Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You Go, Ben (and Milo, and Max)

Ben: I have to go work now.
:::Chris and I look at him quizzically:::
Ben: Well, I have math tomorrow, so I better go do some homework to prepare for that.

Ben and Milo love school. They love school so much that weekends are merely a pleasant interruption in which the Gamecube is permitted again. (No gamecube during weekdays during the school year.) They love school so much that any excuse to use the word kindergarten is a good one. Today they told the Music Academy director and their piano teacher that they were wearing their kindergarten shoes, "going to kindergarten", and "are kindergarteners now"--for the third week in a row.

They love their kindergarten teacher. Truly, madly, deeply. I can see why. Mrs. C *is* Mrs. Bindergarten. Only she has a lovely Russian Assistant teacher instead of a parrot. (Mrs. K is at the top of my list of favorite people this week as she tracked down Milo's missing thermos.)

They do not love all their classmates (L has "hot breath" and "keeps breaving on me when we're on the carpet." N pinches. Nobody likes a pincher. This is one of those lifeskills N has yet to learn.) but they love most of them.

Max was having a bumpy adjustment to 6th grade, but it's all good--his Dad is there. With Chris teaching Reader's Theatre twice a week (and Max in that same club), they've had some good conversations on the way home from school with Chris providing some gentle guidance that pretty much amounts to "Son, you need to spend less time and energy trying to be funny. Just relax and be Max. That's enough." Today Max got his first "excellent" on the class behavior scale. I'm thrilled. It's only September!

I have one simple wish for Max for the next month. Please son, master the behavior expectations of the teacher enough so that when I go to your Parent-teacher conference at the end of October we can touch on your behavior improvements briefly and then. move. on. I want to hear about your facility with math, your charming short stories, your insightful comments during reading. Call me selfish, but I want an honest-to-goodness Great Year for you.

Today was the day when I wiped off the write-on/wipe-off calendar and moved all the stuff from the second half of the calendar (it's two sets of 5-weeks) to the first half and then write in the next month in the second half. On the section I erased were things like "Gaye's house closing" and "Move Gaye" and "First Day of School!" It's been a busy five weeks. Coming up is General Conference, going to the Pumpkin Patch with Gramma Gaye, teaching a baby sweater knitting class, a Field Trip to Harner Farms, Fall School Pictures, and the first round of Parent-teacher conferences. Now on the calendar in the second half of the next ten weeks is Ben and Milo's birthday, teaching another class on the Santa Mittens, the deadline for the cheap tickets for the winter ski program, Thanksgiving dinner, and the first day of December.

I'm glad we didn't do football this fall. We're still crazy busy--but not as crazy as last year. There's a lot going on, but Max is done with his homework before 9:30 pm. Instead of the frustrating, stressed-out plateau he was on with piano during football season last year, he's enjoying a period of rapid growth. I can't believe that's my son playing Baby Elephant Walk (it's a tough piece and he probably won't play it in a recital until the spring, but he is tenacious and it sounds better every time he plays it).

And that's Wednesday evening this week.

No comments: