One of the things I find most annoying about our elementary school is that they never send any of the children's artwork home until the end of the year, after they have a big Gallery Night. Its incredibly frustrating, and made even more frustrating by the fact that Alex doesn't exactly give us the best description of what he does each day, especially when it comes to art or music class.
Last year I was up at school one day and discovered a pinch pot Alex had made on display.
A pinch pot I had never even heard about.
When we asked Alex about his day that evening at dinner, and received the usual non-descriptive response, I asked if he had made any pinch pots lately. "Oh yeah..." he replied. So we practiced that night, us asking Alex about his day and what he did in school, and how an appropriate response would be, "I made a pinch pot! Its black and red and out of clay."
Over the past year, the "pinch pot" has become synonymous with reminding Alex to tell us some of the more important details about his day. If we don't receive enough details out of him, our next question is usually "Did you make any pinch pots today?" which prompts a sheepish grin and some juicy details about what happened during the eight hours we were apart.
And as a whole, he's gotten much, much better at telling us about things. We'll hear all about the story Mrs. Stading read during storytime, and about how they played with cups during PE, or who got goals during the big entire first grade soccer game at recess. We've been rather pleased with the details we receive, and I don't even have to cross examine him to the extent I did in kindergarten. Another parent even expressed amazement at the details I had received one day - a huge source of pride for me. I was feeling good about being a good parent.
So you can imagine my surprise this morning when I noticed some 1st grade artwork on display.
Artwork that included Mrs. Stading's class.
And one clay shark scene crafted by one Alexander Swanson.
Something that he obviously spent a great deal of time creating.
Something we had not heard about at all.
This year's pinch pot.