Hawaii won her school’s Veteran’s Day poetry contest!
Thanks to You
Our flag must mean a lot to you,
For you fought for us through and through.
It’s thanks to you that we are here
If not we might just be cowering in fear.
It’s thanks to you that we are safe
Because of your bravery and faith
That now it all just comes down to
Two more words and those are Thank You.
The ceremony was bizarre at times – four (ROTC?) soldiers in formal gear, standing around a table, placing an empty cup, a rose, a lemon, (I found the whole thing here), and so on, somberly reciting. Holding up different colored square in front of their faces. I guess it’s a POW/MIA thing. Sure, have a POW/MIA thing at an elementary school, why not. They also brought in the high school drumline, which was totally awesome.
At any rate, ceremonial jingoism aside, I love her poem and I think it was far and above the best of the 1st-6th place poems which were read.
One of those Egyptian Goose guys again.
Pokey, ugh, my heart is breaking. To test for a belt in karate, you send in a form to the kid’s teacher who has to verify that the kid is, essentially, an obedient little chipper with a tidy desk. Pokey’s teacher returned the form and instead of signing it, wrote a note explaining how his behavior is incorrigible and no way could she sign such a thing. (She went into similar detail in the ADHD form.)
She is completely correct. He is going to be crushed. He’s insanely competitive and this is going to blindside him.
Update: I told him, and he was disappointed but took it squarely. I asked him if he were upset, and he said, “I’m not surprised. Ms. R barely signed it last year. She said ‘Well, I guess you had a good day today, so I’ll sign it…'”
He is fairly philosophical and realistic about the consequences of his problems at school.
I failed to get any action shots of Pokey playing soccer this season. It was so fun to watch him play. First, he’s a goddamn scoring machine. He just gets how to finish the ball. He scores three goals in a game with no problem.
(When I played, I was scared of being right in front of the goal, because it’s so scrappy and easy to get hurt there. So I used to take the ball wide and shoot these beautiful, floppy arcing long shots. They looked so pretty. Then they’d either go wide, or high, or the goalie would leisurely catch them. I never scored.)
Sometimes he played sweeper. He was so good there, too. He reads the situation, positions himself between the attacker and the goal, doesn’t commit too early but not too late either. It’s so much fun to watch him.
Back to the school issues: Along with the karate form, his teacher also filled out the ADHD form. I thought about posting her comments here from both forms, but they’re just plain demoralizing.
Instead, I emailed the assistant principal and basically said, “Pokey is having a really terrible year. His teacher is very patient but seems to be at capacity. Is there any help?” (I don’t actually think his teacher seems very patient, but I phrased it nicely.)
The principal wrote back and said, “Let me know if you’d like to transfer him to the other dual language class, or out of the dual language program altogether.”
I was taken aback. Maybe? But wouldn’t Pokey’s difficulties just follow him to a new teacher? These things aren’t going away. I and asked my friend’s advice, and she asked how that would fit into Pokey’s RTI and ARD and all these other acronyms I’ve never heard of.
I’m supremely frustrated to just now be learning all this.
So: there’s all these interventions that someone in the schools should have alerted us to, over the past three years. Instead of me sitting through hour-long rants by multiple teachers vomiting all their pent-up anger on me, they could have fucking asked for help and followed protocol. The principals who have seen him could have initiated something. All these specials teachers (ie PE, art, music) who get into these fights with him could have mentioned something to someone in the administration.
And the nature of the RTI (response-to-intervention?) appears to be exactly the kind of thing that we’ve been struggling with – how do you set small achievable goals for your kid when you’re not there to carry it out during the day? How do you get the teacher to stay on the same page when you seem to drift to different pages so damn quickly? Etc. The answer is that there’s a designated person who coordinates all this. ‘
(I’d thought that none of this stuff was available unless he had a diagnosis and it was interfering with his learning. Since he’s fine academically and this is all behavioral, I honestly thought we were on our own.)
ADHD is highly over-diagnosed in marginalized populations – poor kids dealing with trauma and PTSD. Then the flip side is that a privileged white kid displays all these symptoms, and no one flags it. (I am not saying these experiences are equivalent. Pokey’s situation is frustrating, not horrifying.)
