I got a call from one of my kid’s teachers today. It was the same story I’ve heard many times before. This time it went something like this:
Teacher: “Your son has been told numerous times to come into the class and put away his books. He consistently fails to do it in time; he’s too busy talking.”
Me: “Yes, he told me he had 5 points deducted because he had his book in his lap.”
Teacher: “Yes, it’s supposed to be inside his desk or at his feet.”
Me: “Oh, ok.”
Teacher: “I give them all a couple of minutes to put away their things in the beginning of class, but your son never pays attention to the time.”
So that’s when I tell them in the shortest length possible, I know. I know he’s unable to do anything in the exact time alloted. He daydreams, he fidgets, he creates things with paperclips etc…but never what you ask him to do right that second. Then I apologize and tell them I’ll talk to him. His story is entirely different, but there are still enough similarities to see and sympathize with the frustration he’s feeling.
We can go on and on that it must be our parenting; he must listen and instantly obey. But…he’s not going to. The reason I know this is because his father is the same way. He doesn’t even hear half of the things going on around him. He, like my son, can observe the tiniest object in a place no one would ever look and remember its exact placement, but realize the person in front of him is on fire — no way. They could both instantly recognize a tree has lost 3.5 leaves from a certain branch they walked by the other day, but if you asked them to hand you a pair of scissors they will forget by the time they reach the drawer. Meanwhile they’re contemplating where those 3.5 leaves could have gone. And if they did go somewhere it was probably some far off land…
You know, the far off land where only “artsy” people’s minds wander. I imagine it looks something like The Yellow Submarine movie or a Van Gogh painting.
I know it must be annoying if you’re a teacher. I know it is as a mother and as a wife. It’s annoying to me because I am so firmly planted in this world… I’m a complete and total stressed out mess. There is no wandering to a far off land; I’m too busy worrying about the dirt that’s right under my feet.
And you know what? I’ll never be an artist. I’ll never “see” what these people see. I’ll never live in their far off land. And you know what? That Sucks for me.
The more time goes by the more I realize, public school doesn’t teach you anything but the basics and if you’re “special” in any sort of way it’s just something hopefully you can deal with and still come out of with at least a speck of self-esteem. Basically, school — you suck.