Friday, October 11, 2013

Middle School Parent/Teacher Conferences

Once the girl went down for a nap, I raided my closet going through outfit after outfit trying to find my "mom." An hour or so later, I finally settled on my funky feather print skinny jeans, a black long sleeved t-shirt, and my favorite boots that I can manage Alex in. (Seriously, someone needs to tell Walter that real moms wear yoga pants.) I packed a diaper bag for Alex, because Thing2 said he would keep the girl for me and Goofy can take his homework. At 2:45, I plug in my straightener and lay out my makeup. I get set up and run for the front porch so I'd be waiting when Walter got off the bus and modeled my outfit for him. He looked me up and down and promptly begged to stay home. He swore he could watch the Goofy One, he would let him play Black Ops 2 the whole time I was gone and Thing2 would be there to help.

Well, I am only going to be 2 minutes up the street. and if Goofy's playing Black Ops 2, he's not pestering his brothers or tormenting the baby. ok, fine. but if Walter's not going, there's no reason for me to be fancy. So, I go back, unplug my straightener, and throw on my Alex clothes.

As soon as Alex got off the bus looking like he was dressed by a 2 year old in his mismatched clothes and one shoe off, I put him in his seat and we head for the school. Awesome day for him to have to borrow pants from the nurse :/

We slowly but surely make our way up the stairs with many verbal prompts and maybe a minor amount of begging. Walking into the school on the way to the gym, we run into Walter's principal and counselor. These people, man. Every person I ran across this evening was just... amazing. Walter's principal said hi to me and stuff and then he started talking to Alex and Alex responded! There was the whole usual hi and request for a hug but then he told Alex that he was Walter's principal and you know as soon as Walter's name is mentioned, Alex is all into it. It was great. Then the counselor was telling Alex that they had Thing1 and Thing2, which isn't quite as interesting because they aren't Walter :)

We continued on and turned the corner to the gym. That's where I saw for a fact that my idea of "slow time" and the principal's idea of "slow time" are very different. People! Everywhere! Wall to wall people scattered here and there and they all look the freaking same! Walter walked me through his list of teachers before I left to remember certain memorable characteristics in each person we saw at Curriculum Night to go with faces to put with the names I was looking for today but there are so many, you can't hardly pick out individuals. There's no rhyme or reason, just clusters of bodies. The assistant principal walks up to say hi but gets caught by someone needing help. I heard him explain that each grade had a wall, which makes it so much easier. I found our wall and was able to pick out a person. *sigh of relief* we go find a seat.

The seats are grouped in front of the teachers' tables, each teacher and their group of chairs having a (mostly) clearly defined space. All you had to do was keep track of who was there before you and where you fall in the line. A lot like standing in line without the discomfort of people hovering and invading your personal space. I loved this part. LOL, oh, man... and it was easier to keep Alex's hands in his chair space. mostly. Waiting for the first teacher, there was a guy sitting behind us. Alex turned around in his seat, looking back and I was watching his hands and the guy's shoe strings. Alex looked like he was considering it so I said, "don't touch him." The guy looked at me wide-eyed, "I didn't touch him!" I'm not sure if he was joking or really thought I was talking to him but he seemed to have a good sense of humor. and then Alex groped the assistant principal. I do have to admit, the shirt was pretty.

I had a list of 3 teachers I was after. The first one I recognized was actually #3 on my list. Science. Walter has a C. He has a C because he failed a test. No, there is not a pattern of test failing yet, he's only given one test so far, and Walter hasn't been mentioned in team meetings as having noticeable trouble so he's cool. Alex did great for this one. The teacher said hi and talked to him a little about Walter. Awesome.

We moved on to #2 who's line was quite a bit longer but shorter than #1. This one is important but I already know what the problem is and what to do, I just need the information. Math. Alex is getting antsy. This one is only going to take a few seconds of talking, it's mostly waiting and I know I'm pushing it with Alex but it's a long line and we're almost there. Come our turn, we get seated and start talking, I'm writing my name on her list and Alex throws his cereal. I go get the cereal, he throws my pen. The teacher is great, the lady he threw his cereal at is great, I rush through getting the information for tutoring- She offers tutoring in the morning from 7:35-8:05 but Alex's bus comes at 7:45, Walter's comes at 7:49, and Goofy's at 8:24. I can't get him there for morning tutoring but they have an A+ program where A+ students from the high school come in for tutoring after school and Walter has her for advisory so he gets extra help there, too. The D+ here is not a lack of effort so the D+ doesn't matter to me. I know I have to get Alex out of there. The lady I really want's line is even longer but Alex is DONE.

We go out to the hall for a break where Alex goes batcrap insane. He's swinging on my arms when one lady walks by with a huge smile. You know the smile of recognition? the "oh, yeah, been there." grin? yeah. one of those. He's pacing and stimming on the locker combination locks and a door knob and vocal stimming when lady #2 walks by with a smile and a hi.

After a bit, we try to go back in. Remember karma? Screw karma! I effing hate her!!! I've been raising hell at Alex's school about staff trying to break his "falls" and stopping him from hitting the floor when he drops. Leave him alone, I say. Follow his BIP, I say. He's not going to hurt himself, I say. He knows what he's doing. and then tonight, he throws himself down... and I try to catch him. *reflex* I quit. Why does this only happen in front of people? I can do it right 10,000,000 times but when I mess up? You can bet that it will be in front of witnesses. every time.

We walk outside and get to the part I've been dreading the most. We inch our way down the first set of stairs and get to the landing. Where Alex gets pissed and decides enough is enough. He wants goodbye and he is NOT walking down another step. He's trying to get away from me to run and there may have been some rolling around on the ground- this part is a little unclear since I was about to have a freak out of my own- when a woman stops.

She says hi and asks him if he has a brother or sister in this school. she talks to him about completely unrelated things. redirection! Why didn't I think of that!? I freaking love her! Once he was calm, she let him know that goodbye is down the stairs. We inch our way down the rest of the stairs with minimal scary missteps and head home.

At home, the girl is good, Goofy is playing at the neighbor's house and my husband is 15 minutes from home. If I leave now, I have time to get that last teacher before the reading workshop starts... Since Alex so desperately needs a break alone in his room anyway, I leave his brothers in charge and go back to see #1 before heading to the elementary.

Teacher #1 Literature. Walter has a C in her class but he has a C because he "fails to finish independent assignments." I want to know why his report card says that he "fails to finish independent assignments" while parent portal says no such thing. I have been watching for exactly this! and nothing until report cards!? Apparently, "fails to finish independent assignments" is singular. who knew!? I shall have to remember that one. *sarcastic comment removed*

Anyway, now I have a decision to make...

Was Walter ONE missing assignment away from not being grounded for 6 weeks or is it *just* ONE missing assignment?

Even with the one, he met the C and above rule, except for math, which was not a lack of effort. He actually worked hard for that D+. I think he's free until the next report card as long as parent portal doesn't say that he "fails to finish independent assignments." and that declaration got me a smile, a hug, and a heartfelt thank you. As if I was the one who worked my ass off for it, lol.


  1. I think parent teacher conferences should be done through email! Hate the crowds!

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