Saturday, September 28, 2013

with one foot unknowingly on a banana peel

Henry came home with yet another letter from school this week.  In case you've lost count, we're now averaging about two per week since the start of the academic year.


This one was from his teacher and it read,
"Could you please talk with Henry about not bringing toys to school. This is the second time I have reminded Henry about leaving toys at home. He is having a hard time not playing with them during the day. Both times I have asked Henry to put the toys in his backpack but somehow they end up back in his pocket. He continues to play with them during instruction."
Funny enough, we actually pat him down before he leaves the house every day.  It's like he's going through a police search, as we tell him to spread 'em and put his hands in the air.  We'll then check his backpack, pockets, underwear - and any other garment or tote that he might attempt to hide a superhero or plastic dinosaur.  And yet, he still manages to elude us and smuggle these things in to school.  I'm not overreacting - I know it's kindergarten. But I can't help but feel that if I was able to spend more time in his classroom (um, make that any time) - I'd have a much better grip on his behavior and be able to help reinforce proper school manners. Like my friend who is home with her children and was able to write and illustrate a book for her son about etiquette in the classroom that she reads to him whenever she senses he needs it ... and she has that sixth sense because she volunteers in his class 15 hours per week.

Meanwhile,  I was out of work for a few days sick this week. The monster virus strain(s) that have been ambushing us for the past few months, has now gone after my lungs and the whole act of breathing is a lot more difficult than it should be. It turns out I have allergies, and asthma. Things I never had in San Diego, but Northern Virginia and it's ragweed will do that to you.  So on Thursday afternoon, after I ran around to different doctor offices and pharmacies to pick up my artillery of steroids and inhalers and prescription strength antihistamines, Charlie and I spent the rest of the evening playing tag team as we worked with the children on their homework, prepared dinner - cleaned up from dinner - and got everyone ready for bed.  I also talked with the kids about how things were going with their friends on the social scene and one of the children confides in me that someone showed them a picture at school that they thought was inappropriate. So they kept it.  In their backpack.  As you can see - this photo from National Geographic has passed through many a third graders' curious little hands...


As I was tucking them in, Elizabeth says to me, "Mom, I'm beginning to think that you're not going to be alive by the time I graduate from high school." Alarmed by her statement I wheezed, "Why would you say that?!" and she replied, "Because you keep getting sick, you've got wrinkles on your face, and your hair is turning very, very white."

For the record, it's called GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY and you children are definitely expediting that process what with letters being sent home from school every week;  growing up faster than I can blink and bringing home pictures of naked people from Asia that were hijacked out of the elementary school library's National Geographic magazine; and climbing trees to touch electric lines when you're not standing directly next to me holding my hand. But thank you for your words of affirmation.