Monday, September 25, 2006

Tattle-Tale, Picky Nail
Go to the River and Wash Your Tail!

Today at school I got into a conversation with J.'s mom, who is the room parent. Well, I must have blacked out for a minute, because somehow she and I are now co-art volunteers and co-class parents. I still don't know how I agreed to the latter (or if I did), but it's cool because we can do it together and have less I must admit I was a tad envious of her for volunteering for room parent before I even knew it was up for grabs. ;^)

J. and his mom have had a very rough time. Apparently about a year ago she was violently assaulted and her son saw it, and three days afterward, he flipped out and the two of them went to therapy for the past year. Plus, he has ADHD, so the trauma and the ADHD account for a lot of his behavior difficulties, although frankly I think he's a nice little boy and doesn't need to be punished for most of the stuff he does. There's so much focus on the negative behavior in the kiddo's classroom! J.'s mom sounds like she's on it; she's talked to the office and the school psychologist, and is thinking about putting everything in writing. She's much stronger than I initially thought, and I think I can learn some valuable things from her. She also used to teach preschool! What an interesting person. Said the lovely J.'s mom: "When I'd catch them doing stuff they weren't supposed to, I was like, 'Yo, step off,' and they'd settle down. No need to yell." I am seriously enjoying this school experience, no joke.

In other news, yesterday was my unofficial home improvement day. My brother came over and organized most of the kiddo's toys, which seem to multiply each night. Having them put into all sorts of portable drawers/bins was a huge help, as now the kiddo will know where his toys go and can put them away without direction. Prior to the toy organization effort, the kiddo helped me plant a bunch of flowers I'd bought -- marigolds, dusty miller, hot pink geranium (all in the long boxes) and rosemary (alone in a pot). The kiddo filled a giant pot with soil, and I even put a layer of mulch on top of the dirt, which will help a lot in keeping the weeds down and keeping moisture in. Hey, get me -- I'm gardening. ;^) I kept referring to the rosemary as "Miss Rosemary," which confused the kiddo; he started thinking all plants were either boys or girls (fertilization issues notwithstanding), and decided the geranium was a BOY. (Ha. As if!) ;^) Later in the evening, the kiddo and I went to Target for some odds and ends, and I bought him a foam crown for a buck. He loves it and wanted to wear it to school. I mostly love the dollar bins at Target. Lovelovelove.

There's a minor ant invasion occurring upstairs near my desk, but I fluffed some baby powder in the crack on top of the electrical outlet cover, from whence the ants were emerging, and am hoping it keeps them at bay for a while without poison/stinky/sticky spray. I have clove-scented ant spray, but the smell is still yucky and lingers for weeks. Yesterday I had at least four crawling on me at various times, which is making me a bit jumpy. One ant was, ahem, "found" crawling in a sensitive area when I sat down to check email after my shower. I think you know what I mean. Now I have a permanent twitch.

Oh, back to school news: Supposedly the troubled boy in the kiddo's class got an aide. J.'s mom pointed her out to me at school, but then I saw that person in my condo complex when I came home!! I knew the family three doors down was Russian, so that fits, but if she was here, then she wasn't helping the boy all day, so maybe I still need to talk to the principal for my own peace of mind at the very least. It seems there is something being done (?) but maybe not as much as I hoped or as much as needs to be done. J.'s mom and I also talked about how the teacher yells at the kids. Of course, it's a bit risky to have conversations like this RIGHT OUTSIDE THE OFFICE and sort of outside the classroom, where we could be overheard. Or maybe it's a good thing. I don't want to be hated by the staff, lest I be prevented from working at the school, nor do I want to make trouble, but the teacher's discipline tactics make me uncomfortable and seem over the top. They also seem to encourage tattling. Every single day after lunch there's an "airing of the grievances" and the tattlers are gratified when the teacher punishes the tattlees for kid-crimes committed on the playground -- when the teacher wasn't even present! Um...what? When I volunteered last week, a kid came up to me to tattle, and I told him very nicely to basically suck it up and get back to work. Ha.

Life ain't fair, kids. But it can still be fun.