Sunday, June 6, 2010

This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record

(..."Oh yeah, well, don't get so distressed. Did I happen to mention that I'm really impressed..." Sing it with me now...)

The big news around here, in my opinion, is that my kids are beginning to read. We are talking small steps, but for me it still feels like a big deal. The Rooster's incredible inclusion teacher sent home a bunch of word family cards recently with a sticky note on top that said: Rooster can read! He read about 30 words to me from the cards, though it's still pretty hard for him. He struggles to keep focused, he struggles with his vision issues, he struggles with a few letter-sound confusions (b for d, for example), but he gets there in his own time, my boy. Peaches, who watches every bit of my practice with him, chimes in, too, sounding out some of the c-v-c words, and enthusiastically writing me love notes, like "Peaches Love Mom." These things make my heart sing.

By far less important news, the school district here has a boiler plate letter they mail you when your child is not performing at grade level. We get them each reporting period, but this one, the year-end version, is different. This one says that my child is not up to their standards in reading, math, and PE, and that I should discuss the matter with him, and instruct him to work harder, because he might not get promoted to the next grade; after a serious discussion, my child should print and sign his name below. I understand it's a form letter and that they don't really expect my six-year-old who has autism to have a cursive signature, or more importantly to be able to pull himself up by his bootstraps academically. But I have to confess: I gave that cold piece of correspondence the finger -- flipped the bird right at the poorly Xeroxed, insensitive, useless piece of beaucracratic drivel. Then I said, "Hey, Roo? We got a paper from your teacher. It says here to keep working really hard in math, okay? Can you do that for me? Can we work on some math together now?" He said, "Okay." So I gave him a crayon and had him print his name, in his usual large and awkward fashion, across the form, and I sent it back, and then we got back to work on one-to-one correspondence, meaning math, not the one-fingered salute to our mail.

Peaches' report cart also arrived, and I tried to read it standing up, but found I could not -- I nearly fell over, but managed to lean against a wall for support while I snorted and snickered. I don't know if you will see the humor to the degree I did, but I have to share this excerpt with you just in case you might get a kick out of this description of my (barely) four-year-old (bossy and willful) preschool girl:

"Peaches has delighted her teachers and friends with her imaginitave stories and expressive way of recounting her stories. Peaches is a real schoolgirl. She just loves schol and the way the day is spent. She often forgets that her position is that of student because she really feels like she is her teachers' assistant. While we must remind Peaches of her role as a student, we delight in the fact that she has assimilated so many of our classroom rules and expectations..." (bold and italics mine, snicker and snort also mine...)

Only a couple more weeks, 2 more field trips, a thousand more parties, and a quarter million more To Dos, along with infinite logistical challenges, and then, ready or not, here comes summer (school).

(This summer I will be joining my kids in school, as well, as this week I embark on an on-line postgraduate credential program, and will then have a third report card coming to my house... a notion currently terrifying me.)

And a Happy Summer to you.


redheadmomma said...

Peaches got a friggin report card? That's hilarious in itself!!! Happy summer to you too, darlin!

Melissa said...

That's awesome about the reading! Way to go, Rooster!

I would have given the finger to that letter, too. As a matter of fact, I've been known to give the finger to several pieces of mail coming into this house.

And best of luck to you on your upcoming school too!

pixiemama said...

I love the image of you flipping off a letter. I did the same when the paperwork for Rei to be part of summer school arrived. We decided to send him only half days this summer, so he took the news pretty well.


Miss you like crazycakes.

kim mccafferty said...

You are extremely brave for going back to school with two young kid. I am too ADD now to do it! Best of luck, that's great about the reading!

One Mom said...

You're not the only one to see humor in Peaches' report card. That was priceless. ;)