Shut That Sh*t Down!

Shut That Sh*t Down!  The amazingly ANNOYING - yet HILARIOUS - things moms say to teachers!  #funny #teacher #backtoschool #parenting #school #classroom #student #kids #humor

So then…I gratefully grab a seat in a tiny chair in the 1st grade classroom, along with three other Moms who also missed last night’s Back-to-School event. The teacher, Mrs. Tomasino, has graciously agreed to meet with us for a few minutes after school today to fill us in.

I exchange smiles with everyone – and conduct a quick appraisal of the other three Moms. One looks like she had to miss Back-to-School night for kid-care or work reasons, like me – the other two look like they missed it due to a conflict with their Bellydancing Class/Hot Stone Massages. (Judgy much? Why yes, yes I am.)

Mrs. Tomasino welcomes us to the class and holds up a list of items she’d like to quickly review with us.

But every time she tries to impart information, these two mamas interrupt her with questions specific to their kids.

Mom 1: “Are you doing Reading Circle in this class? My kid loves Reading Circle.”
Mom 2: “What kind of field trips are you having? My son really doesn’t like museums.”
Mom 1: “Do you serve cheese at the holiday parties? My kid is lactose-intolerant.”
Mom 2: “I hope there isn’t much homework; my son has lots of sports after school.”

Poor Mrs. Tomasino’s getting flustered.

Mom 3 and I exchange a couple looks.

Mrs. Tomasino starts to share the subjects the kids will cover each day when Mom 1 interrupts to ask:

“When is the Father-Daughter Dance? I think it might conflict with my daughter’s dance recital.”

The teacher looks surprised by this non sequitur and says, “I’m not sure of the date, but it’s months away.”

Mom 1 says, “Yes, but could you go check right now? I’m really thinking it might be the same date.”

So Mrs. Tomasino gets up, goes into the little side room of the class, shuffles through some papers and reports back the date. Mom 1 turns to Mom 2 and says, “Thank God! It’s a different date.”

Mom 2 says, “That’s a relief!”

Mom 3 and I exchange a glance like “What the hell?”

What if it HAD been the same date? Would Mom 1 petition the school to CHANGE THE DATE of the Father-Daughter Dance? I survey Mom 1’s carefully-groomed, well-toned, designer-clad tough-as-nails exterior and think, “Yep, she probably would.”

Meanwhile, I got kids to feed, work to do, and heels to take off, so I’m hoping we can wrap up this little meeting quickly. I’m eager to hear the info that the teacher wants us to know, but Mom 1 and 2 keep interrupting — which makes this meeting 10 times longer than it needs to be.

Then Mrs. Tomasino says, “Also, in 1st grade, we prefer that you don’t bring treats in for your children’s birthdays—”

Mom 1 interrupts to cheerfully say, “Speaking of birthdays, I heard you have three other kids in class who have the same birthday as my daughter! How did you get FOUR kids in your class, all with the same birthday!?

The teacher looks at Mom 1 like she’s an alien.

Mom 3 and I look at Mom 1 like we want to punch her in the tits.

Honestly, the look on the teacher’s face is priceless – like “What the HELL are you talking about? ‘How did I get 4 kids with the same birthday in my class?’ Do you think I PLANNED that? Do you think I REQUESTED that? Who the hell cares about the birthdays? I’m trying to EDUCATE your kids here – I don’t have time to figure out whose birthdays are on the same day!”

By this point, Mrs. Tomasino’s patience is so thin, she just stares back at Mom 1 in dumbstruck awe.

Mom 1 keeps waiting for a response, but none is forthcoming. Her smile falters and she begins to squirm in her seat. She looks to Mom 2 for support. Mom 2 shrugs helplessly.

Mom 1 glances at me and Mom 3. We give her the cold-eyed stare of “You gotta be kidding me.”  The multiple-birthday thing may be an interesting observation to make — but at a different time and place — not here and not now.

Mrs. Tomasino lets out a looooooong, dramatic sigh.

She rustles her paper with the meeting notes.

She stares pointedly at the list, then back up at Mom 1.

She authoritatively addresses the next point on her list, “For supplies, your children will need…”

And Mom 1 and Mom 2 do not say another word for the rest of the meeting.

