Jack is too funny. As soon as he steps off the bus, I can read him like a book. Big goofy giant-toothed smile = good day. Head down, shoulders all hunched over and fake pout = bad day. Red-faced holding his jacket and looking frazzled = Hot day. Cranky face, still yelling obscenities over his shoulder = someone on bus pissed him off kind of day.
We had a quick power outage today, and it threw all of my clocks off. The microwaves and various electric clocks around the house were either blinking or off by an hour. I guess that’s how long the power was out? Who knows. It also seems that the two battery-operated clocks that we have BOTH decided to run out of juice today. How freaken peculiar! So therefore when I got home from work, I wasn’t entirely sure what time it was, and wasn’t entirely sure if I had a few minutes before Jack’s bus came.
I chugged down the driveway, dodging all of the branches and various storm debris, slipping and sliding on all of the wet leaves…of course my 70-degree steep driveway angle doesn’t help. But I made it to the street. Not a soul in sight. I waited and waited, the wind started howling. I looked down the street and none of the other moms were posted at their driveways. I worried that I had totally missed the bus. But then I saw the it coming. Whew.
Jack came down the steps with his “jacket off, holding a bunch of stuff, smiling, but not in the giant-toothed way, and then sort of frowned”. I checked my list of expressions. What did this mean!?? I couldn’t tell. OR he’s finally gaining his version of a poker face. Throw every emotion at Mom and she’ll never figure me out. I’m sure he’s saying that to himself.
Jack: I said a bad word in the hall and a teacher heard me.
me: (aha, it’s GUILT! This is a new one) Soo, what word was it?
me: You said it TO her??
Jack: No, I just said it to another kid. Not like I was going to KILL him, but just in another way.
me: What did the teacher say?
Jack: To not say it again.
me: What did you say?
me: Good man. So that’s it? How was the rest of the day?
Jack: I got a card in music.
me: Is that like soccer? Did they throw you out?
Jack: Huh?? NO, then you have to go see the teacher at the end of class.
me: What happened?
Jack: I was singing too loud.
me: Remember this happened last year a lot? You need to sing softer sweetie.
Jack: But I LIKE to sing!
me: Well if they tell you to sing the song softer, just listen and you won’t get in trouble.
Jack: I wasn’t singing their song.
Jack: I sang “Party rock is in the house tonight!”
me: Sigh. Okay. Well don’t do it again.
Jack: But you sing it all the time.
me: It’s catchy. Kinda sticks in your head.
Jack: That’s what I TOLD her.
me: Well, just try to follow the teacher’s rules okay?
Jack: In my class I went up to Good Day though.
me: That’s good news. Excellent!
Jack: Does it all even out?
me: Uh.. I guess so. Doesn’t sound terrible.
Jack: Good, because I wasn’t sure if I had a good day or bad.
me: Yeah, too many different stories today. I think you had an okay day. Don’t say any bad words and keep it down with the voice of yours! (we both laugh)
Jack: So good day means I can watch Sponge Bob, right?
me: Aha, an agenda. Yeah you can watch.
Jack: I knew if I convinced you it was a good day you’d let me watch it. You’re the best Mommy!
Yesterday was another great day. I guess positive thinking can really affect how your day turns out. Jack had the super big smile when he got off the bus yesterday afternoon. I can get used to that, let me tell you!
Jack: I went up to OUTstanding today!!!
me: Yayyy! That’s so great! I’m so proud of you!
Jack: Wait, I think it was just Great day. I pictured myself getting Outstanding, and I think it almost happened, but then we ran out of time.
me: There’s always tomorrow. Just do your best.
Jack: Okay. It’s easy!
me: Good! Then I’m hoping it will also be easy for you to get your homework done and brush your teeth tonight, right?
This will be a longish post. I have time. Deal with it.
Yesterday was Jack’s first day of school. All summer long he was sort of excited to go back to school and start 2nd grade. But, as the day grew closer, he started saying he hates school and he’s going to stay in bed all day, etc. I was worried about how the actual day would go. It was actually pretty okay.
The night before, Jack picked out his clothes (shorts and school tie-dyed t-shirt), and was excited to get out his new backpack (plain black one from IKEA), we decided on a snack to pack (organic Go-gurt, baggie of smart food, apple slices) and he got his new sneakers ready (bright blue Converse). He was stoked! Right before bed he talked about his usual worries.
Jack: Mom why does my brain make me tell you things???? Ohhhh!!!
me: You haven’t told me anything yet. What’s up?
Jack: I wonder if I’m gonna meet a girl I like in 2nd grade.
me: I don’t think you’ll have any trouble at all.
me: Not with your track record.
Jack: Well, I won’t know anyone except a couple girls from 1st grade.
me: That means you’ll have to meet new girls. And boys.
