Tuesday, March 11, 2008


In short:

My son is frustrated in school.

His teacher is frustrated with him

We are frustrated with the teacher.

Our son also frustrates us. (We probably frustrate him too).

The longer version:

Z has a difficult time getting his work done at school. He is a class I, top-level procrastinator that has a difficult time staying on t...

(what was I doing?).

Oh, so I know where he gets it.

It doesn't make it less frustrating.

Z's first-grade teacher has been doing the good fight all year. She is pregnant and tired. And, she is getting frustrated with trying to prod him into action. And, it shows... to us and to him.

We are frustrated because... he is reading three grades over level, he is doing math and science over his level and we know that some of the issues have to do with abject boredom. The rest of it is that Z is really hard to prod into action.

So, I have a first grader that literally walks around with his head in his book. We catch ourselves saying things like "put the book down and eat". Until last week, he was nearly on the bottom of his class for accelerated reading (the AR program).

On the flip side, although the teacher knew all year that Z was reading tons at home, she never pointed out that he could get AR points for this home stuff. We were under the impression he could only do that at school. When I reminded her that we aren't concerned if he sometimes doesn't finish reading his sentences with his book buddy... uh, because he just finished the first five Harry Potter books and the first 12 Lemony Snicket books at home - she said... "Oh, now that I think of it, some of those might be worth AR".

So, in three days, Z has gone from near the bottom of his class with seven points to somewhere upward of 65 AR points. This leaves me both happy for my boy... and, frustrated because he has read over 250 AR points worth of books this year, but may not remember all of them well enough to get the recognition because we didn't know until now.

Also frustrating, teacher isn't posting his points as he is earning them... so, he isn't "feeling the love" that is earning 44 points in one morning (Order of the Phoenix) - he deserves to get the recognition.


So, what's eating you today?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sibling Rivalry

I was discussing breastfeeding the other day with a friend of mine and a vignette from early on came back to me.

T breastfed a lot longer than I had thought I wanted to nurse my babies. He just got so much comfort and calming from nursing... it made such nice mom/baby time, so I let him go on. Then, I got pregnant and I figured he'd wean when I stopped producing milk. He slowed down a lot. Then, when I completely stopped producing, he switched to a token little nurse at bedtime, so I thought he'd wean any day. Then, I was due in a few weeks and he still hadn't stopped. I figured that I couldn't wean him then start feeding his baby brother in a few weeks - talk about creating sibling rivalry.

I had a pretty bad hospital experience delivering T, so because of that and a number of other things, we decided to homebirth B. I found this terrific midwife and all that. Anyway, T was only about 2 and 1/2 and I didn't know where he'd end up during the birth, so I wanted him to be ready. We talked a lot about baby and all.

To prepare for the birth, I showed him lots of lovely photos from Birthdiaries.com. They are really beautiful and graphic enough for him to understand what he might expect. "look, T, you can see the baby's head" T really soaked up the photos, he found them fascinating.

"Ooooh, and look, there is more of the baby's head"

"See how that mommy is shouting, it is ok if mommy shouts".

"And, look, there's the rest of the baby"

"See how the mommy hugs her new baby?"

"And, look, she is nursing the new baby... the baby likes its mommy's milk".

At this time, T stopped... looked at me... raised my shirt, pointed at my breast and stated "MINE".

Oh, and in the end... T slept through his brother's arrival. He came down in the middle of the night and met his baby brother. And, he did share his mommy.

In the end, I let T nurse at bedtime until I weaned B - they weaned simultaneously.