You go, Mrs. Tomasino, you go!

Being friendly and accommodating is one thing.

But some people will take that inch and drag it into a painful country mile from here to the moon.

So you gotta shut that shit down.

Nicely done, Mrs. T, nicely done.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Have you witnessed other parents interrupting teachers or coaches to ask specific questions about their kids? Any tips how to deal with the time-wasters and me-focusers? How do you teachers out there handle those parents you want to stab with a No. 2 pencil?)

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60 replies on “Shut That Sh*t Down!

    • Yes! And I loved her long dramatic sigh! So funny!

  1. You are so much more patient that me – I would have had to say something. I have been known to walk out of meetings because other parents were being childish and wasting my time!
    Piper George recently posted..TTOT – The Mummy One.My Profile

    • I hear ya! One time I employed a little “preemptive” strategy by privately asking the school band director if he could please ask all the parents to please hold all their kid-specific questions until the END of his presentation since the last meeting went on a bit too long (i.e. 93 kabillion hours!) due to constant interruptions. He politely made that announcement at the beginning of the meeting, quickly zipped through his whole presentation, and freed up all of us parents to escape — while the “kid-specific questioners” stayed afterwards to ask their 8 million questions. I must say I felt a bit guilty as I saw them all surround the poor band director like they were zombies from the Walking Dead, shuffling toward him to attack his brain with their numbskull questions — but I was so grateful to be free, I made a mad dash for the door! :o) He’s probably STILL there answering questions!

  2. Do those moms not realize that the point is to get out of meetings as quickly as possible? It must be tough to be the Queen of the Universe and have it all revolve around you. Exhausting, I bet!

    • Ha! That’s exactly how it felt! Mom 1 and 2 were definitely Queens of the Universe and the rest of us were there to do their bidding. People say that teachers are angels for dealing for kids all day — I think they’re SAINTS for dealing with the PARENTS!

      • Judy said:

        I work at a college and sadly…. often the problem is still the parent.

          • Sandino said:

            They are called helicopter parents because they hover over their children. I sometimes have to answer help desk questions for admissions applications. When a kid screws up and doesn’t get all their info in on time, it is always the parent who claims their child did it right,but our system was messed up. Yeah, for your kid and no one else’s…

          • If you answer questions at the help desk, I bet you get some doozies!

  3. oh my gosh, I’ve witnessed stuff like this so many times! What is it with people? Honestly, they have no self-awareness. I’m glad your child’s teacher was able to shut it down!

    • Yep, it’s just me, me, me. I’m so glad Mrs. Tomasino finally put a stop to it!

    • Right? When she actually insisted the teacher get up and go check that date, I thought I was going to lose it!

  4. Reindlgator said:

    Hey Darcy. This reminds me of my most recent job where we all worked from home and would have a conference call every week. Now imagine 100 people all trying to have their pee wee issue resolved while 99 people on the line didn’t give a crap or actually heard it right the first time. We just had some people who love to hear themselves talk..grrrrrr! Thank heavens I could mute the phone so my bosses wouldn’t have to wonder where the string of obscenities was coming from. Plus I got to catch up on some TiVo. I am a woman who is short on patience and this kind of stuff can lead to tequila shots while on the conference call.

    At another company we had to sit through these meetings that never had to do with our department. We put that sucker on mute and played buzzword bingo. Crap like “growing the brand and reach out aka call someone” were just a few fine examples. And then one day they were yammering on and we devolved into a “Just how hot IS Johnny Depp?” Conversation. I sure do miss those ladies.

    Take care and hurray for people who get it and get moving.

    Amy

    • oh my God, that’s hilarious! You’re lucky the mute button didn’t accidentally dislodge! Can only imagine how the other conference call attendees would react to “buzzword bingo” and “how hot IS Johnny Depp?” They’d probably love to join in — you guys sounds like a lot of fun!

  5. Seriously!!! Shut it down now. People can be so self absorbed and insane. I’m sooooo looking forward to my boys starting kindergarten for all of the above reasons you mentioned :-(
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown: Being ChasedMy Profile

    • Yep, some of those parents you’ll meet will be cray-cray — and others will join you in rolling your eyes at them!

