Monday, October 31, 2011

Please Sir, may I have some more?

Cutest Trick or Treat moment of the night, so far....

When prompted by his father,  "What do you say?" an adorable little child (under age 4) said, "Can I have some more?"  Father was duly, but unnecessarily,  embarrassed.

After my not so little, but still oh so adorable teenager shut the door,  he said, "If I said that you'd be mad."  To which I replied, "If you said that I'd march you home and eat all your candy in front of you. It's rough to be 13, isn't it."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Welsh Poetry...and other strange things that come from the mouths of babes

I picked my daughter up from soccer this evening just like any other fall Thursday night.  But tonight was different, she was in another world, listless, zoning, totally unaware I was there.  I was concerned.  She was staring at the sky, I was calling her name, she was turning in circles, I was screaming her name, she was walking towards me as if in a fog, I was rushing towards her to figure out what was wrong.  She was fine...if you call uttering Welsh Poetry as fine.

Let me clarify. I asked her, "What's wrong? You're not yourself."
She simply whispered, "I'll tell you in the car" with a sigh of longing.

I was anxious enough that I shouted at her to shut the car door when she merely sat in the passenger seat and stared through the windshield with the door hanging open.  She turned to me and said it was nerves.  That she had played on the 6-7th grade boys team this evening in an open contest against the 6-7th grade girls (she's in 5th and decidedly used to playing on a U-11 team) They had placed her in the goal (her normal position) and she had been SCARED! Her nerves were unable to get under control.  She says to me, "I even tried to center myself by uttering Welsh Poetry and that didn't work!"

I sat stunned.  Welsh Poetry? Nerves were rattled and she uttered Welsh Poetry? And as I sat there pondering that I heard her start low and gravely, "I am the captain of the storm, I shall overcome the ranks of the many.  I shall stir within me the ...." and I couldn't move, couldn't drive, couldn't figure out if she was 10 or if she was an ancient Welsh Warrior ready to do battle.  So I looked at her and she sat staring out the window into the setting darkness, wistful continuing her poem (apparently Welsh...)

After she finished her soliloquy, I shattered her trance and asked her exactly what the heck had happened at practice--I figured there had to be some story of ball hitting her head-- and hard! in there somewhere.  But there wasn't.  She (my amazing goalie of a daughter) had made 2 saves on 2 shots against older players.  And she had been nervous the whole time, even after her first save.  And a Welsh Poem came to her mind and she uttered it to calm herself and somewhere deep in that poem she got stuck.

And now she is in our living room, age 10 again and buoyantly watching Jane Eyre and I am sitting here thinking of the Welsh country-side and longing for simpler times when I understood my child and wondering where the time has gone that she has had this chance to become so worldly.  And even more, I am wondering if "time" is even a relevant reference in the lives of young ones.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Conduct Alerts

Conduct Alerts (for those of you outside teaching...never mind, you probably won't get the rest of this post anyway.) I wish I could write:

Child's name:  I think I know but there are so many of them it's easier for me to tell you where he sits than what to call him and when I do call on him I often call him someone else based on where he sat the first week of school in proximity to the other child. If and when I am ever able to form a relationship via nanosecond contact throughout the shortened school year I promise to return and fill this line in.

Incident:  While attempting to manage the behavior of 34 students who all want and need my attention and have no respect for one another let alone the lone adult in the room said child got frustrated in his attempt at ACTUALLY doing the work and by the time I finally made my way over to him he could no longer verbalize what he needed in order to do his work and I got interrupted by student behavior from around the room that was so terrible in their attempt to get me to help them instead of someone else that I couldn't focus on said poor child ACTUALLY asking a question related to work and then said child flipped his desk in his attempt to get away from me and the class and the stupid work that I had assigned in an actual attempt to do academics in an over packed, under-educated, disrespectful group of needy students who just want one thing and that is to be NOTICED by me and given individual attention ALL DAY LONG. Which I can't do! There is no way! There are too many of them and they are all too low in basic student skills for me to have them self-manage AND IT"S NOT THEIR FAULT, they are only 10 and the social system and school system has and continues to fail them but in the end it comes down to this child is now getting a conduct alert--yet all he wanted was to do his work and have his teacher help him.

