What did you do at school today?

What Did You Do At School Today?

Now that Tiny-Small has become an official preschool student I get to ask her the inevitable question: What did you do at school today? It’s a terrible question. I know. I just can’t resist asking. It’s a classic. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that you aren’t supposed to ask kids that question anymore. All of the child psychologists agree that asking this question is a guaruantee that your child will use drugs and get pregnant by the age of 13. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I do see a lot of lists, from bloggers much smarter than I ever hope to be, about the questions we should ask instead. It’s too bad I never clicked on one and actually read it.

Sometimes I do remember to ask her something else, but since I am usually experiencing my afternoon slump about the time she comes home, my questions are either lame or bizarre anyway. Sometimes I just get desperate for information. Take what happened today for instance…

Me: What did you do at school today?

T.S.: I don’t know.

Me: Did you learn a new letter?

T.S.: No.

Me: Did you play with kids?

T.S.: <shrugs>

Me: Did you see any dragons? I hear that school of yours is infested with them.

T.S.: No! There was a dead bug. It was so big.

Me: Really? Wow. What happened to it? Did someone step on it?

T.S.: I want a snack.

This kid could get a job with the FBI or CIA right now. She knows how to keep secrets better than I do. The other day when she came home wearing a different dress than she left home in my first though was: There’s a good story behind this wardrobe change I just know it. So I asked.

Me: What happened at school today?

T.S.: Nothing.

Me: Why did you change clothes?

T.S.: I didn’t.

Me: You were wearing a different dress this morning.

T.S.: I wanted to wear this one.

Me: Did you spill something on it?

T.S.: There was a big girl in my class today with a heart shirt on.

Me: Oh yeah? What was her name?

T.S.: She ate lunch.

Me: Was she nice?

T.S.: I want a snack.

Me: Did you see any dragons today? Maybe one flying by the window?

T.S.: No. Dragons would burn the school down.

It’s weird to send your kids out into the world with practical strangers and get so little information about their day in return. The only clue I usually get is what she ate for lunch when I find a half eaten apple in her lunchbox and a squished sandwich at the bottom of her backpack. Sometimes the teacher sends a picture she made at school home. Those are my jackpot days.

What did you do at school today?
Drawing by Tiny-Small, age 4.

Tiny-Small drew me twice in this picture. Once as some kind of fertility goddess and once as what can only be a dragon-like streak in the sky. I was overjoyed by my obvious importance in the picture, only surpassed by the amazing Milo who is obviously her favorite person at school.

Maybe I should start asking more questions about him and less about those pesky dragons?

Meanwhile, even though she is only 4 I guess I have to get used to her having her own life and space. It’s like she’s 4 going on twenty. My head is already spinning.


10 thoughts on “What Did You Do At School Today?”

  1. I remember asking that question, and getting similar answers. Sometimes it’s best to give them a snack, and space, then they start talking.

  2. It’s not any better in second grade. Those other supposedly smarter bloggers, they just suggest asking leading questions like: who did you play with it recess? what was the favorite thing you learned today that you didn’t know before? other than recess what was your favorite part of your day at school? To be honest I have not had any better success with these questions.

    1. I ask those questions too without much success. My friend Andrea said I just need to make them more exciting like, “Did anyone pee their pants in school today?” Haha…I may try that one next week. Until then, at least we know our kids can keep a secret, right?

  3. OK WAIT. My mind is kinda spinning right now because every day I ask my kid if he had a happy day and what he did. What are we supposed to ask??? GAH!?!?!
    My head is spinning, too. And he’s five. Kindergarten *sob*

  4. Is it a generational thing, or was I just an over sharer as a kid? Because I used to come home and yap my mother’s ear off. lol
    I have two boys, and it’s classic boy behavior to not “bring the office home”. They will come right out and say “I don’t want to talk about it”. I guess they just want immediate down time. The way they pile on the work in 3rd grade, I can understand it. But dammit – don’t they understand we’re want to be involved in their lives! lol

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