More things Pokey smuggles out of the cafeteria:
Better than a syrup packet, I suppose, insofar as it didn’t burst.
Pokey spent today doing long division without really knowing the standard algorithm:
He was verifying the batting averages on his baseball cards by dividing the number of at bats by the number of hits, and taking it out to the thousandths column. (There are several pages like this.)
Jammies and I spent lots of brain cells trying to track Pokey’s monologues about remainders and rounding and tenths and hundredths column digits, confusion about percents and decimals, and so on.
It is morbidly hilarious that Pokey got an award for being on time to school, because it’s an obsession of his that we’d like him to loosen his grip on. He fixates on a 7:27 arrival. Any earlier and they have to go to the cafeteria. Any later and he’s not right there at 7:30 when they open the front doors.
Sometimes in the drive over, he’ll simultaneously be berating you for being too early and too late. Pokey! If I’m both too early and too late, I’m doing great! Get off my case, kiddo.
A crane or a heron?
Ace and her dawdling. I know I’m harping on this. It’s someone holding up a mirror to my inner soul, and the dawning realization of what I’m like, who I am. Gentle Reader, I am an incorrigible dawdler.
It’s putting on the shoes, it’s buckling the seat belt, it’s taking ten minutes chatting while sitting on the toilet. “STAY ON TASK!” I bark constantly, because I know instinctively that’s the hardest part.
Favorite stuffie wearing favorite (outgrown) t-shirt.
“C’monnnnn,” I coax, trying to get Ace to wrap up using the bathroom so that she will brush her teeth.”
Ace closes the toilet seat lid, and tells me: “It’s hard not to blink when you’re shutting the toilet seat lid,”
She says, “Watch this!” And she assumed a bug-eyed stoic, face-jutting expression, and then reached out her arm and let the toilet lid drop.
Sure enough, she blinked as the lid banged on the base. I burst out laughing, and we got distracted together, making more and more ridiculous faces that broke upon the bang of the toilet seat closing.
We’re soooo slooo000ooow.
I particularly like this outfit.
Maybe a red-shouldered hawk? Some kind of hawk.
Rascal is at the age where there are lots of skirts and pink in Pokey’s old hand-me-downs. “Rascal, would you like to have a dress or two in your closet with your other clothes?”
“NOOOOOO” he says resoundingly, like he’s bored of everyone asking him this. Okay then!
Jammies put chocolate chips in the pancakes this morning.
Don’t you dare touch anything.
At one point today, Jammies was sitting on the edge of the couch, watching soccer, and I stretched out behind him on my stomach. Enjoying the tired laziness of a Sunday for a moment. Rascal climbed on me and cuddled. Then got on his knees and started climbing around. Eventually he stood up, wobbled, and collapsed. Whooped and did it again.
None of it really hurt, although it wasn’t exactly relaxing. He kept standing on me in different places, wobbling around and hamming it up – “whoa, whoo-aoo-oo…!” – and then collapsing in a big pile.
Finally he just hung on to the back of the couch and jumped up and down on my butt. This hurt, and that struck me as impossibly absurd, and I got the giggles. I finally rolled over and saw that he was naked from the waist down, as well. Then he fell into me and we cracked skulls, and I had a pounding headache for the next hour. The end.
Ever since Rascal was a baby, he’s been the most head-butting, happily violent kid. I have a hard time conveying it in words.
Hawaii’s friend B put this on her homework, for Silly Sentences:
I love that so much.
The kids noticed tonight that we put them to bed by 7:45. We didn’t mean to – we ate dinner, it got dark, we brushed teeth and read stories, and put them to bed. Hawaii went to set her alarm and called shenanigans on us when she saw the current time.
We shrugged and told them to read in bed (which we always let them do anyway.) After all, they woke up at 5:30 this morning. I don’t actually feel too bad for them. Plus I might get to bed at a sane hour tonight.
I think this big sucker is a great heron, or at least a pretty good heron.
I took a personal day on Thursday. This semester has just been completely awful. Finally the election is over, the student conference trip is over, the visiting mathematician is over, the blockwalking is over, everything is done except running out the clock on the actual semester. Good fucking riddance.
I like the little bulbs at the base of each stem. They must be filled with air to help it float? They looked very smooth and appealing, texturally.