Jack: Yeah yeah…(dismissive about the boys)
me: The way to get girls to like you is to be very nice to them and stick up for them if anyone is bullying them. Boys shouldn’t EVER pick on girls. They have to protect them.
Jack: I’ll totally knock someone into next week if they pick on a girl.
me: That’s the right idea, but with a little less force. Girls also like boys that behave in class. They don’t want to hang around with trouble makers. It’s too much stress. Even when you’re 6 or 7.
Jack: Really? How do you know?
me: Ta-daaaaa! I’m a girl.
Jack: Oh yeah, ha ha.
me: Trust me. Have a great day, be on your best behavior and be a good friend, and the rest will fall into place on it’s own.
Jack: Okay goodnight.
(some shots from the morning 7:50 a.m.)
Jack: Mom!!!! (he does an amazing leap off the bus steps)
me: Sweetie!!! How was it??
Jack: I had the BEST day ever. The best. I got to move my clip up to “Great day” and that’s ABOVE “Ready to Learn”. I actually moved UP instead of DOWN this year. Ha ha!!!
me: That’s awesome!!!
Jack: (grabbing my shirt and dragging me down to his level) There’s a new girl on my list in 2nd grade. (he sighs…)
me: See? I told you. She must have loved how you behaved today. How was your new teacher?
Jack: She’s the best teacher and she told me I did a really good job today. I’m gonna try to do this every day!! (he starts hopping across the street)
me: I’m SO proud of you Jack.
Jack: How many more days til the end of school?
me: I don’t know, with the hurricane and all, maybe 179? Or so…
Jack: (sigh) Can I keep this up ALL year???
me: Day by day sweetie…
Jack: Can I run up the driveway?? (off he goes in the rain)
When we got inside, I opened Jack’s backpack and took out a drawing he did. They had to write a little caption underneath. Jack’s said “I got the jitters because I’m nervous if I am going to hate my friends and their (sic) going to hate me.” (awwww). His drawing showed a little boy (him) saying “hi” and another little boy saying “go away”. He was really worried about this, but luckily things went better than he expected.
It was a day of change for us all. It was Jack’s first day as a 2nd grader. My first day as a mom of a 2nd grader. He’s becoming such a big boy and really growing and maturing just like everyone predicted. After we had a snack, Jack had a mini meltdown because he forgot he had tae kwon do, and he didn’t want to go. It was rough for about 15 minutes, but we got through it and got to his class on time. Later, at dinner, and all on his own mind you, Jack came up to me and said “I’m sorry for what I did before tae kwon do. I really didn’t mean it. I love you.” You could have knocked me over with a feather…as they say…
me: Because I didn’t like how fresh and rude you became after you read those books. You know better than to call people names.
Jack: But I promise I won’t do it ever again!!!
me: I don’t know…you’ve started to behave much better now and I’m afraid you’ll start up again if you get the books back.
Jack: (hands clasped together, lips pulled back in a grimace, wide eyes) I won’t start up anything, I promise! I won’t even call you “fool” or “lady” anymore, I promise!
me: I’ll have to think about it.
Jack: And I’ll have good manners at camp and everything!
me: Okay, here’s the deal. I’ll give you a second chance. You’ll have to be on your best behavior, no name calling to anyone, no hitting or hurting anyone, and no fresh talk to me or your teachers. I’m gonna hear a lot of “Yes Mom” around here.
Jack: Yes Mom!
me: Good start. If I get any bad reports from your teachers, or if you start calling me anything other than “best mom in the whole world”, then I’ll take the books away for a whole month.
me: You heard me. I really mean it. I think you can do it Jack. And you can’t say “oh I forgot and then I hit so-and-so”
Jack: What’s a so-and-so?
me: Nevermind. It’s just a person if you don’t want to say their name.
Jack: Oh. But a whole MONTH!!?? That’s not fair!!!
me: Then just behave and I won’t have to take them away.
Jack: Do I get one free pass?
me: To misbehave? No.
Jack: A half of a pass?
me: No! I’m serious. Be a good boy. I know you can do it. You have to think before you speak and before you act out. Really think first.
Jack: Sighhhh….ohhkaaayyyyy… But what if you go around acting like a F—, I mean like a so-and-so, then I can’t do anything about it?
me: (now I’m laughing) Nice save there. Mom’s can act any way they like, and it’s your job to behave. Got it? Don’t slip up.
Jack: No fair! So can I have the book or what???
me: (staring at him)
Jack: Can I please have the red book. (sweet smile as he adjusts his halo)
me: Yes, here you go. Try your best.
Well, lo and behold, Jack had a great day at camp, and spoke to the teachers instead of putting his hands on anyone when he got upset. He was also great for me and I didn’t really have to fight with him about anything. It’s a slow road, but we’re making progress. I’ll have to see what the camp report is like today. 🙂
Any votes? Do you think he’ll get to keep his Wimpy Kid book? Did he keep it together for one more day?? I’m like 50-50 on this one.