manners and school

so I talked to a counsellor again today. Geeziz. They’re going to take him out of the Honor’s classes he is in (and he’s auditing those classes, being excused from the first half of the semestre so quality of his work isn’t important, just completion) because his refusal to do the science fair guarantees his failing. They want to put him in regular classes and reduce his classload by one so he can spend one period a day with the parapro learning organization and study skills.

I told he we weren’t convinced that changing his class was the best approach and at this point we were leaning towards letting him repeat ninth grade. In deeper discussion she had to agree that the problem really isn’t his organization or study skills (although I agree they need work) its wholly his attitude. I told her we’ve been trying to make him understand the consequences of his actions and failing the ninth grade and repeating it SHOULD be a natural consequence but she hemmed and hawed and eventually let loose that his demeanor in the honor’s class has become an issue as well; he is overly sarcastic and dismissive of the class to the point of making the entire class uncomfortable. Let’s put this in plain ENglish: he’s being an ass and making fun of the class thinking he’s being terribly clever but what he’s really doing is insulting everyone there.


So its not just that they think he doesn’t belong, he’s actually disrupting the class. Fan-fucking-tastic.

This isn’t a new thing. His perception of his humor and the reality of his humor are two different things. And don’t think I’m giving excuses because of his Aspergers because I’m most decidedly NOT. He’s been warned about this tendancy to be insulting before. its been a problem before and we’ve had many careful, instructive discussions before about the proper attitude around others and how to judge other’s reactions.

So commence a nice angry conversation here at home with him. It goes in the same damned circles and i end up getting really fucking mad at him. I just feel like he’s deliberately ignoring everything we say every damned time. I look at him and I can tell that he’s just not believing anything we say.

“Son” if you try to finish other people’s sentences, that’s rude.”
“Son when you say general sarcastic things, you are actually making fun of the subject matter”
“Son if you don’t act pleasant towards your teacher or pay attention, you are basically being rude to them; you are telling them you don’t respect what is important to them”

and on and on while he just nods his head and looks at us with that blank stare. This is reminescent of the hygeine problem with Son Number One. It didn’t matter how many fucking times we told him “YOU STINK. TAKE A SHOWER, WEAR CLEAN CLOTHES AND USE DEODERANT” he kept ignoring us. until he was kicked out of class for smelling too bad
After that incident, he got his shit together and starting being clean.

SO what’s it going to take for Son Number Three and his snarky attitude? I just told him that he was upsetting other students, insulting them. “you think you’re being clever and funny but really you are OFFENDING them”

he looked surprised, but I have no way of knowing whether its going to sink in. WTF

I actually ended up yelling at him “I raised you better than this! you are a kind considerate boy! BUT NOW YOU ARE INSULTING PEOPLE! YOU KNOW BETTER!”



do the math…

Son number three is currently pacing back and forth telling me MORE installments of his endless adventures as Kell Payne: super-hero of mystery! (except the hourly updates of Mr. Payne’s abilities and escapades render him perfectly UNmysterious to me)

His pacing back and forth while he babbles incessantly in a stream puncuated with “hey mom, didja know that…” is making me wish I had a drink in my hands. I rub my head, say “uh huh” and “rilly? wow that’s amazing” about 50 times until I’m ready to scream.

Finally, after about 30 minutes of this exquisite torture, it comes to me…eldest son arrived home with 12 donuts. Last look beheld one and a half donuts left. Three children. One donut for me. That means…

“Son,” I say to son number three, interrupting his spiralling chatter long enough for him to fix his huge hazel eyes on me with brow raised. “you have had too much sugar. I’m talking about the donuts.” His brow raises even higher for a second and then lowers again in deep thought.
“Son, I think you need to go downstairs and run all around the room.”

He nods at me with a very serious look.

“and son,” he pops his head back in the doorway to look at me quizzically, “be sure to jump up and down on the couch a few times too”

“Right,” he says.

Door closes with a quiet >click<

being an “altparent” really really sucks sometimes

I think my oldest has been ditching school. They call me (They being a social worker) to tell me he has 22 unexcused absences.
“we need to meet about this”

I’m thinking, “why? so you can bitch me out for not being June fucking Cleaver?”

