Friday, March 25, 2016

Letter to my son

Dear Son,

This letter is to catch us up to date on school.  You are having ups and downs.  When a particular child is misbehaving, such as running around, you want to do the same thing.  After all, you love to run.

But there are times when you do things you know you shouldn't do.. you don't do them at home.  You don't even do them with friends and family or even strangers...  You behave with us and your grandparents.  You are sweet to your younger cousins and second cousins.  This is behavior learned and participated at in school.  I knew this was bound to happen.  Mommy and Daddy talk with you about it at home, but it's difficult to correct "after the fact."  It's frustrating for all of us.

Mommy read the letter to you.   You said, "Mrs. Kristie wrote that."  Mommy started requesting the teacher to put notes in your bag if you had any timeouts and the reason for them.  This helps us to talk with you about corrective behavior the same day it happens, rather than the following day.  The "shark" car at the top of the note is your favorite toy right now.  We told you that you couldn't play with the car for 30 minutes because you were throwing toys.

Mrs. Kristie said that she felt like you were "two different kids this year - the first half of the year, you were good, the second half of the year, you weren't."

For your birthday party, I kept an eye on you to see how you would behave with such a mixture of children and ages and them playing with your toys.  You did beautifully.  I told the teacher this.  Then she mentioned again, about how this one particular student influences the other students.

Mommy was able to witness this one day, picking you up from school.  Mrs. Maria was changing you at the changing station.  Mrs. Maria told the boy to stop running.  You were being changed, so you certainly couldn't participate.  But as this child kept running, even after being instructed not to, two other kids joined in with him.  I could totally see you joining in had you been able to do so and I see this child being an instigator of behavior.

Another morning, when Mommy brought you to school, Mrs. Maria asked if you wanted to color.  You quickly sat down at the table and waited for her to bring you a coloring page and colors.  The boy mentioned above walked in and immediately went over to you.  He moved right up next to you and put his hands in front of your hands on the table.  Mrs. Kristie saw this and said, "(boy's name) today we are going to give Gregory some space."  It was an "ah ha" moment for Mommy, because you started saying, "Get off me" and I wondered where you were picking that up from.   (You also picked up "That's too boring" and "Oh Nuts!" from school.)

I'm not saying the child is bad, it's just bad behavior that has to be untaught.  I imagine it's a heck of a task for a teacher.  This is such a delicate time for sponge-like minds - a huge responsibility to show correct, helpful behavior, while not destroying the newly found confidence.

Mrs. Kristie told Mommy recently that this particular boy wouldn't be there for a while.  She's wondering if your behavior will improve.  Either way, Mommy has spoken to you about being a good boy and following the teacher's instructions, even when someone else is doing something they aren't supposed to.  That you need to set a good example and tell the other child, "no, don't do that, you will get time out."

It's not all bad though sweet boy, you are a character at school.  On the 100th day of school, the classes took pictures with signs, "This is what happens when you are in school for 100 days"... the kids were dressed in old people's clothing.

Mommy busted out laughing when she saw an old ladies wig with curlers in your hair.  You love hair and the wig is Oma's hair color, so it's no wonder you picked that!

Here are some alphabet art projects from school:

P is for pizza

I love your handprints in the pictures.

Mommy found an "L" project.  You were out sick the day in school when they learned about the letter L.  After your bath time, Mommy took out some construction paper and started cutting pieces.  You came up to Mommy and asked, "What you doing Mommy?"  Mommy said, "I'm going to make a lion for the letter L.  Do you want to help?"  Your eagerness was adorable.  You helped Mommy place the pieces.  At one point, I asked you, "Do you think it's finished?"  You said, "No Mommy!  It needs ears, eyes and nose."  Truthfully, I was shocked with how quickly you realized this.  Mommy put a tear-drop eye on the lion.  You said, "NO, it's supposed to be round."  Only, Mommy couldn't make a perfectly round eye.  We found some eyes in Mommy's craft box.  You thought it looked great.  Here is our fun, L-shaped Lion!

Now that the L is complete, the alphabet letters go to the door! You get to see your alphabet projects every day at home this way.  I'm sure some people might think the decorations are a bit tacky, but for Mommy, it's a way to reinforce what you have learned over the weeks at school - you see it regularly and point to the letters and what the pictures are.  It's a simple, yet effective idea.  Mommy didn't want to just store the alphabet projects away; the doors were the perfect place to tape them up.  It's colorful, creative and it's your work!

More artwork, some focusing on Easter

For St. Patrick's Day - you wore the Ireland shirt that Oma and Opa bought for you when they went to Ireland!  At school you made a leprechaun handprint :)

You loved making the Easter bunny handprint at school!

Gardens and School Garden. 

