One September afternoon, when my sister and I got home from school, our mother had a big announcement for us:
I’m going to be teaching Parent Education classes.
Our faces wore expressions of “You have got to be kidding,” but since that expression was on our faces several times a day Mother didn’t seem to notice.
She had a big folder of materials and she began to peruse them as though she might actually teach from them. Then she announced that she would be gone two nights a week teaching these marvelous classes.
Well, that was just what we had been waiting to hear. Yea! Mother would be gone two nights a week. My sister, my dad, and I were ecstatic. It was during this time that my dad made the popcorn balls on Halloween to give out as treats. Every night that she was gone was like a party. We listened to the radio and had lots of fun.
I am trying to imagine what curriculum she taught in her parent education classes. Did she look at the materials and teach “Listening to Your Child,” or did she say:
I just tell them to quit whining and shut up?
Did she explore the lesson on “Giving Your Child Options,” or did she just say:
I’m the parent and I tell them what to do?
My guess is that she was Miss Phony Baloney and that she stood up in the front pretending to be the World’s Most Outstanding Mother.
Nevertheless, no matter what she was teaching, my sister, Dad and I were just happy she was gone. We were actually hoping that it would continue on for several years. Unfortunately, like most of Mother’s interests (including her children), this didn’t last. At the end of the first session, she was done with Parent Education. Either she had taught them everything she knew, or she was tired of pretending to be someone she was not. Possibly they had caught a glimpse of her true parenting style and decided they had to terminate her.
At any rate, she was done and the town of Decatur was deprived of any more of her parenting advice.
A valuable lesson that I learned from this experience is to always question authority. Maybe those people who are teaching the class are the ones most in need of it.