  6. I’ll see that kind of ish outside at restaurants and clubs but at school? Keep it together – definitely not the place and time. The fierce stare never fails – glad she was able to nip that in the butt without being rude or disrespectful because I may not have been so successful. :D Happy Tuesday Darcy! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted..What It Feels LikeMy Profile

  7. Darcy, this was great. Btw…first time I had ever heard the term “lady garden”…learned something new today! Mom 2 and “I hope there isn’t much homework; my son has lots of sports after school…” had my eyes burning. I come from a family of teachers (my step mom a 3rd grade teacher for 30 years) and teachers in general have the most patience of any profession I’ve ever known. Good read :)
    Mike recently posted..Eggs Florentine Casserole With Sausage, Great For LeftoversMy Profile

    • I agree! Most teachers are very patient. We’ve had some great ones and are always so grateful for them!

  8. I keep saying it. I do NOT have the disposition to be a teacher. I have a deep admiration for what they do & the patience and care so many of them put into their jobs. If I, however, had to put up with parents like those (and the mini-versions of themselves they’ll very likely be sending to class), I would have to rent a room above the nearest bar just so I could keep the liquor readily available at the end of the day.
    Vinny C recently posted..Conversations With Mrs. C – Texts From The Edge.My Profile

  9. Judy said:

    Mom 1 was quiet because she was trying to figure out how to petition those other 3 parents into changing their child’s birth date.

    • LOL — you’re probably right! I wouldn’t be surprised if she did! Too funny!

  10. Julie said:

    HA! Oh boy. My daughter just got her degree in elementary education.

    The mom’s are probably only alive because it was a first grade teacher. They are used to having to deal with 6 year olds. I bet they won’t be pulling that stuff with the 5th grade teachers!

    • Good point! I think the moms finally figure out what’s what by the time the kids are in 5th grade!

  11. Everybody always has to make it about themselves these days and it’s almost always done in slightly brag-y way. Even the lactose-intolerant kid’s mother was bragging…. “We’re so white and evolved that my son can’t even handle milk!”

    -Don’t worry, I’m judge-y too.

    • Ha! Good point — even the anti-homework mom was being a bit brag-y that her son was so good at sports he was too busy for academics!
      Glad to know you’re judge-y too! Like that saying goes: “If you don’t have anything nice to say — come sit by me — we’ll have a grand ol’ time talkin’ smack about everybody else!” Ha!

    • Oh, PTA meetings! One time several of the moms in the meeting were criticizing the event plans of the PTA leaders, so I supportively raised my hand to say I thought the planned events sounded great and that I appreciate the work that the PTA leaders do for our school, in addition to all the work they need to do for their kids, homes, and possibly jobs too. Then I got a lecture from one of the PTA leaders about how they are able to juggle all of their work plus the PTA duties and that everyone should be more involved, regardless what else they have going on in their lives, and why hadn’t I reun for the PTA board, and on and on and on! I was thinking, “Damn girl, I was trying to be supportive! And now you’re all up in my bidness makin’ me feel guilty for not running for the PTA!” Note to self: schedule conflicting appointments for all future PTA meetings: root canals, tax audits, bunion removals (first, get some bunions).

  12. It’s always the same thing. Kids are fine. The parents are the @$$ holes. But I have a feeling that the fine kids of the @$$ hole parents turn into new @$$ hole parents.

    • lol! yes — it’s a vicious cycle — @$$holes beget @$$holes! Ha!

  13. I almost wanted to punch the screen in irritation reading about those self-centred mothers. Luckily, I was holding a glass of wine which would have spilled so no screen-punching took place. Seriously, I have met one or two (luckily no more than that) ‘my-kid-focussed’ mothers, one of whom almost ruined my eldest’s 6th birthday party, and I have to wonder what they themselves were like as kids. Shudder.

    • ha! I love that you wanted to punch the computer screen! So sorry one of those kid-focssed moms almost ruined your kid’s birthday party — which reminds me of THIS mom who almost ruined MY kid’s birthday party — I think you’ll appreciate my restraint in dealing with this doozy: http://www.sothenstories.com/yall-dont-come-back-now-ya-hear

  14. Tara said:

    If it was that bad with only 4 parents, imagine what it was like the previous day with most parents in attendance. Yikes!

