Oops. A combination of stubbornness and bad time management on parents’ parts had Malcolm acting out what could have been seen by his teacher as a lack of respect for her expectations and by Malcolm as a sign from us that this is OK.
So last night I was frantic when I discovered the week+ old homework packet, unfinished, with instructions to finish and return to her in his folder. We finished it up, but since this was less his fault (virtually nil) and more a failure of co-parenting, I encouraged him with a bribe.
“If you can meet some for time-based goals I set as you go along, I will buy you the most expensive Transformer we can find on Amazon, outside of used and/or collectors items. For each goal you don’t meet, I’ll drop the reward by 25% of the most expensive one.”
He failed the first one with tears and obstinance, but after a break he beat the rest with ease.
The most expensive damned Transformer is close to $100. frown emoticon
Woke up this morning to Ian really wanting me to get out of bed. It was early, so I just ushered him into my bed and under the covers to buy myself some time.
He talked to himself a lot and scratched my back and played with my ears for a while, but got pretty fed up with my excuses for lying in bed while he was so awake.
Then I feel this little finger in my ear, digging and reminding me of those childhood warnings about cleaning your ears with Q-Tips. Next I feel him sticking his eye up to my ear, peeking in.
“I’m gonna look in your ear to see what you’re dreaming about.” He pushes his eyeball tightly up against my ear and rocks his head to the side as though he’s honestly looking for something, then pulls back a bit.
“Did you see what I’m dreaming about?” I asked.
“I didn’t see nuffing. Just all black. Daddy? Are you dreaming about sleeping?”
Did homework with Ian tonight. He lit up like a christmas tree. He’s so eager to learn and so imaginative that it almost seems like he’s been filling the intellectual void with his own, fast-paced curriculum.
All day long, every day, he asks these “what if” questions. The last one at the end of the day today was, “daddy, what if the whole universe was the size of me?” When we were buying socks in Victoria last weekend it was, “if everything in the world was made out of fabric, would it be houndstooth?” One time it was, “daddy, if we [all animals] were made out of metal, what would we eat?”
I feel like it’s a criminal disservice to him to shove this dynamic and differently paced little boy into a system that doesn’t really know how to accommodate him. I just wish I was far enough ahead of the game to know how to get him engaged in a way that could include fitting in at school without squeezing him into (or out of) somebody else’s definition of “amazing.”
Ian got in trouble again at school the other day. His mom emailed me about it and this was my response:
My heart sinks when I hear about him having such a hard time.
I do like the format of this report, though. And the thoughtful
comments are better than the usual.
At least I’m acclimating!
Bought fake Lucky Charms at QFC because they’re $1.88. Malcolm noticed and now refers to them as “un-Lucky Charms.”
Today was an early release day for Seattle Public Schools. I had to go get the kids at 1:40 PM. I got there a little early and was waiting around with a bunch of other parents. I’ve done this dozens of times, but this time I walked by half a dozen doors that were locked and labeled with notices, “For security reasons, entry through this door is prohibited. Please enter through the main door near the office.”
I watched all the kids coming out and saw all of the other parents waiting, arms folded, smiling and saying hi to the kids they recognized and/or their parents.
I was reminded of the day I stood in the same spot, with the same parents, the same laughing and running and goofy kids the day of the Sandy Hook elementary … well, that day.
I still can’t handle that day emotionally. I crumbled and stopped reading the news. I stopped all internal analysis of those events. I ran. I left work without a word and ran to school.
I waited with all the other parents with pained, wordless, horror and plaintive stares on their faces. When Malcolm came through the door that day, I ran and grabbed him up into my arms and didn’t let go. He was wrapped around me until he couldn’t stand it anymore.
Today was “Wacky Wednesday.” Yesterday was “Hat Day.” Monday was “Sports Day.” All the kids were absolutely adorable and amazingly wacky. I wish Wacky Wednesday was a weekly thing.
Tomorrow is Pajama Day. They excitedly went to bed in the pajamas they want to wear to school tomorrow. Of course they are skulls and bones and skeletons jammies. Perfect for Halloween. It’s been a fun week.
Not at all ruined by my emotional reminder of something that absolutely destroyed me for a very long time not quite yet three years ago.
Ian’s classmates all drew pictures of him last week. Can you guess which of these was drawn by his new kindergarten best friend?
Ok, I’ll give you a hint: one child couldn’t get enough detail on Ian’s weapons with a crayon so finished up with a pencil.
Ok, I have several questions. First, the face in the middle of the chest. That’s my first question. Second, is that a little robot minion on the right? Third, well, dagger claws everywhere possible is pretty efficient. Finally, the stick figure at the bottom right seems to have done nothing to deserve his fate.
Well, apparently the little guy on the right is Isaiah off in the background. Ian explained it to me. And the face on the shirt is because he was wearing his skull and crossbones shirt that day. And the little guy in the bottom right corner is a human who is evil. Ian added him.
I should have just asked him these questions first, but he won’t talk to me if I laugh when I hear his answers.
My kids are begging me to let them stay up until the apocalypse. After some sage advice from Facebook, I knew talking to them directly, openly, and honestly was my only way forward.
Look, boys. We’re not going to have food, water, or transportation for months – possibly years. I need you to get your rest tonight because this is going to be bad. Really bad. I’m going out on the deck to watch for marauders. You get your rest for now and I’ll start screaming when I need you to wake up. Stay in here until you hear my signal.
I didn’t hear another peep out of them all night! I wish every night was the apocalypse!
Dad: Ian! Don’t spill that water on the floor!
Ian: What water on the floor?
Dad: That glass of water on the table right there!
Ian: This one?
Ian: This isn’t a glass of water on the floor. It’s on the table.