Of course you walk on the stepping stones garden before going into class.  If you see another child coming, you say, "No!  Stop!"

There's also a spring garden on the door to your classroom.  Cute "handprint" flowers - you are the pink handprint towards the top right.  You always try to look through the classroom door window if we get there early to see what your teachers are doing.

Sometimes you want to "help Mommy" by carrying your school bag.

There's another garden..... not in the school, but just one house outside of the school.  If the parking lot at the school is too busy to bring you to school, Mommy will park in front of this house.  (The owners are really nice.)   It's a beautiful garden!  Mommy asked if you wanted to go look at the flowers.  You ran up to them and pointed out the various colors.

But... one morning we were running late... you wanted to see the flowers outside of the school;
Mommy rushed you to the school.  You stood your grounds right inside the school gate.  You pitched a fit; Mommy wanted to pull her hair out....  God sent someone to help - Father AJ.  He happened to walk into the gates just at that time and asked what was wrong.  I told him how you like a garden, but we were running late and now you think we "have to go see your flowers."  Father AJ walked you over to the garden at school (which Mommy had tried to do) and you followed him.  You were all smiles after Father AJ pointed out the flowers to you.  Sometimes it just takes another person talking to you and I'm sure Father AJ's calm tone helped out tremendously.

Pictures of you playing with your school mates.

Reading a book in class after your nap

Your teacher, Mrs. Kristie, is pregnant.  One morning, you put a ball under your shirt and told Mommy, "I have a baby.  I'm pregnant."   You took the toy out from under your shirt and showed Mommy your toy ball.  Then you pointed to Mommy's boobs and asked, "What toy you hiding  under your shirt, Mommy?"  I hesitated for a moment and replied, "No toys.  This is God given."  You accepted that. 

You're "pregnant" 

There was a surprise when we arrived a few minute early to school.  You saw the colorful parachute on the ground!  You were so excited and happy.  You wanted to play with it immediately.  I had to say, "No, you have to wait until your teacher brings you outside to play."  You said, "Just two minutes Mommy" meaning you wanted to "just play two minutes with the parachute."  Uh,  yeah, no, that wasn't going to work.

"Just two minutes Mommy"

Sitting in a chair and staring at the parachute, just itching to jump up and play!

When we went into your classroom, Mommy was quick to confirm that the parachute would be used for your classroom.  It was a relief to hear this, because sometimes different classrooms do different projects on different days.  When Mommy picked you up from school that day, you told me how you played games with the parachute and how you ran under it when it was up high and you were the "monster - ROAR".

This month, your school participated in donations for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  As a means to be a part of the donation drive, we signed you up for the St Jude "Trikathon" - but riding tricycles was only for children a year older than you (next year you can bring your tricycle).  This year, you walked and held your hands over your head to symbolize wearing a helmet for safety.

You were happy to show off your safety sticker!

It's easy to find you in a picture with your beautiful blond hair!

People have said:  "You don't need a shirt per alphabet!"  Well, you do NOT have a shirt per alphabet.  Mommy knew when it was too late to order an alphabet, but wanted you to have some letters for school, as a means to encourage your learning and for your teachers to be able to point out the shirt, as further education and support.  Here are a few of the shirts; thankfully Amazon and Etsy sell cheap cotton shirts with prints on them.  We're not talking expensive Osh Kosh stuff!

You took Spring Pictures at school with bunnies.  Mommy bought the shirt from your cousin, Corrie, who started a business called, Sew Nola.  It was more expensive than the above shirts, but it was too cute and perfect for school pictures.  Sometimes it's okay to splurge, even for you, sweet boy.

You had an early Easter party at school!  Parents are not invited to attend the Easter egg hunt, but could go to the party.  Mommy had to work a full day at the office as her supervisor was off that day and Daddy had a long work day too.  Thankfully Oma and Opa brought you to school and then went to your party.  You were able to get 10 Easter eggs during the hunt.  Oma said you played very well with your school mates during the party.  She mentioned how you saw a girl from your class running and you told the girl, "Stop running!"  You ate pizza, cupcake and cookies.  Oma and Opa had lots more fun for you planned for the day, but I'll write about that in another letter.

You and Jacob at school (Oma took the pictures during the party and sent them to Mommy)

Right to left:  You, Jacob, Logan, Carson, Eddison (yes, Mommy even recognizes them by the back of the head!)

Logan and You

 I love you sweet boy.  I see goodness in your actions, your smile and the laughter in your Irish eyes.  I love how you think the Easter Bunny dropped the eggs by accident and that you have to pick them up quickly before he comes back to get them.  Your imagination and story telling is delightful.  Mommy will have to write down what you share with us, maybe it can one day become a child's book.

Love Always,

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