An Unsent E-mail to Nate's Teacher

To: Nate’s Teacher

Cc: Peanut Butter Urinal

Bcc: Loyal PBU Readers

Subject: 3 quick things, I promise

Status: NEVER sent


Hey Nate’s Teacher,


Really, just 3 things. I’m not an anxious parent or anything.


First, I just wanted to let you know that Nate’s in a wedding in Baltimore next weekend. We leave on Wednesday night, so he’ll miss school on Thursday and Friday. Let me know if there’s anything you want him to work on/study while we’re away—aside from the dance floor, wedding cake, and his college essays.


Second, should he be bringing home Bookworm books to read every night? I know you said it was an optional program, so I’m totally fine with that process being "Nate-led.” I was a teacher, too, and I’m all in favor of not imposing too many boring drill-and-kill exercises that stress kids out and stifle creativity.


I just want to make sure he’s getting enough reading practice. I mean, at dinner the other night we watched Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball video to practice reading. It was the one with the lyrics, not the one at the Sugar Bowl—though we did watch that, too.


Third, there was definitely a third thing, but I forget. Hmm… nope, not remembering. I’m going to blame lack of sleep and an insufficient amount of caffeine in my morning tea. Must have been a dud of a tea bag. Ha, that’s what she said!


So, I guess I’ll just take a moment to tell you that Nate is LOVING kindergarten. At dinnertime when we ask him what the coolest thing that happened that day was, he really struggles to come up with an answer. Though usually it involves recess or discovering that a certain boy has a crush on a certain girl. I won’t name names, I need to maintain some mother-son trust. 


But for the right price, I will tell you what their names rhyme with. Does he seem girl crazy to you?


Did I mention that I was a teacher, too? I’m totally on your side and we’ll always support the school. My husband will, too, even though he also believes that formal education is flawed in many ways and he could do better if it were feasible for him to homeschool these little hellions. Ha, I’d love to see him try to teach factoring polynomials, amIright? #teacherjoke


And while I have you here, can you tell me why Nate’s suddenly developed an accent? It started about six weeks ago, right as school started, and at first we thought it was a Baltimore accent. Like Traffic Jam Jimmy trying to order a fish sandwich. But then we listened more closely and realized it was part Southern California surfer dude and part South Jersey. He sounds like a Valley girl—is that PC? Did I offend someone? Anyway, did he pick that up from one of his new friends? Or are you taking bi-coastal field trips during the day?


And speaking of his pronunciation—and really, he’s come so far! Donuts used to be “doh-dohs” and sofa cushions were once “pushions”—he still hasn’t mastered the word “ruin.” It’s “gruin” to Nate. He told me I gruined his day by making him bring his dirty socks in from the swing set—they’d already sat there for over a week, through all those storms we had over the weekend. Pretty durable socks now that I think about it.


But should we be worried about his pronunciation? Maybe we should pull him out of class so he can see the speech therapist? Again, I’m not an anxious parent, but please let me know what you think.


And can you tell me whether he committed a dress code violation with his mohawk the other day? He was so excited to show it off, and the rulebook said only “moderate styles allowed.” We weren’t really sure what that meant, but since his hair is so short, it wasn’t that high, seemed pretty moderate to me. But still, he got pretty nervous about it as we were pulling into the carpool line that morning, trying to smooth it down with his hands, full of all kinds of regret.


He didn’t come home with any kind of paperwork detailing a violation and I didn’t hear from the school at all, but I just want to make sure it doesn’t go on his permanent record or anything. He’s only in kindergarten, can this just be a warning?


Also, do you know anything about weaning an infant? Because at this rate, I’m going to have to go to prom with her and I don’t have a dress yet.


Anyway, I just wanted to check in with you and assure you that I’m not an anxious parent, we’re pretty laid back about everything. But let me know what you think about:


1) bringing some assignments to the wedding with us and

2) his participation in the Bookworm program and

3) whether Miley Cyrus is an adequate reading tutor and

4) about speech therapy for Nate and

5) whether he’ll be punished for his dress code violation and

6) your knowledge about weaning an infant.


Thanks! Have a great night!


Erin Greenhalgh


PS Can you please remind me the dates I signed up to bring snack?

PPS Sorry about the overdue library book! I’ll put it in his backpack immediately!