Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bullying in Kindergarten

The first day of school was GREAT for my son. His only apprehension was riding the bus and by the afternoon drop off he thought the bus was very cool! The second day of school did not go so smoothly. A classmate told him to 'shut up.' He is a very sensitive child. He told me it hurt his feelings, he wanted to cry and come home. By the end of this line I wanted to cry. I applauded him for not crying and for sticking it out. The classmate also hit the little boy in the face that my son was playing with. I was quite surprised by the activities, but did my best to show my son how proud I was of him and explain the dynamics of little ones and friendship.

The third day of school and my son does not want to go. It appears that his spirit has been broken. What happened to that excited little boy who was thrilled to be going to his class. All that zeal taken away by the events of the previous day. Well Day 3 proved to be the most challenging for me, because my son came home to tell me the same child punched him in the nose. My emotions had me ready to roll up to the school and git r done. How could this happen and why? I spoke at length with my son's teacher about this issue. She has put some practical measures in place in the classroom and also gave me some recommendations to help Jalen. As a Mom you just want to protect your child from these random, unsolicited hurtful events. As if that wasn't enough, the straw that broke the camel's back happened that Friday. My son came home and told me this kid ate his lunch. He waited until that evening before bed on a Friday night to tell me this one. So I seethed over this all weekend long. Long story short, some things just can't be addressed in one fell swoop. I knew that if this child had been in middle school or even high school they would have been immediately expelled from the school. The county has a zero tolerance policy for such an offense, but this is ELEMENTARY school. I could hardly wrap my arms around it. I resisted everything that my emotions told me and tried to remain rational. It was apparent this little boy had some issues beyond just lashing out. I wanted immediate action taken. In speaking with his teacher, it was very unsettling to learn that this child had yet to spend one full day in class due to behavioral issues. I met with the principal, also enlisted the help and insight from an Aunt who is also a principal and has worked in this school system for over 20 years. Everyone was on board with a plan of action to help Jalen feel secure, to find his place and to enjoy his time at school. As parents, we did all we could to encourage, support and o bring back our son's thrill and excitement about school. We encouraged him to focus on new friendships. I started volunteering in the class weekly. After a few weeks things began to turn around. I found myself focusing some of my time there with the troubled little boy. He is a handful, but he really is a very bright and sweet child. I originally felt he should just be put in a class with all the other bullies. Just put them in a class together and let them beat each other up. I don't know if there is a diagnosis or what his home situation is, but something is amidst. He needs firm, yet affirmative interaction. He has become one of my favorite kids to see each week. Jalen is doing well. He is learning to be more assertive and is truly thriving in class. The difference a few months makes. I never imagined bullying in Kindergarten, but I suppose this type of negative behavior can rear it's ugly head regardless of age or good intention. I applaud the local and national efforts and initiatives to bring awareness to this issue. As a result it has created a unified front that bullying will not be tolerated.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baseball Fun

The family and I, along with my Mom, went to the Squirrel's Nest to hang out with Nutzy the Squirrel. We drove down to the Diamond for a sold out ball game. We managed to maneuver pretty swiftly through the masses and settle into our seats. Within a few innings, we made our way to the snack bar for about $42 worth of food for the seven of us. Who knew about the rule within the Minor League regarding no straws and lids for soft drinks? It involves something about a saftety hazard. The food was surprising decent. The game itself was pretty uneventful until the last few innings. The Squirrels amped it up and scored two runs to win the game. There were a host of interesting events/contests for the kids to participate in throughout the game. The Sponsors also had several giveaways. Those staffers need to work on their throwing arms. We were in the Silver Deck and they could barely make it to that level. The poor people in General Admission never had a fighting chance. Nutzy, the mascot, made an appearance mere feet away from us which had my son in my lap in 0.2 seconds. He is not a fan of big dress-up characters. Chuck E. Cheese, Monkey Joe, all send him in a tail spin. After a few unsuccessful attempts, 'The Wave' finally made it all the way around the stadium and back. That was cool to see and be a part of. A few foul balls were hit in our section. One was stopped by the shin of a lady just two rows in front of us which required medical attention. I watched her sweetly seething as the ball she'd risked her life for was handed over to a 1-year-old toddler who really had no clue where she even was. There were fireworks at the conclusion of the game. They really put on a awesome display. My son was pumping his fist the entire time loving the show. My 3-year-old was in tears, but would occasionally glance over in awe of all the pretty lights in the sky. The 1-year-old was enjoying it but definitely could have done without all the loud booms. Her heart was racing. Overall it was a great time. We'll definitely plan to make it out to some of the games in the '11 season.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Loose Tooth

