Let's start with brag-part: easy child got himself chosen to continue in national junior program. Very happy for him! Then the actual point of this post: But because things are never that simple, we also got invitation for parent meeting because of that. We have been through this route already with difficult child and those meetings are not my fondest memories from that road. I'm not expecting to be any more fond with them with easy child. Even if we forget all the philosophical peeves I have (I'm not fond of patronising, chauvinistic attitudes), they are not only mindbogglingly boring events, but tend to bring worst out of people and they certainly do make me feel uncomfortable. Okay, I'm first to admit that my attitude may well be a reason I despise them so. Most likely other parents are perfectly nice, ordinary people and maybe even just as uncomfortable there as I am. But that thought doesn't help much when squirming on my seat there. Unfortunately not going isn't really an option. It would be considered a mark against easy child (and of course also difficult child) if they didn't have 'strong and involved' family background. Skipping these things would be considered a sign of not being involved. So I could use some tips to amuse myself when Perfect Parents(tm) make my blood pressure sky rocket. And then to the long, prolix whine part: One reason for these meetings are of course the practical matters. We are letting our under-age sons travel even around the world with these people. Practical issues are not the small thing. Other reason, related to that, is for us to learn to know the staff. As I said, we let them be in big part on our kids life. When there is of course trying to make us buy their ideology and ideas about our sons' future. And then there is for us to get to know each other. During these meetings, they often separate moms and dads (what did I say about chauvinistic...) and especially for moms it is awfully sugarcoated. They talk a lot what fine young men our boys are and what a pleasure it is to work with them and yadda, yadda. With difficult child that was always very uncomfortable and they always made sure they didn't look to me or two other moms with 'livelier' (their euphemisms) sons. Because of those two other moms and our 'loser mom team' these meetings weren't that horrible with difficult child. We were able to amuse ourselves and make fun of the mysterious, contagious disease we seemed to have that kept other parents far away from us and our loser table/row. And loser table we had. For some inscrutable reason parents always choose tables according their son's success. There are table for star players' parents, then for second tier and then for the bottom part. And then for us, there was this loser parent table. And it seemed that parents from second and bottom tier tables were expected to look up the star table. Like somehow our sons, and even our, worth would be defined by how fast they run or how accurately they kick. Totally weird, but still it is like that. People in the 'Star table' speak louder and people in the 'Bottom table' are quiet and listen and secretly glance to 'Star table.' And it always felt like we in the 'Loser table' were expected to hung our heads in shame. One problem with this meeting now will be that I don't know which table I belong. With difficult child we were always firmly in the loser table, but I'm not even sure if it exists for this age group. With our old 'Loser table' group we would have belonged to 'Star table' if our kids had not been 'lively.' In fact, had our sons not been in the best third of the team to beginning, they would had been cut because of their character issues. With easy child it is different. When difficult child got chosen despite his character issues, easy child is partly chosen because of his character. He is one of those kids, for whom they have six equally good kids and two places left and they choose the kid who is a great team player and valuable to the team even if not playing or playing only little. So I guess we should go to 'Bottom table', but usually if you have had one 'Star table' kid, you are permanent member of 'Star table' even if your younger kid is not quite the same calibre. Of course mostly I would like to sit on the floor and make a one woman protest against the whole silly thing. Other thing is that constant bragging. For some reason a son running faster and kicking better than other kids in their town seem to make total braggarts out of people. And make people think that their excellent parenting is the reason for their kid's success. And while my easy child is certainly brag worthy this is a small world and everyone knows about my not so brag worthy oldest son. It is incredibly uncomfortable to just listen and smile and nod. So I would like to arm myself with lots of wise or hilarious ways to amuse myself while suffering through this event and hopefully others similar in future (yeah, hopefully, because that would mean easy child continues to make a cut.) During our Loser Mom Club times we had games we played similar to Bulls*** Bingo, but that is not at all as fun alone.