I admit it. I’ve let my kid stay home a lot. You wanna know why? Because the public school he goes to is awful. He HATES it. I HATE it. He still get top marks and does his homework. When I met with the challenge teacher (that’s the ‘gifted’ program) he raved about how easy everything was for my son; how during every open-book test my son does not use the book, finishes before everyone and still gets highest marks.

That horrible woman was YELLING at me on the phone because I said “look at his grades. I am trying to get him to school everyday on time but it’s really hard and I guess I’m just not very good at it.”

She actually said “It’s important that he BE in school”
so I said “I thought it was important for him to get educated. Look at his grades, you’ll see he’s doing fine”
So she started issueing dire vague threats about filing with the court for truancy.

She’s yelling at me “we need to know what the problem is”
I kept telling her the only problem is that I am just not very good at getting it all done properly.
Finally I lost it and said “the problem is that he HATES that school! We did not have this problem at his private school. The staff at your school have abused me and so frankly I really don’t care about them or their rules”

More threats.
I agree to meet with her.

Oh boy, an hour of them telling me how awful I am and how bad this all is and I’m not a good parent and blahblahblah.

As far as I can see, its just that they want to sit there and bitch me out for a while.

I’m so over public education in this state.

maybe you shouldn’t have said that…

I’m sitting at my computer, trying to keep from going crazy from inactivity. Son number three runs up.
“hey mom, can I have one of your cookies?”
“mmmm… okay…. ”
We both go to the kitchen.
“I can get it myself!” he says which is an odd thing for him to say since he’s 7 and has been getting things himself for a while now.
“okay… you can have just TWO cookies!” I say.
“JUUUUST ONE!” he yells, reaching into the bag.
“two,” I corrected, “you can have two and give me one as well”
“there’s only one here” he says with a smile and pulls it out, “all gone!”
I grab bag. It is indeed empty. I look up at son number three, holding the last cooky and looking quite pleased.
“who took all my cookies!”
“I did” he said
and then realized what he just said.
“Oooops!” goes the face.

I take cookie from his forlorn face and say
“yeah and now this one’s MINE”

Early days, with Ukrainian flair

When son number one was about 2-3yrs old, we lived in Philadelphia in a two-story brownstone. We took in roommates occasionally; whoever was in need of a place to live.
One year, it was a russian friend who decided to save some money by staying with us. In all honesty, he is Ukrainian, not Russian, and although he told us HE didn’t care, it is apparently a mild source of annoyance and consternation to Ukrainians that they are referred to as “Russian”. FYI here.

Anyway, our friend Sergey lived with us for about two years. At one point, because we charged next to nothing for room and board (and the only reason he paid anything was because he insisted) he began helping out in domestic areas. He was not a very good cleaner, and his culinary skills were somewhat two-dimensional so he settled into occasional child-care for us. The best part of that meant that I could sleep in every now and then because he would always get up early and watch my precious ward for me without any complaint.

One such morning, I woke up and stumbled downstairs to find my beautiful baby boy sitting on the floor with a econo-size jar of grape jelly between his legs. Jelly smeared all over his face, his clothes, the floor and an incriminating trail behind him. Sergey was sitting not three feet away tapping away on his computer.

“Hi mommy!” cheered son number one, waving a sticky purple hand at me. Finding his ice-blue eyes underneath the gelatinous carnage was difficult but I managed to get down on the floor and engage in a mild staring contest before speaking gravely.

“son,” I said, “you are done with the jelly now. No more jelly.”
His little face fell some, but he handed over the nearly empty jar with no fanfair. I picked him up and we went to clean up.

After his body had been un-stickified and his clothes changed, I sent him to wipe up (in his own toddler way) some of the aftermath of his adventure. While son number one was thus occupied, I turned to Sergey.

“uh… Sergey?” I said, “um, did you KNOW that [son number one] was eating a huge jar of jelly?”

“oh yes,” he said in his familiar accent, “I opened the jar for him”

“you opened the JAR FOR HIM?” I said, louder, surprised as hell.

“oh yes,” said Sergey “he could not open it himself, so I had to open it”

“Sergey,” I tried to remain calm, “Why in the WORLD did you do that??”

“Because,” he said, “He asked so nicely, I could not refuse”