My son had a loose tooth. Not one but two. He woke telling me that his tooth wouldn't get out the way? Your tooth won't get out the way...hmmm. That's a new one. Well upon further inspection, he was absolutely right. To my surprise his adult tooth has been waiting to come in and had begun to present itself upright behind his little baby tooth. Yikes! Well I have been through this before, but I admit I've never seen this. I quickly called the dental office for an appointment. Our dentist explained there was no need to be alarmed. He hears from concerned parents at least once a week for this exact issue. It's completely normal. I was glad to know I wasn't overreacting. We were told the tooth should come out within a few weeks. He instructed my son to wiggle it every night to help it along.

Well after about three and a half weeks of wiggling, that tooth was still holding on. I could see it was just hanging on by a thread. I got some floss and flossed around the tooth and it popped right out. A warm salt water mixture helped to sooth the area and stop the little bleeding that occurred. My son was excited, but also upset because he believed he 'looked foolish' with his tooth gone. Little did he realized that most kids lose a tooth and that space remains empty for quite some time. He already had a tooth ready and waiting to take up residence in that very place. I reminded him how super handsome he is. That's my job...butter up the situation. I also did my best to help him understand how everyone had to go through this process.

Our next state of business was getting that tooth under the pillow for a special visit that he'd been hearing about since he started going to the Dentist. We'd recently switched to a Pediatric Dental practice closer to us. Our previous Dentist had a Tooth Fairy Line that you called when you lost a tooth. The children got to listen to a really cool message from the Tooth Fairy about her upcoming visit. I polled a few friends on Facebook on the going rate for a lost tooth? I was amazed by some of the responses. $5 was a common number I heard. What?! 5 bucks...I've got 3 little ones. That's a lot of mula. So I let Daddy handle it and my son was very excited to tell me that he received 3 quarters under his pillow. Okay, so I would have given him a dollar, but we can work towards that. His second baby tooth is very loose and you guessed it, the adult tooth has crowned and is in position to take it's place. 18 more to go...times 3.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to School

2011 is a momentous academic year for us. We have a Senior and the eldest of my little people is starting Kindergarten. I've had moments of elation. I'm excited for them both. I've also had moments of serious weeping. The thought of how quickly my little guy is growing up and the realization that my firstborn will be off to college next year is emotionally overwhelming.

We survived Kindergarten Orientation. All the parents were corralled in the auditorium and pumped with tons of information. We were also given lots of forms to complete. The children were taken to their classrooms to explore their new world and spend time with their teacher. At the conclusion of the parent session, a really heartwarming poem was shared. My eyelids rimmed with tears, but I managed to hold it together. My son was very excited but also very nervous. His teacher seems like a super lady. Her vivacious personality could hold the attention of most anyone. She genuinely appeared to love kids and her profession. Witnessing that made me very happy and even more excited for him.

We're still setting up lunch accounts, processing fees and finalizing Senior Portraits. 7 more days and their off. One on a school bus, and the other driving. I'm not sure what this year will bring? There will be a lot of firsts for my little guy and lasts for my big girl. I'm going to sit back and relive all the firsts with him because it's been quite awhile for me. I also plan to cherish this final year of school and activities for my daughter. Bitter and sweet!

Beach Trip(s)

We took a family trip near the end of May to the beach. It was a great time. The weather was actually great for several of the days. We enjoyed the beach. We enjoyed the hot tub. The kids thought it was their personal heated pool. We sure wish the indoor pool had 'heated' anything. It was frigid the entire time. Of course the kids still wanted to swim. We were fresh off the swim lessons and it was a lot of fun. Cruising the boardwalk, late night jaunts on the strip, people watching, ice cream runs, visiting the carnival or arcade. We attended the Grand Opening of a new play area for children with special needs. We enjoyed being a part of the festivities and seeing all the smiles on the faces of the children. We ate at all our favorite spots, even tried out a new place that was awesome.

We decided to take a second beach trip this summer to Topsail Island. My son renamed it Africa Beach, because they have some really cool trees that actually look like the trees found in Africa. Topsail is more low key than some of our other beach spots, but it was so relaxing and fun. Great beach, several really good local restaurants. We enjoyed just kicking back, setting up the Bolton camp and hanging out. We also took a little road trip to Wilmington for the day. We didn't want our time there to end, but we're back and now on a mission to get ready for SCHOOL. All good things must come to an end. Can't wait to plan next year's beach trip.