Work with me, please.


Hubby and I are going to SC tonight to retrieve Mae and Jay from my mom’s house.  They are ready to return home, and I’m sure my mom, Nonny, is worn out.  I’ve spoken to them almost everyday, and while Jay seems to have had fun mostly, Mae has complained a lot.  She says that she has had a lot of bad days at Nonny’s house, and that Nonny has been mean to her “for no reason.”  For Mae, “mean” includes when someone does not let her have her way.  I know that she’s had good days and good times too; she just doesn’t talk about them as much.  It’s her mouth that gets her in trouble mostly.  Even if she does not intend it, her directness comes off as rude or disrespectful.  And, when her stubborness crops up in non-negotiable situations, there will be tears. 

Aside from freeing Mae and Nonny from each other, I’ll be happy to see the kids.  I miss them, and we’ve been apart long enough. 

School begins after Labor Day.  We plan to return home on Sunday to give ourselves a day of quality time and transition before we get back to our rules and routines.

Last night was sneak-a-peak night at the kids’ school.  I think Jay is going to like the preK-4 class.  He’ll have the same teacher Mae had, and she’s great.  And, a lot of his preK-3 classmates will be there again.

I met Mae’s new teacher, Ms. G, last night, and we had a good conversation.  I told her that I’ll be readily available by phone and email and that I won’t mind if she talks to the first-grade teacher about what she found to have worked well last year with Mae (not that Ms. G needed my permission, and they had in fact talked already about Mae, both about her academic and behavior history).  My first impression of Ms. G was good.  She said, “We’ll have to work together as a team.”  I like that.

I worry about Mae and her classmates.  In chatting with parents last night, I learned that Mae was excluded from some playdates during the summer.  One mom said to another that it seemed that everytime she received one of the Evites, they had plans already.  That was awkward.

On the one hand, that means fewer social situations to negotiate.  On the other hand, those are lost opportunities for Mae to practice social skills and potentially sources of distress for her if she becomes aware.  She told me last school year that there was an “in group” in her class and she was not in it.  She seemed to not mind much at the time.  I don’t know how much longer that will last. 

I sense that some of Mae’s past negative interactions with classmates has made some parents wary of her.  I understand that parents want to protect their children.  I don’t know if things will get better; I just hope they don’t get any worse.

I walked around the u-shaped seating arrangement, looking for Mae’s desk.  I found her name between a boy that she seems to get along with ok and an “in group” girl.  Hmm.  Later, another mom made the walk and found her daughter’s name between two boys.  She didn’t like the arrrangement.  She said that her daughter does not like boys and should not have to sit between two boys.  To my surprise, she began to peel her daughter’s name from the desk.  I laughed, thinking that maybe she wasn’t serious.  I said that Mae wouldn’t mind at all because she loves playing with boys.  So, then she started looking for Mae’s desk.  Sure enough, she switched the labels.  I didn’t mind because I think it’s actually a better arrangement, though I wouldn’t have had the guts to do it myself.  I pointed out the change to Ms. G before I left, and told her I thought it would work if she’s ok with it.

So, I’m looking forward to having the kids back at home and getting the year started.  I’ll brace myself for the ups and downs and hope for the best.

Comments on: "Hoping for the Best" (2)

  1. Wait – so who does that? “My daughter doesn’t like boys so she shouldn’t have to sit between two of them”? What if it were black people? Or people with green eyes? What is school about at these ages but learning how to get along with people who may not be like you?? That was just totally out of line, and if I were the teacher, that would raise a huge red flag about that parent and that child, insofar as clues to how’s she’s been taught to think of herself as the center of the universe.

    God, sometimes I really can’t stand parents.

    • Yes, it’s stuff like this that fosters my admiration and respect for teachers. They have to manage kids AND parents. You would think that parents would look for opportunities to support and facilitate, not frustrate, efforts.

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