is the ringleader of all the roughhousing in the classroom. It's shocking.
Wife: He's so perfect at home.
Husband: My favorite part was when the teacher said he put that older kid in a headlock.
Wife: Really? I enjoyed the dogpile in the lunchroom.
Husband: What are we going to do with him?
Wife: Reform school, probably.
Husband: (Laughter) What are we going to do about dinner?
Wife: Sausage sandwiches.
Husband: That sausage is too gamey. Let's order pizza.
Wife: (Shrugs.) Pizza it is.
Now, I hope you don't think these parents have become less caring as time goes by. That they're satified to let their youngest be a brute. Rather, they know that the amazing thing about three-year-old boys is not that they act their age but that they eventually grow up.
As their son gets older, the conferences become predictable: "He is a nice boy, but sometimes gets a little wild when he's around his friends. He has a good speaking voice. However, he needs to work on not using it so much during class." That kind of thing.
Basically, the teacher no longer sounds like a WWF announcer. And you realize that your worrying didn't change anything. Time did.