Friday, March 13, 2009

Ok, just one more....

Just one more and I will lay off Mr. K for awhile. Discussion between me and Aidan this morning.
Aidan: Going to school is very important.

Me: You're right, it is.

Aidan: If I don't go to school, will I have to live on the street?

Me: What?!

Aidan: Well, people that don't go to school live on the street.

Me: Who told you that? (as if I didn't already know)

Aidan: Mr. K

The next few minutes were spent trying to explain that no, I don't think he will ever have to live on the street. I understand instilling a value in education but come on...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oh, this one is a doozy...

Yes, another Mr. K story.

On the way home from school the other day, here is the conversation we had:

Aidan: Mommy, did you know that a lot of people in America don't have jobs?

Me: Yes, I do know that...

Aidan (cuts me off): And do you know why they don't have jobs?

Me (very curious to hear his answer): Why?

Aidan: Because the people in China make everything now and there is nothing for America to do.

Me: (Silence--wondering what I can possibly say.)

Aidan: And do you know they steal children to work in factories there?

Gavin (quiet up until now): Do they steal children here??

Oh. my. god. Now, I do realize this is coming from a 5 1/2 year old and the conversation Mr. K had with the kids may not have quite gone down like that. BUT, this is what a 5 1/2 year old took away from that conversation. Regardless of what was actually said, I do not think that kindergarteners need to know about the state of our economy and if their parent might lose a job because China makes everything. That's just me.


On a funnier note, my friend who has a child in Mr. K's class also told me that the other night her son saw a shooting star. She told him to make a wish because that wasa lucky star. He closed his eyes tight and wished:

"I wish someone would replace Mr. K."


Friday, March 06, 2009

Proud moment

I believe I have mentioned before that Gavin if by far my most challenging child. But for all the grief he may give me at home, at least I now know that he truly does behave himself when he is away from me.

I have been helping out at the school book fair this week. Today was Gavin's day to go and as we were checking out, a parent came up to me and said "So, you are Gavin's mother". Uh-oh--this could be good or bad, I couldn't tell from her voice. So the woman introduced herself as Joseph's mother (I had no idea who Joseph was). She must have noticed my puzzled expression because then she said that Joseph was in the 4th grade and he was Gavin's library buddy. Each week the kindergarteners pair up with an older student who help them pick appropriate books and they have the same buddies all year. Well, the woman went on to tell me that Joseph talks about Gavin ALL the time and tells his mother what a polite little boy he is and how nice he is, etc. She then said "And really, I am not just telling you that because you are standing here. He honestly loves your son. You should feel very proud of him". Of course, I am always proud of my kids but I can't tell you how satisfying it is to hear others say it. Motherhood is most often an overlooked job. There are no performance reviews, no feedback (unless it's bad usually), no pats on the back. To hear someone compliment my child's manners and behavior is all the validation I need that I'm doing a good job. Not that I need validation but, you know, society has certain ideas about what life as a SAHM is like. It's not all bon-bons and daytime TV. It is damn hard work. And I think I'm pretty good at it.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Don't you hate when your kids are sad and there is nothing you can do about it?

I worked at the school book fair today and bought Aidan's teacher a few books off his wish list. I ran them down to his classroom and just as I was walking in the door, Mr. K was speaking to Aidan about something he was doing wrong on his paper (rather harshly I might add). I saw Aidan's face and knew he could burst into tears at any second. He was trying so hard to hold it together. He didn't see me come in the room and as I was leaving I tapped him on the shoulder and smiled at him and he just looked up at me with the saddest face. Didn't even smile at me. I wanted to give him a huge hug but I didn't.

Before I left the book fair, I went down to the lunchroom to see the boys. I found Aidan first and went over and asked how he was. I asked what he was so upset about in class and he just told me "Nothing". He just did not want to talk about it. Aidan can get overwhelmed when a task is hard for him. He would much rather just give up but that is not an option in Mr. K's class. He will make the student try and try and try until they get it. I suppose that is a great way to encourage children to take risks in their learning. But for goodness sake I think he can do it in a gentler way. He just has a harshness about him when speaking to the children.

Last night at dinner, I asked the kids to name one good thing and one bad thing that happened that day. Aidan's good thing was "I wanted to cry when we were doing math because it was too hard but I didn't". How is that for heartbreaking? Turns out they were working with coins and Mr. K had to have them figure out how much of something they could buy with the coins they had. Honestly (and I was a Kindergarten teacher), I think that is a challenging thing for kindergarteners. But Aidan got through it. And he didn't cry.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whatta you wanna do with your life?

For some reason, whenever I contemplate my future, this line always pops into my head from the Twisted Sister video fromt he 80s. Remember the guy yelling in his son's face so intensely that he drools? And then he gets right into his face and screams "Whatta you wanna DO with your life....?"? And then the kid looks at him and says "I wanna rock." Cue Twisted Sister music.

Lately, I have been wondering what exactly I want to do with my life. I am a teacher by trade yet foolishly allowed my certification to run out because once I had the boys, I sort of just forgot about everything else. I fell into motherhood so easily that I couldn't imagine a day would come when I would want to do something else. For the record, I still can't imagine it but I am trying to plan for the future. My kids are still young and need me but time goes by so quickly and soon it will seem foolish for me to just stay home all day while they are at school. Truth be told, it doesn't sound too bad to me right now but I know I will look for something to stimulate my mind. So, I am looking into grad school.

I spend a lot of time at the boys' school helping out here and there. The first time I did it earlier in the year, it just felt so right and comfortable to be in a school setting again. So familiar. It started in my mind then that I would want to do something school-related. It made sense since I already had my teaching degree but I wasn't sure I wanted to be in a classroom again. Before the boys were born I had started a grad degree in Library and Media Technology to be certified to be an elementary librarian. I love books, I minored in Children's Lit as an undergrad and I was excited to head in this direction. Then the boys were born, my degree went on permanent hold and now I am kicking myself for not keeping up with it. However, one of the colleges here offers a completely-online Library degree and now that excitement is starting to brew again. I think it will take two years so my plan is to do that and use the library at the boys' school for all my fieldwork. In two years Ciara will also be at that school (sob!) so maybe I can volunteer a lot in the library after I get my degree, learn the ropes, get some experience and, more importantly in my case, some confidence and get a job a few years down the road.

Sounds like a good plan, right? But you know what they say about the best laid plans...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Just a conversation I want to remember

Tomorrow is Pajama Day at school. Everyone wears their pajamas and also gets to bring a stuffed animal to school. Well, for Gavin this is a major event because he has to bring just the right stufed animal. I kid you not, he has probably close to 100 stuffed animals mostly Beanie Babies. He has already changed his mind 5 times as to which one he is bringing. So, he makes his choice just before bed and then we are laying there talking before he falls asleep.

Gavin: Well, I am bringing Birdie tomorrow.

Me: Good choice.

Gavin: And when I have Pajama Day in 1st grade, I'll bring Elephant.

Me: OK

Gavin: And when I am in 2nd grade, I'll bring Plankton. When I'm in 3rd grade I'll bring Doggie. When I'm in 4th grade I'll bring Jellyfish and then when I am in 5th grade I'll bring Tyrone. I can't wait until I am in 5th grade!

Me: Well, don't be in a hurry to be in 5th grade.

Gavin: Why?

Me: Because then you'll be all grown. I want you to be my baby boy.

Gavin: (exasperated sigh) Mummy, I will always be your baby boy. Always.