    • Eeek! I hadn’t thought of that! Shudder! So glad I missed that!

  15. Vanessa said:

    At Kindergarten Open House, I witnessed a dad get huffy with the school principal because organized school sports leagues weren’t available for the little kiddos because “how else were they going to get prepared for middle school sports??” Luckily the principal also found the question absurd. She answered quite smoothly that “Since he was asking, she was sure he’d find a way all on his own…since it seemed so important to him.” We now have this same man as an assistant coach on my son’s tball team. God help us!

    • Ooooo, I LOVE the principal’s response!
      It reminds me of a wise event planner who said that anytime someone suggests an idea at her meetings, she enthusiastically says, “Oh that’s wonderful! Thank you for volunteering to handle that!” Then she moves swiftly on to something else. The suggester looks dumbfounded, but then realizes “if you’re going to suggest it, you’re also going to handle it!” After a couple of those examples, she said her meetings tend to run very smoothly and without interruption! Ha!

  16. I’ve had some run ins w/ moms like that &, yes, you do have to shut that shit down. People like that is what’s wrong w/ this world.

    • yep, that kind of mom drives me crazy! one time at an Easter Egg Hunt for TODDLERS, two moms ran around like crazy, grabbing up all the eggs they could find for their kids, which meant shorting the other toddlers. I wanted to knock them into next week!

  17. Nailed it. You have so perfectly described “those moms” I can barely keep from giving you a solo standing ovation right at my computer. Scott’s comment made me LOL!-Ashley

  18. Ok, I’ve never had a teacher shut me down that way, but does a nun count? (We should have known better.)

    We were at a choir practice, laughing having a generally fun time and not really paying attention to the long suffering choir director, who just happens to be a nun.

    She’d asked us all to pay attention. She’d asked if we need breaks (nope, not us). She’d been so nice. So you’d think she’d shut us down by being all stern, or yelling.

    Nope. What she did was so much more effective (and guilt inducing).

    She sighed deeply. Sat down, and then very quietly said. “Ok. I’ll wait.”

    We were so quiet so fast. Fast as the speed of guilt.
    Laura recently posted..Jesus was a UnicornMy Profile

    • Oh My God (literally) — that is brilliant! She must have had some Divine Inspiration to pull that move, ’cause that is genius!
      I’m going to try that one at home with my kids!

  19. Shelley said:

    One year, while teaching first grade, I had a mom question the arrangement of the desks in the room. Like I hadn’t spent hours arranging them to be the absolute most productive. I was a very good girl that year and after a semester they moved their precious snowflake to another school. Christmas came early!

    • She questioned the desk arrangement? Oh Lordy! Good thing she and her snowflake transferred out! Ha!

  20. Jessica said:

    Way to shut that down! You have sooo much more patience than me! Also very glad I’m not a teacher! I’d LOSE it!!

    • Me too! I could probably handle the kids, but the parents would drive me crazy!

  21. JaneP said:

    I’m a teacher, the first thing I say at Back to school night is that this is not the time/place for questions that pertain only to their child, if they do have those I’d be more than happy to answer any questions they may have regarding their precious via email tomorrow. Then at the end of the presentation I make a joke about it being past my bedtime and saying I need my beauty sleep to help their little pumpkins grow and learn. Those who don’t take the hint and then linger get stabbed with a number two pencil…heehee just kidding. Having BTS the first week of school or even the week before school starts is becoming more and more common in part to help teachers deal with these center of the universers.

    • Bwahaha! “Those who linger get stabbed with a number two pencil!” I love teachers with a great sense of humor! You rock!

  22. RaeRae said:

    You are good! I had one meeting like this since I was running book fair crap. There were 3 of us and I gave “that” mom one freebie. As her next stupid question came out, I said with the sweetest smile ever “Can we please stick to the agenda and ask any non-related questions after? I have a waxing appointment after this that I don’t want to miss. I have my pole dancing classes that I need to be ready for.” The teacher other mom coughed/laughed and “that” mom’s mouth just shut tight after that and not another word. That teacher and I are best of friends to this day.

    • OMIGOD! You are HILARIOUS! That’s the most brilliant response ever! I love it!