The first month of school came and went and I had no idea how my daughter was spending her time. She would get off of the school bus and I would have a pile of questions waiting for her only to be followed with a one word answer. I was feeling lost. My oldest child has a life of her own and doesn't want me to be part of it, I thought this only happened in the teen years.
I tried a few things. The younger two girls and I set up a tea party for when she came home in the late afternoon. We sat around drinking tea and eating a snack while we talked about anything but details of school. "What are you learning?", "Did you talk about any numbers or letters?", "What was your favorite part of the day?". These were all questions met with, "I can't remember".
We played a game of Zingo together hoping the time would lead to dialogue, but no luck there.
Dinner time. Not a chance. Not a story to be shared other than what kids got into trouble. So there we have it, out daughter at school and the only thing she is learning about is what kids to stay away from if she wants to stay out of trouble.
A few weeks later after story time and everyone is tucked into bed an idea popped into my head. If she could tell me stories about school, then I would lie in bed with her while she talked about her day. Amazing how fast her memory recovered. It is now her favorite part of our bedtime routine, and mine too. Sure I have fallen asleep since the stories are so long, but at least I'm getting a view into her day. I will have to clarify that not all of the stories are real, since she makes some up just to keep me in her bed, creative thinking gets some points, but it seems to be a big part of our quality time together at the end of the day. Last week she ended the discussion with, "tell me about your day at work". Wow, that is really desperate, and could easily put us both to sleep, but suddenly I realized where she gets her inability to remember the day, or realized there is little to talk about, or little worth talking about.