Teacher Follow Up: tears in a colleague's office, utter frustration at an inability to be the teacher these kids need me to be due to a screwed up system of no funding to give these kids what they need, and an utterly useless lecture with the rest of the class on their poor behavior--to which they merely nodded their heads and went right back to being off task and disrespectful to one another.

Administrator action: If I had time I'd check with him, but there is no time.  I worked 630-5 today and I still couldn't get to him to check in about this particular incident and how to write it up.  So here it is.

Child's Name: I don't know--since objects were flying from all directions.

Incident report: see above--about objects, flying, all directions.  Ending with Pencil hitting teacher.  And it did end there, because I made it end by being "not positive" in my redirection.

Teacher follow up: see above about negativity and redirection.

Administrator action: none--cause I am not going to report it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Great Green Waterfalls and Other Hilarious Adventures in My Life

I was productive today.  Very Very Very productive.  So productive I am allowing myself a complete lack of commas and improper capitalization in this post. 
I talked to contractors and strangers.  Got organized and made Goodwill runs as well as shopping trips to buy organizing contraptions.  Moved furniture and cleaned chicken coops.  Made doctor appointments and made progress towards the house remodel (See post about said tree falling....).
I even got the majority of the kids' Halloween costumes purchased.  Yay me. is indeed clumsy. 
After searching 3 different Goodwill stores and 2 different clothing departments at local one-stop-shopping stores, I still could not find a bright green, long sleeved t-shirt for my son's costume.  And in a flash of fateful inspiration I had an idea! Oh yes, beware the flash of fateful inspiration fairy--she is an impish one.
I bought a long sleeved white t-shirt and green fabric dye.  Even had a very kind gentleman and fellow shopper instruct me as to how to go about making dark green a brighter green (use yellow dye, too).  And I was good, I read the directions, I got a bucket and I dyed that shirt while wearing latex gloves so as to not stain my hands (thanks amazing stranger/fellow shopper with great advice!)
As I stood there swishing the 4.5 gallons of dark green dye and the formerly white t-shirt, I was oh so proud of myself.  I am amazing! I am a genius! I am soaking wet on the feet...?!!
I looked down to find said 4.5 gallons of dark green dye water pouring out of the cupboards beneath my sink.  I looked around to see said 4.5 gallons of dark green PERMANENT dye water spreading over my kitchen floor.  And I spewed a length of words so crass that seasoned sailors would have flinched.
And then, with no one around to help me clean up the mess nor to figure out what to do, I laughed.  I laughed hard and long and loud and perhaps a bit maniacally.  But I laughed and then when the water had made its' way and was no longer pouring, I stopped.  And I cleaned it up. 
My sides hurt from laughing.  My old dog drying towels are tye-dyed.  The plumbing needs to be fixed cause the drain pipe completely broke. Not to mention there's still a large oak tree worth of wood in my backyard waiting to be split, there are still holes in my roof and ceilings, there are still large fans and dehumidfiers drying out my house from the rain that fell the same night the tree did. 
But there's not green dye on my floors--I conquered that.  And at the same time I discovered there's still hope and laughter in my life. 
And my son has a perfect dyed green t-shirt for Halloween.  It looks so good, he can even wear it afterwards.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

When a Tree Falls on Your House and You Don't Know What it is, Does it Make a Sound?

YES!!! And when you exit the house and find out what it was, oh man! There are no words and you can't describe the sound.  Except maybe that it was the sound of grace and peace and oh my god, I am glad my children are okay.
And we are okay.  And it did make a sound.  And I can't describe it in a way that makes sense.