For example, Jack is doing well in things like pattern recognition and vocabulary, but his object manipulation needs work. Apparently Jack isn't great at molding clay. This comes as absolutely no surprise whatsoever, considering I have never given clay to Jack. I figured Jack's interest in clay would involve eating it, not rolling it into snakes. The good news is that Jack can apparently recreate patterns with blocks and other objects. The bad news is I've never once tried that with him. It didn't even occur to me. Same goes for yoga (which Jack likes, supposedly, although I think it has more to do with the balance ball than downward dog) and recall (apparently Jack is supposed to be able to remember what he ate for breakfast. Oops). This is why I'm grateful for preschool.
By the time I left the parent-teacher conference, my emotions were mixed. First, I was glad that my meeting only took ten of our fifteen slotted minutes, while the mom ahead of us went over by ten minutes (not sure what that means, but it can't be a good sign). I was happy to hear that Jack is gentle and gets along well with others, that he knows a lot of words and can ask for things directly (this is good, from what I'm told), and that he is generally well behaved. I felt bad when I heard that Jack is sort of a loner, that he would be happy to sit in the teacher's lap all day and eat grapes rather than participate in some of the activities, and that he doesn't know the difference between boy and girl (I SWEAR we've practiced that one). I came away with a few things to work on (Jack's painting technique leaves something to be desired) and I was able to pat myself on the back for the fact that my child isn't a holy terror.
Basically, I think I'm somewhere in the middle when it comes to motherhood, and I'm okay with that. I'll never be a super mommy like my friend C, who knows every single mom/toddler activity in the area, always has a dozen different snack options (which Jack inevitably prefers to whatever I've packed), and is so gentle and nurturing I sometimes wish she was my mommy. But I think it's safe to say I'm not exactly Mommie Dearest either ("How many times do I have to tell you, Jackie! No wire hangers - EVER!!!"). Jack can't count to ten or recite his ABCs, but he can say, "Hey, 'sup!" like a champion. Yes, he may smack me in the face from time to time, but he loves animals so much he actually tried to kiss a fly once. And while he might not remember that he had vegetarian sausage for breakfast this morning, I think he'll be talking about the cupcakes Daddy made for him for quite some time.