Friday, September 19, 2008

Calls To And From Teachers

Which of my Apes would you expect to be most likely to get a phone call home?

Give up? Tito. My kindergartener.

I about had a heart attack when I saw that the school had called and left a message. I was in the grocery store and I hadn't heard the phone buzz. Oops. So I call the school, tell her I'm Tito Karma's mom and his teacher had left a message for me, and the woman in the office tells me, "Oh, I think it was... (dramatic pause)
Another Bus Incident."

Another? There'd been An Incident previously?? What kind of Incident are we talking about? Was the bus driver drunk? Was there an attempted Busjacking? You can't just tell me there was An Incident. Cuz now I'm gonna stew about it until somebody gives me some details. Ugh, I HATE that. I had to stew for a couple of hours.

The teacher called me back just as Tito was coming in the front door. Apparently, Tito has a little problem selecting a seat on the bus and STAYING IN IT for the duration of the bus ride. Ok, I said, I'll talk to him.

And then...

"Oh, while I have you on the phone, Mrs. Karma..."

(Oh, SHIT. Here's when my mind instinctively goes into Expect The Worst Case Scenario mode.)

"Today I gave Tito a reading assessment."

Oh my God, he's dyslexic. I knew it.

"I just wanted to let you know, Tito did fantastic. He read the 6th grade word list. He read words like Aggravate and Apparatus."

Appafuckinratus. That's just hysterical.

I don't know how I didn't say Holy Fucking Shit out loud, but I didn't. I think I laughed. The thing is, Tito is every bit as smart as Beebie and Pie, he's just a lot less verbal so it's a little less obvious. Unlike the other Apes, he doesn't seem to want you to know what he knows. He may just be smarter than all of them, really, when I think about it, because he knows that if he shows you he can do something, you're going to make him do it. Like how if I knew he knew how to do laundry, I'd make him do all of the laundry.
Yeah, Tito's no dummy.

A funny but unrelated tangent that occurred to me after the phone call - Tito and Pie both love to create comic books. They make up heroes and villains and scenarios and even sequels. Pie makes up all kinds of heroes. Tito mainly writes about one: SUCCESSMAN. I don't really know where that came from, but doesn't it conjure up an image of some dude in a business suit with his Briefcase of Doom? The last comic Tito wrote was entitled Successman #2 - Robot Attack. He spelled Successman like Sksmn, but he spelled Robot and Attack correctly, all on his own. Crazy.

So Tito's got his shit together, and he's going to keep his ass parked on the bus next time. He promises.

Then this morning, while we were waiting for the bus, Pie informed me that yesterday another boy in his class climbed under a bathroom stall and watched Pie on the toilet. (Pie sits down to pee because of his big belly. I don't think he's ever actually seen his own penis.)

I'll give you a second to form your opinion. Normal curiousity for a first-grade boy, or completely fucking creepy?

I might be convinced that it was not a big deal, but the other boy told Pie not to tell on him. Which, to me, clearly indicates that the other kid KNEW he was doing something wrong.

I have to give myself some Mom Props on this one, y'all. I remained calm, and I asked Pie how he wanted to handle the situation without pressuring him either way. Pie said he thought he should tell the teacher. I offered to send the teacher an email, just to let her know that I was aware of the situation.

There were some different schools of thought represented among the friends I first told this story to, and I appreciate the ones who took the Devil's Advocate point of view. I KNOW that the school is going to treat it as a Sexual Harrassment thing because they have to. And that might be a bit over the top, sure, but I know I would absolutely want to know if one of my kids crawled under a bathroom stall to watch another kid pee and then told the pee-er not to tell the teacher.

I don't think the other kid necessarily needs to be punished, unless this isn't the first time he's done it, in which case I'd hope they took him to some sort of counseling. I don't know if I'd punish my boys if they were the Understall Crawlers, beyond a stern Dude, That's Kinda Inappropriate lecture.

I'm a little afraid that I overreacted, given the route that I know the school is going to take. But I couldn't do Nothing, either. I don't want Pie to think for one minute that it's ok for someone to watch him go to the bathroom. Yeah, he could have kicked the kid in the head or something, but he didn't. And he couldn't exactly stop peeing, get up, and politely tell the other kid that he was just uncomfortable with the idea - he was past the point where he was committed, ya know?

And yeah, we're a Bathroom Door Is Always Open family, but that grew out of necessity - YOU have two babies in less than eleven months and good luck peeing in private ever again. That's all I'm tryin' to say.

Anyway, I got this email back from the teacher:

Dear Mrs. Karma,

Thank you for letting me know of the situation between Pie and the other child. I spoke with both children to hear each side of the story. Pie was correct and the other child's parents will be contacted. The School Counselor will also take care of this situation as well. Pie was brave to tell me the truth. I am very proud of him! Thank you again for making me aware.

Taking care of Buffy's Baby, I must say, was totally boring by comparison. Buffy refers to her daughter as Angel Poo. Thought you all might appreciate that.

She invited us to another Barbecue. But Get This - it's the same day as the Hayride at Chez Inlaw. So I get to decide if I want to spend the day feeling like an idiot with Zero Global Perspective or just a Complete Failure as a Parent.

That's a real toss-up.


Trillian42 said...

Tito = too smart for his own good. Have fun with that. :D

I'm pretty impressed with Pie, too - it's not easy to come forward with something like that.

And I vote the Zero Global Perspective Barbecue, personally. At least you can read up on a few things beforehand. NOTHING will help with FIL. (I didn't say you WOULD read up, because I never do either. Just that you COULD.)

Bezzie said...

Yeah you're stuck with FIL for the rest of his life. Take a break. Just declare yourself apolitical. Like Asexual just with more sex and less politics.

Penny Karma said...

I'm waiting for Kev to say something about appafuckinratus...

Kevin C said...

So as not to disappoint:
Is it just me, or does "appafuckinratus" sound like a typically male euphemism for a certain piece of male anatomy?

"Baby, I need you to climb up on this here appafuckinratus and get to work."

Penny Karma said...

Dude, you never disappoint.

Well, sometimes. But it's ok. I forgive you.