September 7, 2011

Hunter's First Day of Big Kid Speech

Hunter has insisted for weeks now that he simply wasn't planning on ever going to his new speech teacher.  Usually when he decides these things, he sticks with them and makes my task as momma and person responsible for getting him where the law says he needs to be quite difficult.  But today was surprisingly different from his norm.

He popped in the van, chose not to whine about not getting to wear his snow boots (for almost the first time EVER) because Kindergartners are too mature for such obvious seasonal fashion faux pas, and didn't even split hairs about leaving his favorite book in the van when he went in. 

I asked Hannah Jane and Haven to stay outside and work on their reading assignments while I walked him in so that there was no last minute feeling that the whole family was going to hang out and have fun without him.  They're going to be silently reading and you're going to get to play games!!!

He stopped to pose for a few first day of big kid school photos and gee, he looks devastated to be there doesn't he.  The woman I've been sure was a bad fit for us was there waiting with a barrage of student teachers around her.  She seemed nice enough.  She still didn't know him and looked at her papers to find the name of the kid whose mom would be bringing him instead getting picked up from class.  He didn't seem to upset to go play Jenga with the student teacher.  I slipped out without a fuss.

I couldn't resist popping in a few minutes early and listening from the hallway to how things were going.  This is hard, considering this wing of the school has very few solid walls and instead has a wall of windows to the hall and the outside.  But I turned my head the other way until I passed the door (maybe he doesn't know the back of my head???) and then stood around the corner and listened in.

She mentioned that Hunter got the most points because he was the only kid who didn't interrupt.  Even as she explained this, the other boys interrupted to state how unfair this was.  Then she assigned points to the other boys, explained why they had lost so many and maybe they could do better about being silent next time, and then went over a long list of rules that all kindergartners should know.  Don't speak unless you're asked a question.  Don't play with your hands.  Don't put your hands on the table in front of you.  Don't tip your chair.  Keep your feet on the floor.  Yes, I know your feet don't reach  the floor but you know what I mean. And so on and so forth. 

I never heard a sound from Hunter, but I heard the other boys chattering away over every rule.  I can see why he got the most points- being paralyzed with fear makes you the perfect student!  I always enjoyed peeking in on his old speech class and seeing him interacting with the teacher and his friends.  This is clearly a different world.  The individual isn't quite as prized as the rules and the numbers on the spread sheet.  But that's okay too.  He'll have to learn to conform when it's necessary, and this is just an hour a week, so it's not like she's going to crush his spirit. 

In the car he bragged about all of his points.  Each point is apparently worth a "fake dollar" which he can spend to buy things from the prize shelf.  I asked what kinds of things were on the prize shelf and all he could recall seeing was a Hello Kitty worth 3 fake bucks that he wanted to buy for Hannah Jane, but his teacher never asked if he wanted to spend his money, just told him how much he had.  "I had enough to buy that kitty, mom.  I'm going to if it's still there when I get to go shopping."  I told him that it was sweet, but he could totally buy something for himself since he was working so hard in his new environment.  He said he knew but that knowing he could buy a present for his sister made him feel like we were kind of all still together even when he was at school.  I could just cry...Okay...maybe I am crying just a little as I type this.  What a sweet kid!

He rattled off words that he had to say in his games.  Goat, goose, and spaghetti.  We all sort of marveled at how perfectly he said spaghetti.  "I didn't even have to practice that one.  I'm just awesome at it naturally!"  he beamed.

His final say on new speech?  "It's fun because it's short.  I can earn a lot of fake dollars by not interrupting and then I can buy cool stuff.  It seems really hard to not run or jump or have fun all day, so I'm glad that I don't have to go back to class with the other boys.  I bet that's why they didn't earn many dollars.  They've been following those rules all day.  Ugh.  But I'm going back a lot of days, so you don't have to worry about me.  I can do it!"  Funny little fellow.  I knew he could do it.  Such a relief.  And it's funny to hear his perspective on what real school is like. He had a minor attitude adjustment when he saw what other kids have to do all day.  Haha!

Hopefully his outlook on speech remains this sunny.  For now, we're all relieved to have this highly anticipated and somewhat dreaded day behind us.


  1. I tried to comment earlier, but forgot to post before leaving your blog. Anyway...I love this post!! I love that you were spying in the hallway (I've totally done it, too), I love that Hunter wants to buy the Hello Kitty prize for Hannah (that made me tear up, as well!), and I especially love that everyone was pleasantly surprised with the experience!! (But I have to say I'm sorta glad I never knew how still Micah was required to be in speech!) :)

  2. Haha! You're so funny! We were all so pleased! And we might have bailed without giving it a chance had it not been for your input. That's a hard school to spy in, isn't it? I'm sure Micah was super still :)


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