What's happening with the Hill family!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kinder Creeper

So Connor has just completed his first six weeks of Kindergarten and he loves it.  I mean, he really loves it.  Which is a good thing. There are a couple of things that have come up though, that have me slightly concerned.  But only a couple, so I think that we're doing pretty well. 

My first concern is the weirdness level that Connor is exhibiting at school.  I know he has to be himself, but if I could control things (which I obviously cannot) I would like to keep the weirdness level down to about 30 percent.  From the stories he is telling me, I am afraid we are maxing out at about 75 percent.  That's a lot of weird.  For example, a couple of weeks ago there was a substitute in his class while his teacher went to a prearranged meeting.  That afternoon, I asked how it went.  Before I go into the detailed story, let me just give you the bottom line.....it went weird.  Connor first informed me that he was disappointed in his substitute because, although he was very nice, he didn't actually teach him anything.  Hmm. Connor has a very literal definition of what learning looks like and it doesn't usually fit the traditional kindergarten model, so this didn't surprise me. We've been addressing this issue all school year.   He said, "Mommy, he didn't even speak Spanish to me so since I wasn't learning anything new I decided to observe him."  Um, what?  He went on, "He was a tallish man with no hair on top,but sand colored hair on the sides and he smelled like a grandpa.  He had on black pants, brown shoes and a grey or green shirt.  I'm not sure which one because you know I'm color blind Mommy."  Wait, there's more.  "He also had on a black belt, black socks and a striped tie.  The tie was my favorite part and I spent a lot of time on that when I was drawing him."
Hold the phone!  I asked what he meant by, "drawing him" and he said, "Mom, I have to write down my observations so I drew and colored the substitute and it took me a long time because I had to keep stopping to watch him."   Okay, the needle on the weirdness meter just shot up to the red zone.  I am now picturing this poor substitute teacher who probably was someone's sweet old grandpa in a room full of kindergartners being obviously watched by a super creepy tall kid with overly intense eyes.  Short of a career as a police sketch artist, I don't think this type of behavior is going to serve him well in life.  And here is the best part, when I asked him what happened to this drawing he said, "I left it on Ms. Garcia's desk so she could see what he looked like when she comes back from her meeting."  Oh fantastic, instead of bringing the weirdness home where we could bury it in the giant manila envelope titled, "Connor-Kinder-1st six weeks"  we left it on display for not only his regular teacher, but also that poor sub to see.  I feel like we are already behind the eight ball a little as the five year old who keeps a daily calendar in which he records the lesson objectives and then checks them off after he has reviewed them at home, I'm just not sure what adding the title, "Substitute Profiler" is going to do to his street cred. 
So moving on from my concerns about public weirdness to my concerns about his citizenship (the behavior type, not the origin of birth type).  Connor ended the entire first six weeks on green.  If you are unfamiliar with his particular kindergarten color code of behavior, green is the best you can get.  I should feel elated that my child is behaving himself but instead I have overthought it to the extreme.  What an unusual feeling for me :)  What has me worried is that Connor has now proclaimed that he will spend the entire year on green.  He is really into the personal goal setting and this one is a big one. Come on, that just isn't realistic.  I know he is messing up at school, he just isn't getting caught  or his teacher is being too nice. I live with the kid, I know he isn't perfect!  But he has this enormous expectation for himself that I think is entirely unreasonable and that is my problem. I expect my children to be well behaved, sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't.  But I don't ever want my kids to think that their parents expect them to be perfect.  We don't have that expectation, but HE does. The longer the green streak goes on, the more disappointed I think he is going to feel when the time comes to change his color. And trust me people, that time is coming.  It's life!  I am starting to feel like we are walking around with this giant green cloud hanging over us and I just want to get the inevitable over with so we can talk about it and move on. Normally when I overthink and obsess about things, Matt is always the voice of reason, but I would like to announce that this time he is in agreement with me!  This is definitely "a moment" in our marriage.  We were filling out paperwork to schedule our first parent teacher conference in a couple of weeks and as we were checking the calendar for potential times, Matt looked at me and said, "Listen, when we go to this, I don't want to sit there and listen for 15 minutes about how perfect and wonderful he is, I want her to tell us some stuff that he needs to be working on at home."  Oh how I love that man.  But now I have to think of a way to word a potentially awkward email in which my message needs to be, "Dear Ms. Garcia, thanks for teaching our kid, please spare us the niceties and tell us all the things he has been doing wrong so we have something to address at home. Think really hard about it and don't hold back. Okay, we're ready. Go."
I'm betting if that teacher doesn't have a personal Hill Family Weirdness meter by now, she will by the time that conference is over!         

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