Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Off to School I went

I got to go to school yesterday- weeeee.  NOT.

It all started when Chase arrived home Friday.  He paced. He paced some more.  I asked him what was wrong. Got the usual. "Nuffin" (Nothing)

When Dad came home he spilled.  "Father, I got detention." (Apparently he didn't want to fess up to me)

He proceeded on to say the gym teacher told him to dress for gym and he told him he "didn't want to" and the gym teacher was trying to understand (or so he said) so he asked him again, and asked if he had his gym clothes and it went downhill from there.

Because this gym teacher had previously offended Chase by telling him not to act like a baby over asking for a band aid for a cut on his finger. And then somehow when Chase got elbowed in the head very hard last week and was sent to the nurse Chase had the impression that this same gym teacher thought he was "being a baby".  

So I called school  and said "I'm comin' in."  

And in I went. They called Chase down. I could tell he thought he was in Trouble with a capital "T."   Especially when he saw me.

So we go in. I asked Mr. Gym Teacher to explain to me what happened. Chase tried to interrupt him but I told him, no, let him talk. So he said he "never recalled" saying Chase was acting like a baby over his finger.  Or that anything was said about that. And he went over what happened on Friday  and how he handled it.  That Chase did not have detention.

So then I asked Chase for his version.  And I translated much of what he said for the principal and even some of what he meant for Mr. Gym Teacher. I explained we had spoken to Chase and told him it was not okay to say he "didn't want to" get dressed for gym, he had to have a reason. That saying he "didn't want to" was saying "no, he wasn't getting dressed."  And he couldn't do that. Chase really didn't get that.

Because he didn't feel well Friday, said his head was spinning.  And he was AFRAID to tell the Mr. Gym Teacher which led to the "I don't want to" get dressed for gym, but no reason why.  And I told Mr Gym Teacher HE was wrong for making Chase afraid to tell him he was not feeling well.

At that point the principal clearly explained to Chase if he didn't feel well what he should do, and I added, make sure you EAT breakfast when you have gym before lunch. So you don't have a dizzy head. And he realized he wasn't in trouble, I wasn't there to show him he was wrong, I was there to stick up for him.  And you could SEE how much that meant to him.

At that point I asked him to go out of the meeting.  I told him everything was fine, he was not in trouble, he knows what to do now if he doesn't feel well.

Mr. Principal went on to say that he felt it was a communication issue and misunderstanding, that *maybe* Mr Gym Teacher got so many excuses ( from other kids) that he didn't take the time to listen to Chase, that they could maybe keep a closer eye on things in the gym class. 

So Mr. NOT- SO -NICE Gym Teacher went on to say Chase does things sometimes out of the blue that he shouldn't and doesn't know why and how he doesn't understand him when he is speaking.

I asked Mr Gym Teacher, You do understand he lived in an orphanage?" He missed out of a lot of things.  Understanding how to "play fair" is a good example.  Playing gently, another missed idea.  Watching out for others- nope, he doesn't get that either.  'Cause the kids would be sent out to play and no one watched them, no one said "don't hit so and so with that stick, don't throw rocks."  

And that him even ASKING for a band aid was progress for us, because usually the kids are so ignored in orphanage care that they learn to not even BOTHER to say they are hurt. 'Cause no one cares.

So for my son to be SCARED of being made fun of by Mr. Gym Teacher for being hurt, or Mr. Gym Teacher  not taking the extra time my child requires to be understood with his heavier accent, is NOT acceptable to ME.  Not at ALL. (Obviously Mr Gym Teacher hadn't run into this momma BEAR before-- big bully GT was nowhere near a match for this momma bear--grrrrrr)

Yes, in many ways our children are just like other teens.  And sometimes they are NOT. And I have to be their ally when they are not.  It's part of being their mother. 

It's my job to make sure they are understood, they understand, no matter what the situation.  Sometimes it takes extra effort. But that's okay because that's what I am here for. Showing a son who still wonders how important he is compared to the others how much he really does matter.

Building.  Building the trust. The understanding. The love. 

Building our family STRONG:)


Sherri said...

How convenient that Mr Gym Teacher "doesn't recall" anything about telling Chase he was acting like a baby. I got a pit in my stomach just reading this. I'm so glad you high tailed it down there and took care of it. I'm baffled sometimes at how little some people think.

Nancy said...

I respect how well tuned in to your children you are, and how you don't second guess yourself out of taking action. Thank you for sharing your experiences, they are valuable lessons for me.

MommaT said...

Bravo momma bear! You rock::)

thesleepyknitter said...

Go, Mama Bear! Chase won't forget that you stuck up for him!

:) --Shawnee

rachel garber said...

Thanks for always sharing these stories. They make me think - and help me have better skills for how to deal with adults who just don't understand adoption and all the background that comes with it.

Grandma Shelley said...

You ROCK, Mama Vickie! You are giving your kids an awesome foundation for their lives. I, too, got this icky feeling in my stomach when you said the teacher didn't "recall"....Me thinks he does this ALOT....and you were the 1st to call him on it. Woohoo! Keep on, keeping on, Vick!