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).

I hate this post

We were driving in the car yesterday evening talking about our day when Rex quietly said from the back seat, “Mommy, the kids at school were mean to me today. They were kickin’ and pinchin’ me…and well…they were not very nice kids.”

I almost had to pull the car over and vomit. This is my worst nightmare for Rex. I know he’s quirky and different and has the most massive imagination in the universe, and I know those qualities don’t usually win a kid the “most popular” vote. He’s not interested in soccer or sports, is a very young 6-year-old who still wants to build houses for his animals all day long.

I tried to press him for more information but he’s not good with this kind of verbal communication. He just changes the subject to things like snipes or frogs. I did ask if he told his teacher. “Yes,” he said, “but she didn’t understand me because she only speaks German.”

I feel like bulldozing my way into the school today and throwing a few little German kids around. My first thought was yank him; if kids are being mean to him he’s out of there. It’s one thing when a kid deals with a bully and has the power to tell an adult, but when the adults have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE SAYING it’s a totally different ball game.

Unfortunately, he can’t live here in my house and hide from real life. He’s got to learn how to make a place for himself in this stupid world and get along with other kids. If I didn’t love him so much I would home school him until he was twenty.

Lucky for me he got a rash on his face last night and we called the neighbor (a good friend and pediatrician) for a quick consult. A little cream and I put Rex to bed, then decided perhaps we should ask the doctor for a little advice.

I am so, so glad we asked. First he wanted to know if we’re seeing any effects from school in his home life–regression, violence, major melt downs, overreactions or bed wetting etc. So far Rex has been really happy here and we haven’t seen any kind of outbursts. That gave me great peace of mind. Then we talked about kids in the quirky category.

According to our doctor, if you got 100 6-year-olds together you’d find that a good 20% of them are at Rex’s bus stop on the route to maturity. We talked about how much childhood has changed just in one or two generations, how quick we are to expect children to put down their toys and grow up. Our society has high expectations and demands more emotional maturity than many kids are ready for. I hate that about society.

His best friends are Harrison and June, they love each other and play constantly, especially he and Junie bug. I wish you could see what Rex can do with scissors and an old box, or with a silly piece of string. He comes home from school and explodes creativity all over my house every single day.

For the record, creativity is super messy.

How do I help my boy? I am going into the school today to talk/pantomime to his teacher to see if she has any suggestions. German or American schools, he’s going to come up against this regardless.

When he said his morning prayers today and actually prayed that the kids at school would be nice to him I almost cried. He usually just prays for his animals. Perhaps this is the Lord’s way of teaching Rex to ask for help with his problems. Oh, the refiner’s fire is so uncomfortable.

Heaven help me help him.


Number One and Number Two

We have liftoff.

For those of you who don’t really know Rex, he’s not really the most enthusiastic pre-potty trained three-year-old. He’s been known to reply, “I HATE CANDY!” and “No candy, NO CANDY!” when it’s coupled with toilet talk of any kind. I’ve tried potty training him more times than I care to admit. I’ve gotten to the point where the very though of Rex and toilets gives me the kind of anxiety attack that lands my own self on the toilet. But I’m so sick of changing his disgusting diapers. I have two children in size four diapers. That is so wrong.

But today he turned over a new turd. I mean leaf. Did I just say turd? Maybe that’s because my little dumpling actually dropped one of them in his very own toilet all by himself. No adult supervision, no “Need to poo poo yet? I’ve got candy!”, no “Want to sit on your potty chair for a while? I’ve got candy!”, no “Want Mommy to give you an enema? I’ve got candy!” He was flying solo, alone upstairs, while I pretended to know how to play soccer with Harrison in the back yard. I finally started to worry about the two unsupervised kidlets inside so we called it quits and went indoors. What did Harrison find upstairs? Little brother had done the big one AND the big two on his potty all by himself.

Last time I unsuccessfully potty-trained Rex I learned something important. If I make any kind of a big deal about his toilet successes, he will not repeat them. So this time, despite the fact that I was practically wetting my own pants with surprised delight and celebration, I bit my tongue, gave him a gruff, “Good job, son” and handed the kid his blasted candy.

So yay Rexy. Mommy is quietly proud of you. I will not squeal with delight, call Grandma Diane, or even mention your new found skill in front of you. BUT ON MY BLOG I AM FREAKING OUT! YAAAAYY REXY! GO REXY! EVERYBODY SAY “WA_HOO” FOR REXY!

I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes.

The Animal Fair

Thursday. Three days on my own with the kids and I’m nearly finished with my list of projects designed to keep me occupied until December. In light of my current Too Much Time To Fill state, I developed a plan B: field trips.

Tonight I decided to take the kids to a local farmer’s market. How hard could it be? Three kids, one stroller, a few tents. Cake.

More like Cake Fight, actually.

We parked alongside the road and unloaded the burdens into the stroller. Have you ever tried to push a stroller through sage brush? A double wide stroller? Yeah. Not made for sage brush. We nearly lost Harrison a.k.a. Indiana Jones on the way to the gravel road where the tents were set up (he was hiding from the bad guys). Did you catch the gravel part? Ever tried to push a double stroller through gravel?

Aside from the 60 pounds of childhood flesh and the gravel, it was a nice night. Saw a few cute booths, sampled some great tomatoes, all in all that first four minutes went really well. Then Rex wanted out of the stroller. Why not? He’s being so good. Lies, all lies. Oh how quickly the storm clouds billowed in.

I decided to be the nice fun mom my own mother and Jason would never approve of and get the kids each a little souvenir. Junie got a new bracelet because at nine months (today) she just loves jewelry, and Rex picked out a hideous stuffed dragon at some cheap-o stand. Harry? He wanted his face painted. Sure!

As soon as Harrison sat down Rex started messing with the paints. As soon as I told him no he started to melt down. Picture a banana popsicle in the middle of the asphalt on a hot August day. That’s about how fast Rexy unraveled. As soon as Harrison was finished (Tiger Harrison, he informed me) Rex wanted to be a mouse. A yellow mouse. Since Rex and his loud little voice (yes, it carries just like mine) were about ten notches above adamant, I decided to practice survival parenting and gave in.

She only managed a pink nose and whiskers before he really lost it. “I want to be a frog!” Weeping, wailing, throwing the dragon. We were like a tiger/mouse/dragon circus with a miniature fat lady perched in the stroller chewing on her bracelet.

Somehow we made it through the sagebrush wilderness and back to the car, despite our mouse’s smudged whiskers and the tiger that stalked us through the bush. The June Bug? Perfect. Never made a single peep. Hey, we put on a good show, who wouldn’t be entertained?

I think our next outing will be a little closer to home. Like the backyard. I think we could handle that.