February 19, 2009

The Farmer What?!

So, J started Pre-K back in August. He has learned so much, and is doing amazing things. One thing that happened, though, that was a little shocking, was when the school contacted me and wanted to evaluate him for speech. It turned out he has a moderate speech impairment. I was sort of aware of it, but as his mother, I tend to automatically translate what he says and understand him, so I hadn't realized what a problem it really was.

So he's been in speech therapy at school since October. He has made an amazing amount of progress. Which is why I was quite shocked to hear him singing "Farmer in the Dell" the other night.

"The farmer takes a life, the farmer takes a life!"

Huh? Run that by me again?

"The farmer takes a life, the farmer takes a life!"

Nope, I wasn't hearing things. I almost died laughing. This was not his speech impairment at work. This was a case of chronic lyricosis. His class had been singing the little song at school, and he somehow misinterpreted "wife" as being "life". All I could think was "Is this how serial killers start?"

I tried to explain to him that it should be "wife". I'm not sure if he gets it, since he's decided not to sing that song anymore. He's moved on to trying to figure out what termites eat. It's very...odd the way a child's mind works.

I think I may have mentioned this in the past, but C has a really awesome teacher this year. I'm not sure how long she's been teaching, but I know she's taught pretty much every grade level, and she just has this way with kids that is just wonderful. She really understands them, and is totally on their side. She's also got a great sense of humor, and is very understanding, which can come in extremely handy. For example, Tuesday's homework.

They send home this math worksheet on which they want my son to take an empty paper milk carton (you remember, in school, the milk we drank?), and use it to fill up a 2 liter soda bottle, a bucket, an empty gallon milk jug, and a bowl or trash can (can't really figure it out) with water to find out how many cartons it takes to fill up each container. I could not believe that they actually expected us to do this! Aside from the mess that would be created (b/c you know no 5 yr old can watch his big brother do that without wanting to get in on it, thus spilling water everywhere), imagine how time consuming it would be. Plus, you know it's going to take at least twice as long b/c they'll keep losing track and having to start over again. I told C he didn't have to do it, and I would be ok with the no credit grade for it. Then, I e-mailed the teacher. Turned out she wanted them to just estimate how many cartons they thought it would take, but she'd been called into a meeting and so wasn't able to explain that to the kids before time to go home.

Which brings me back to my vent the other day. Why is my son's teacher being taken out of her classroom during class time for a meeting? Between budget cuts, FCAT, and other crap, my son is already being cheated on his education, and now you're going to make it worse by taking his teacher out of the classroom when she should be teaching him and helping him and leave him with an assistant who doesn't have any teaching experience whatsoever and expect her to teach him?

As if this isn't bad enough, I have recently come to the realization that my son has learned more from watching TV than he has at school. I'm very lucky that my kids are not huge on cartoons. Don't get me wrong; they do love to watch them. But with only a few exceptions, give them a choice, and they will pick something else over cartoons. They love to watch Discovery, Discovery Kids, Animal Planet, History, and the Science Channel. My kids have learned some very interesting, and amazing, things from those channels, more than they do from school. C's teacher has told me, more than once, that she is amazed at his wealth of knowledge. And they say watching TV is bad. And for the record, my kids play outside plenty, too.

It seems now to be only a matter of time before we will be moving back in with my parents. The thought still makes me nauseous. I am trying to make the best of it. I tell myself this will allow me to buy the new camera I've been wanting, and I can get my kids their own computer (so they can quit screwing up mine), and my babysitters will be much closer when a kid gets sick and I need to run to the store. But none of that makes me feel better about losing the home that I dreamed about for so long. None of it makes it easier to give up my kitchen with tons of counter space that I love so dearly, that makes baking and cooking so much easier and more fun. My master bathroom with the deep bathtub from which I can see the TV in my bedroom, therefore allowing me to watch movies and TV while enjoying a nice, hot bubble bath. The huge backyard that allows the dog and the kids more than enough room to run and play and have fun. Of course, it's filled with rain today. One less day that they get to enjoy it.

I haven't even told them yet. I'm not sure what I'm more afraid of: that they'll be horribly upset and very disappointed, or that they'll be thrilled beyond words. They love their grandparents and always want to go see them, so I think they'll be fine with the idea of moving back in with them, where they will see them every day. And being kids, they don't understand all the grown up emotions that go along with a situation like this, and they don't realize that their joy only makes things worse. And you can't explain it to them, b/c there is no way to explain it where they don't think that you're telling them they're doing something wrong.

Enough depressing thoughts. I'll be posting some new recipes and hopefully some new pictures in the next few days. Watch for them.

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