Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today We Got the Call

The call that saddens my heart, makes me wish that my kids could stay 14 months where Brecken is, makes me wish that we really didn't need to go to school to progress in life.

I got the call from Gunnar's teacher today... and I had a "chat" with the school bus driver yesterday.

We'll start with the bus driver. After school the bus driver motioned me over and said, "Mrs. Miller, Gunnar..." First, boy did I feel old with her referring to me that way. How else was she supposed to refer to me if she really only knows Gunnar's last name. Anyway, he has a problem sitting down on the bus. Like constantly won't sit down and apparently doesn't listen either. She mentioned that she has repeatedly asked him to and he quickly "forgets". We had a chat with him last night and hopefully all is good. I asked him if he stands up in the car and he of course said no. He went on to say that you don't wear seat belts on the bus and didn't understand why you couldn't stand up if they weren't there. Hopefully we have that one worked out.

So a number I didn't recognized popped up on my phone (maybe I should have put Jeff's instead-just kidding) and answered it. For those that know me well know I hate answering the phone in general, especially numbers I don't know. I did know that it was local and I thought it was my friend's work number that I have never committed to memory. It was his teacher and I immediately knew it wasn't because he was the stellar student of the day. Of course she starts with the good and tells me about a story that happened the first week or so of school He misplaced his backpack or lunchbox and started to panic about finding it. He asked her about 3 different times to say a prayer with him to find it. Now, at home, he has never asked to pray about anything lost and I don't recall a time that we have openly done that with him. She then realized that he is probably LDS and that this was important to him because of his persistence. Thankfully she too is LDS and has raised 4 kids of her own and currently teaches primary in her ward, so she understands the importance of following through on something like that. She took him to a quiet corner of the room and they said a little prayer. She's taught kindergarten for the past, like, 20 years and has never had a child ask her to do that.

Now on to the bad. He spit in the little boys face across the table from him. She'd heard that he had done it one other time but never witnessed it herself (a little kid could have reported it previously and you never know what to believe) until today. He was sent to the principals office and had to miss PE and recess because of it. The counselors also told her that they have stress reliever balls or punching bags that he can go in and use if he feels the need. I wonder how long they have had his name memorized. His teacher said her approach almost made him worked up even more and wanted to know of suggestions that work at home. I am at a complete loss. We are still trying to figure out this kid too. I have noticed that yelling at him or being loud with him does get him worked up even more. I think he is always striving to get attention. For what reasons, I don't always know. He really does get a lot of time at home. Gunnar tells me he has no idea why he did it. Sometimes I really do think he does things just to do them without thinking but then other times I think he "conveniently" forgets. And this was not the time to have an "I forgot" sort of moment.

My heart really is SO sad that my own child chose to do that. This is the one time that I truly want to cry for the choice that he made. If this stuff happens, isn't it supposed to happen when they are older, or better yet, just not happen at all. Some of my biggest fears, is that Gunnar will be so mean to other kids that he will alienate himself and not have friends. I guess that would be considered a bully. But his teacher did say that he is not an angry kid, which I agree. He is not angry, just high energy and makes poor choices for whatever reason. I know he can make friends easily and he tends to be known wherever he goes regardless of other's ages. I want him to make and keep good friends that make good choices, which I know he has because one is in our ward. I'm just saddened by the phone call and can never tell if the conversation sinks into his head. His teacher and I vow to work closely on this. We all know "that" kid that is awful and crazy with a potty mouth and bad behavior. I do not want him to be "that" kid. And his teacher feels bad for always needing to get on him.

One good thing I guess, is that he no longer burps in school. She mentioned that they stopped that one. His name was on the bored for that one. Now his name is constantly on there for other things and Gunnar seems to think that is okay and normal. The joke before he headed to school was that Jeff and I might as well sit in the parking lot because we will be getting lots of calls. Now it is not even a joke and just makes me sad and determined to make him make good choices.

His teacher did suggest that we pray specifically at night or before school for him to make good choices. In all honesty, we have not been praying with him in the mornings. That is something we will start doing with specific requests on his behalf. This school thing stinks. Why can't my boy be the quiet, compliant one. Maybe Brecken...?

5 clever remarks:

HeidiT said...

Having spent the last 2 1/2 yrs with him in a "school" setting I can tell you about 99.9% of the time he is doing these things for attention/to be funny. In fact, now that I think about it, I can't think of even one time that he misbehaved because he was mad or angry. Pouted or cried a few times but never acted out.
He always did whatever came to mind (burping,being a distraction at circle,spitting on the playground, etc.) as soon as he thought about it without pausing to think of the consequences or rules, so then when he was reminded of them he would say he "forgot" - which to him, he did because he didn't stop to think about it. Maybe if he can learn to take a minute to pause and decide what the consequence would be then he might change his actions?
Sorry, but I kind of had to laugh about the whole teacher calling thing...we new it would happen eventually, I just didn't think it would be this soon!
What a sweet story about the prayer - see, at least he's on the right track with something. Now if only you can stop the spitting :)

Megan and Greg said...

Oh my gosh, I totally laughed in the beginning, but I'm so sad for you! I would be at a loss too. The praying thing is a good idea. That's all you can do when you can't think of anything else. Maybe try explaining that people don't like being spit on and they won't want to play at recess if he spits on them. You know, something like that. Not so much that it's a no-no, but that doing it will not be as fun and full of friends. I don't know. Good luck. I hope it changes quick!

shellysanford said...

Yikes...better to nip it now while he is still little enough or he will know that he can get away with things and you won't do anything. maybe if he gets in trouble at school he has to spend some time in the corner or his room. Unfortunately I don't think it gets easier as a parent, there is always some kind of battle to fight. Good luck and I will be anxious to hear how everything turns out.

Brent Orton said...

Hi Kristy! I am grateful I am not the only parent getting talked too! :-) John is learning a lot of lessons the last few weeks as well, but I am sure that all those cute Kindergartners will get there! (I really hope John is being a good influence and not a bad one - but FYI I got a call for him spitting on the carpet last week - So Gunner is not the only one spitting) I am so grateful for Mrs. Huddleston. I don't think we could have gotten a better teacher than her for our boys. I can tell that she really does love them, even if they are rowdy sometimes.

Also - after the first few days of the bus thing, we decided to just start taking him and picking him up and I have LOVED it! The kids before were having to be on the bus for quite a long time even at the school just waiting for everyone to get on, and then to get dropped off. I just love getting to see them right after school, having them home by 3:05, and not worrying about waiting for the bus to get there. It took a lot of stress out of my life! Sister MacDonald and I are doing a car pool group and it is working great. Let us know if you want to do it too! Good luck with everything - I think our boys will get there! John was sure excited to see Gunner at church and tell him that he would see him tomorrow! I'm so glad he has such a good friend!

Penny Cluff said...

Inhale deeply and breath. This will pass. He has been the center of Hollingsworth attention right up until Brecken and Cami came. He will learn that the sun and moon does not revolve around him and that he does not have to do attention getters. Let's face it...we are all in love with Gunnar! He will be an awesome student eventually, a great little friend and do you proud. Love.