I was reading someone's blog on Sunday and thought, hey, November! Isn't that the "blog every day" month I never bothered with? I should try that.
Well, here it is the fourth already and... I... yeah. Oh well. So much for that. I can still try, though, right?
It's been a good week so far. Barak had a rough Monday--he got pushed on the playground and came home devastated by the discovery that there are people in the world who think it is fun to hurt other people. We spent a lot of time talking on Monday night and into Tuesday and then I talked to his morah. Things seem better now--she assured me that it did not seem part of a pattern and that Barak was not being bullied, and that from her perception (although definitely not from Barak's) it had been an accident. I'm not convinced she's right on that one, but she said he was fitting in well, making friends, playing with the other boys, etc., which is the important thing. However, from Barak's point of view, he could not possibly go back to school where there were mean people who thought it was fun to hurt other people. Which was the first thing to deal with, whether it had been an accident or no.
So Barak and I talked on Monday night (with lots of cuddles) about how everyone has a bad day sometimes, every bad day is over when you go to bed, and let's figure out how to make tomorrow into a good day. Barak thought this over and decided that a treat in his lunchbox would definitely help. I said OK. Then we thought that getting up a little earlier to sit and all have breakfast together would help, and even more if breakfast were, say, oatmeal, with maple syrup. I agreed to that one too. But really, he said (with a sad sigh) school was too much for him and he shouldn't go. Which I agree with the first part of--a day that starts with an 8:00 bus stop time and ends with getting home at 4 pm just as it's about to get dark is CRAZY for a 5yo. It IS too much. He needs more time to play.
"Well, if you want, I can come get you at lunchtime and you can come home. Should I do that?"
"No you can't!" he said, with conviction. "The kids aren't allowed to. You aren't allowed to go ANYWHERE when you're at school. You just have to stay until the bus comes."
"Barak, if your Imma comes to get you, and says, Barak is coming home with me now, they have to let you go."
His eyes got wide. "Really?"
"Absolutely. I can come get you anytime you want. And if you don't want to stay in the afternoon, you don't have to. You can tell me in the morning and I can come get you after lunch."
Now, I will point out here that I am pretty convinced that generally speaking, Barak loves school, and I think if I were to show up at lunchtime to take him home, he wouldn't want to go. Otherwise I wouldn't have made the offer, frankly. But the look on his face was something else. I think just knowing that he COULD go home if he wanted to was a pretty big deal for him. Hey, no, I'm NOT being held hostage! Neat!
I found out later, when talking to the school secretary--more on this tomorrow maybe--that there are parents who come sometimes to take their younger children to lunch. This would NEVER have gone over in my public school and frankly simply never occurred to me to do, but it seems that given the crazy long school day and families with many children, sometimes parents who feel that their kids need some 1:1 parent time will come during the day and take said kid out to lunch at the pizza place down the block. It gets harder when the kids are older, of course, but this seems to be an accepted, and acceptable, thing to do; just call me in the morning, she said, if you're going to come and get him, and she told me exactly what time lunch starts.
Now that's a good thing to know I can do. Even if I don't know if he'd actually want to do it, I think just the idea that we could do such a thing would really make him happy. Anyway--things to think about.
OK. Back to work. More tomorrow, maybe.