Friday, November 6, 2009

An apple for Teacher

So if you ask James's teacher or the school secretary, they'll tell you that I'm stingy and neglectful. But it's all James's fault!

It started with an interesting voicemail last week. Our district is experiencing a widespread lice outbreak. The message was from the school secretary. "Hi, this is Donna. I was just calling to tell you that James came into the office because he thought he had lice." No, James came into the office becase he was bored in language arts. "I checked him and he doesn't have lice." I know. I checked him, too. "He does have cradle cap." I know. It's right at the crown. I told him that two days before. "He'll need to scrub that hard--" Yeah, told him that, too. "-- and then use baby oil to help moisturize the dry area. Also, he says he doesn't have any shampoo, so that's just something you might want to look into."

James has shampoo. James picked out the bottle with me two weeks ago. James just can't ever remember where he puts the shampoo or to use it even when it's sitting right on the edge of the bathroom. MULTIPLE discussions about how to wash hair seem to have all bounced off his cradle capped skull except for the part that says "Rinse thoroughly with water" because that's all he does.

But really, try explaining that to the school secretary who handled your child that self-reported for non-existent lice.

As if that weren't enough, Kenny let James take one of his handmade necklaces to school to give to his teacher, who loved it. She wrote a lovely thank you note to both Kenny and James. James was so pleased by this that he wanted to know if Kenny could make a barracuda necklace for his teacher's husband. Kenny said he'd see what he could do. Then James began to prowl through Kenny's inventory looking for other necklaces Kenny might not be so attached to. He found another one with a flower that Kenny said he could have. James wanted to give that to Mrs. Greyshock too but I told him not to because it wouldn't be seemly. It's a hard concept to explain to a ten-year-old with no thought of sucking up. He just likes that she likes his gifts.

When I mentioned this morning that his teacher had noted in response to his homework assignment that she also loves Calvin and Hobbes, he got excited. "I have a Calvin and Hobbes book that I finished. I'm going to give it to her!" I gently explained that it was best if he didn't. It's a vague notion in my own head why not, but I think I basically explained that I didn't want her to feel like he was giving her things just to impress her or get a better grade, even if his intentions were pure. I explained that there's a time and place for gift giving and maybe we could save that idea for Christmas or teacher appreciation week.

Tonight when I sent him up for a bath after a STERN reminder to scrub his hard WITH SHAMPOO, he said, "Oh, by the way, I told Mrs. Greyshock that I wanted to give her my Calvin and Hobbes book but you wouldn't let me. She was sad." Turns out, of course, that he didn't explain why.

I'm going to kill him.

20 comments:

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Now, children's propensity to lie and exaggerate, not my favorite.

But the fact that they want to give away everything they (you) own to people that they love and even random strangers, that's kind of endearing.

But I'd be annoyed too.

crissy said...

Cute, but very frustrating, I'm sure.
Not so much looking forward to the age of 10 now (not that I was before)...but I've still got 8 years til my boy hits it though..

Lara said...

Why is it that other adults just assume that the parent is neglectful in situations like these? I have come out of conversations like that actually believing I am neglectful and have no idea how to care for children and what on earth am I DOING!?!

You'd think these school people would realize not to believe a kid who says he has no shampoo. Really now. But sadly, I guess there really are kids that have none...

James sounds like a wonderfully fun kid.

MommyJ said...

Steph said it right... absolutely endearing and completely annoying all at the same time!

Annette Lyon said...

If the teacher is a parent herself, she'll know it's not the whole story.

If she's not . . . kill him.

Becca said...

Posted outside a 3rd grade classroom in my Kids' elementary school:

"If you promise to believe only half of what you hear goes on in the classroom, I'll promise to believe only half of what I hear goes on at home."

You can hope she's a teacher like that.

Or just beat him and get it over with.

Kristina P. said...

I just realized that I used to have cradle cap when I was a kid. It was gross.

Valerie said...

Had I been the secretary and heard James' sad story about not having shampoo, and had there been a stench hovering around his head, I would have been inclined to believe him. If he wore rags and looked emaciated, then that would be cause for concern. A call for no shampoo and cradle cap? Really? Then again, my kids have no shampoo, but that's only because my two-year-old dumped it out in the toilet last night. Hmmm...Looks like I'll be screening my calls today.

Migillicutty said...

Oh gosh, that really made me laugh!

What's a cradle cap?

Kimberly said...

Oh that just totally cracked me up! Endearing and maddening all at once!

wonder woman said...

This is hilarious. I'm so excited for my boys to grow up.

wendy said...

Oh, I hated those Lice scares at school. My poor kids heads ached for days afterwards as I did eveything but boil it in oil.

and, a little sucking up can be very helpful. '
just saying

Kazzy said...

Hilarious. Those verbal, clever kids always get us in trouble.

April said...

You could give him to the teacher, with the provision that he be returned at the end of the year with the promise from you that you will not turn them in when he doesn't use shampoo in their care.

Carolyn V. said...

What a cutie! You could totally write the teacher a note and explain it. She probably is so glad to have such a sweet boy in her class. =)

Sue said...

hee

Angie Muresan said...

James sounds like a perfectly normal kid. Very loving, in fact. And that secretary should know better than that!

DeNae said...

Let the non-communication of the male of the species commence. I'm sorry to say, it's all downhill from here.

At least your cute little girl will talk to you. And shriek. And wail and threaten and sulk and...

Never mind. I've said too much already...

L.T. Elliot said...

One of my sons is like this. He love to give gifts. He loves to share. It causes problems sometimes too.

Hope he at least remembered the shampoo, right? =]

Amber Lynae said...

I love Becca's comment. I am already worried about the things that my little Princess may say to her future teachers.