good news minute


I met with Rex’s teacher yesterday for a follow-up visit.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter what school Rex goes to, he’s still going to be Rex.

The bad news is that it doesn’t matter what school Rex goes to, he’s still going to be Rex.

Rex is young for his age and has a hard time paying attention to the teacher. The second it’s time to do his work he’s perfectly fine and smart and capable, but otherwise he prefers to gaze off into the atmosphere and dream about Adventures with Baby Kevin the Snipe.

In a matter of moments his teachers and I realized that even if we moved him to an American school or I chose to home school him, we would all have the exact same problems. Besides, his German is starting to blossom. The Student Teacher, who speaks relatively good english and has been helping out with Rex, told me that when she says things in English, he now says, “No, tell it to me in German.” Das ist gut. Today he came into the kitchen and said, “Mom! Junie’s bein’ a bad girl, she’s hidin’ behind das blumen!”

To help his teachers, I am now sending baby Kevin to school with Rex for her to use as “motivation”. If he follows along and pays attention, Kevin can join him in his free time. If he drifts away and ignores the teacher, she cannot.

He really hates taking Kevin to school now.

The best news is that the girl who was abusing Rex (and all the other schulekindergarteners) has been removed from the school. Honestly, I feel a whole lot worse for her parents than I do for us, it would be awful to have your child kicked out of kindergarten. In fact, next to her Rex comes across as a perfect little angel.

I approached the Lord about this Rex-and-school topic earlier in the week, hoping that perhaps He would have changed His mind on the matter. Let me assure you, Rex is exactly where he is supposed to be. The answer came swift and fierce, and there is no doubt that my boy is front and center in that Heavenly Radar in the sky. I’m sure that looking back at this decision, it will all someday be so clear. The Lord moves in mysterious ways and I certainly don’t want to play road block to His plan.

On a totally separate but super more awesome note, we bought our house today!!! Even better is the fact that on Monday morning they’re delivering 18,000 lbs of Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to yours truly. That’s right, my ship is coming in so bring on the cardboard.

Life is so good (or it will be when my Intelligel mattress gets here).

When Jesus can’t convince them, throw some marshmallows on top.

I’m quickly realizing that Harrison (8) is an easy child. He has never given us a problem at school, preschool, or church, knows how to speak the local language without any difficulties, and does not wet his pants.

I love that kid.

As for the rest of them, I think fate was trying to trick us into this parenting business and yesterday I felt like a big fat failure.

June has been doing great at preschool–until this week. I went in yesterday and the poor teachers were beside themselves with frustration. Having lived with June for over three years now, I know that there are moments when I would rather stick my head in the toilet and give myself a swirlie than deal with all her strength and willpower. One Two Three Try Not To Kill Her seems to be the method that works best around here.

This sudden burst of bad behavior has come as a total shock to her teachers. She’s eating puzzle pieces and throwing the game boards around the room, refusing to listen to anything and wreaking havoc on anyone and everyone. It’s bad, and the language barrier doesn’t help.

The thing is, I know what’s wrong with her, but I have no idea how to fix it.

Last week June came home and started telling me that one of the little girls in her class won’t play with her. She loves this little girl, she wants to be friends with this little girl, but this little girl has suddenly decided that she no longer wants to play with June, she wants to play with someone else.

Honestly, my daughter is three. Do we really have to start in on the little girl drama this early?

I know she’s acting out because she wants this little girl to pay attention to her, but she isn’t old enough to realize that this kind of behavior isn’t going to win her anyone’s friendship. She thinks she’s being funny and silly to the other kids.

I stood there yesterday and listened to the laundry list of her misdeeds, feeling red in the face and embarrassed to have created such a little beast. I could feel the tears stinging the back of my eyes like a thousand hot little needles; can’t these kids do anything right in the German schools? What am I doing wrong here?

I assured the teachers that I understand better than anyone just how difficult she can be, and told them I wouldn’t bring her back. I think they were expecting me to argue with them on her behalf, because they got much nicer once I offered to keep her away (also all the stupid tears probably made them think I’m a big ninny who could use some outside help, which is right). They insisted I bring her back every day, that we would work on it.

After talking with my neighbor (who is smart and wise and wonderful), I think I’ve got a plan. Today June only gets to go to school for two hours. I am taking in a big bag of marshmallows and a small empty container. Every time she is good, she gets a marshmallow in the jar. At the end of the day, she can eat her earned marshmallows in the car.

I also told her this morning that the only person who matters is Jesus, but she looked at me like I’m some kind of idiot who knows nothing about playing princess. I guess that lecture doesn’t hold as much weight when you’re three. Maybe next time I’ll throw Jesus and Santa in together and see if it makes more sense.