I admit it. I’m super nosy.

My family and friends are always tell me that I’m nosy, but I prefer to think of it as “curious” or “very interested in people.”

I don’t think I can even blame it on being a journalist, because I’ve been like this since I was a kid. I like to ask a lot of questions. I need to know the details. I want to know not only what happened in a given situation, but exactly what people said, thought, wore, ate, felt — and what order it all happened. My sister has admitted this nosiness would make me a good lawyer.

For the first five years I was a parent, I was with my kids pretty much constantly, so I always knew what was going on in their lives. Our son was out of my sight here and there for preschool and playdates, but I was able to piece together how it had all went down. When they said something new or learned a new skill, I could tell you exactly when and where it had happened for the first time.

So when our son started Primary in September, it felt like I was shipping him over to boarding school overseas — hoping for the occasional mailed letter that didn’t really say much of anything. He was making new friends and learning new things that I knew nothing about. He disappeared on the schoolbus into the darkness of the (very) early morning, and reappeared on the bus seven hours later.

SEVEN HOURS. Seven hours of me obsessing over what he was doing, what he was saying, who he was playing with and whether or not he was paying attention or being a good listener or following the rules. Was he following in my school footsteps and being a Teacher’s Pet or was he acting more like my husband — who ran a “business” in Grade 2 where he dyed his classmates’ bottles of white glue using the felt inserts from coloured markers?

So from the very first day of school, I implemented a mandatory after-school snack that was actually an interrogation in disguise …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene

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