And, with that, October is done…

Halloween has come and gone.  If I’m not mistaken, judging by the amount of leaves, debris, broken branches and such, October flew out of here with last night’s storm.  November was ushered in in the same fashion; there was a power outage in the wee hours of the morning, and a 2-hour delay was called at 5:30 a.m. by J’s bus driver who heard it from the bus depot.  The call from the school didn’t come until six, and I was grateful that we’d had an earlier unofficial call or J would have been in the middle of getting dressed and “bringing him down” from that level of concentration would have been hard on everyone.

The fact that there was no snow on the ground confused J.  This type of delay is something he relates to snow.  I quickly changed the board so that it reflected some at-home time and chores before the BUS and BACKPACK.  This didn’t stop J from checking the board every five minutes to make sure I hadn’t removed his beloved BUS and BACKPACK.  If only he understood that I only take those down as a last resort…never voluntarily unless he’s sick!!!

This unexpected change in plans, in spite of our concerns, did very little to ruin J’s day.  He came home smiling from ear to ear, and there was no note in his comm book.  This either means the day was OK or the teacher is still trying to find words.  I’d rather think the day was OK.  On the plus side, and this HAS become a sign of what kind of day he’s had, he didn’t hand me a ziploc bag and ask for ice.  He also didn’t upgrade to a tumbler and a whisky bottle…

From all the information we’ve been gathering here and there (and, no, still no actual reason on why J exploded to the point he did that One Day at School,) J’s issues are stemming from his schedule.  I seriously think it’s some weird strain of boredom, and I dread the process of figuring out what to do to solve this.   At home I can resort to just about any hare-brained idea that pops up in my seriously overworked brain; I have a population of ONE that I’m serving.  At school…the options are limited because the population is bigger, and focusing on J takes attention away from his classmates.  This would not be fair, and it is not expected by us.

That’s the quandary of every parent, isn’t it?  Our kids are important.  Our kids deserve attention.  Our kids are singles among many.  It’s impossible to please each and every set of parents all the time, but that doesn’t stop many parents from expecting just that.  I don’t envy teachers.  If they have kids of their own, there’s no escaping children all day.  If they don’t have children, there’s no escaping the fact that they are the number one thing they will deal with, day in and day out, for as long as they choose to teach.  On top of that, children have parents…and there’s a lot of paperwork that must be generated about each student to document everything to the parents’ satisfaction.  Any wonder why I didn’t want to stick with being a pedagogue????

We are working on counting from 1 to 30.  This is going well.  Some days.  Before launching into this new territory, I had to work on teaching Dada the signs for 21 through 30.  Because he will be called upon to take over counting duty, he has to be able to do this without me present.  Dada is a bright man, but ASL is not his forte.  If I’m there, he can easily mirror, but if I’m gone he gets distracted by whatever J is doing.  So we work for a few days, just the two of us, and I randomly call out a number and he has to sign it.  This is going well.  Some days.

Last night we were working on numbers 5 and 14.  J selected them from the Big Box of Number Cards.  He counted the beads, completed the worksheets, dutifully participated in the whole process.  My son, the mercenary, wants stickers for his worksheets, and he was putting extra effort last night because I had just opened a brand new package of stickers.  Disney stickers.  These he picked out from all the ones we had in the basket.  He picked these and ignored Dora the Explorer.  I was NOT expecting that.

Anyway, when we got to the worksheet for 14, J was in a very good mood.  He was chirping and singing, enjoying the colorful beads that we keep in the big plastic tray on his desk.  Such big fingers as he has make the beads look tiny when, in fact, they are of a fairly good size.  I don’t want to buy him the very big ones because they look to him like Duplos look compared to Legos…obviously intended for the younger set.  I respect that about him; he will go along with the beads and the cards, but he doesn’t want to be working with beads clearly meant for Kindergarten classrooms.  The sheet for 14 had an exercise with boxes where he had to write the numbers that missing from the sequence.  Mind you, those are numbers he knows because I’ve seen him writing them over and over, but last night -perhaps because it was Halloween, and he’d had candy at school and there was a great deal of mirth spilling into the house every time the doorbell rang and a chorus of “trick or treat!” came in floating in the breeze- our son was in a rather impish mood.  The spot where 3 should be written got an F and a giggle; the spot for 6 got LO and an even more mischievous giggle; the spot for 12 generated a rather contagious peal of laughter.  By the time he correctly wrote 14 in the last box, he was laughing, we were laughing and TGG came into the room laughing because he heard us over the baby monitor.

It’s hard to be pessimistic about the year when things like this happen.  Even if J IS hitting his head and being a pain.  It’s going to be fine, right?  Here and there we’ll come up with things that will help us figure out what to do; now and then we’ll reach for ice in a ziploc bag, but we’ll also have things like FLOM written on worksheets and laughter interspersed throughout.

Huzzah!  It’s November!

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