Thursday, August 11, 2011

Torn and Twisted

I work in a district that is not well off. In fact our high school is in phase five because we have not made adequate yearly progress. We are considered at risk. About 95% of our students are on free and reduced lunch and probably 75% come from single family homes. In my twelve year career here I have seen the schools consolidate and the student population severely decline. What is also sad is I have seen many quality families leave the district. Now, granted for some it is because there are no jobs in town, but there is also the “white flight”. What we have left is not what it used to be. My district has a bad reputation. When I respond with where I teach very often you hear “Oh.” There are other surrounding districts that complain when they get our kids. With that said, we have a very good curriculum, we may not have a ton of resources but we have adequate supplies, and we have teachers that give their blood, sweat, and tears to the kids, the school, the lessons, etc. (Granted there are some teachers that are less than desirable but you have that type anywhere and everywhere.) I believe in our schools.

Now the twisted and torn comes into play. As my own child approaches school age we are forced to make decisions. Luckily or maybe not so lucky we have choices since our state has schools of choice. We can send the boys anywhere. Currently they attend a phenomenal daycare in a city other than we live in. We started them there as infants for two reasons; One it is top of the line and two it is run by friends, family if you will, and I know they are loved every day. I have never once worried about my children. Now that they are leaving the safety of that environment we have to decide what the next step is. We have choices. We could send Jack to our home school district. This would mean he would need before and after school care, where I don’t know. Or Jack could attend school at my district. For me this was an easy decision. It’s the beauty of being a teacher; he can be in my building. He can hang out in my room before and after school. Then when he gets older and Ryan is ready for school we can transfer them back to our home district, that way they are together. Besides all that what better way to prove that I believe in what my colleagues and I do, then send my child there. If it good enough for my child it is good enough for everyone.

It has come to my attention that some of my friends and family are questioning this plan. I guess they have questions and concerns about whether it would be good for Jack.
• What about all the bad kids, do you want Jack around that?
• It’s _____________, really?
• Just because Carrie teaches there doesn’t mean you have to send your kids there.
• Why would you live in such a great district and send your kids there?
• Do you really want Jack to have his mommy right down the hall?
• What about having friends? He won’t make any in his hometown and then you will be going back and forth all the time.
• You pay taxes here; your kids should go here.
• Well I guess it would be okay for a little while but not forever.

All this questioning has me questioning. I guess one of my biggest questions is do these people think that what I do is like charity. Do they think that because I teach in a poor district the quality of education is poor? Do they think we don’t provide quality education? Are they really concerned about Jack or are they judging the poor area and students I teach?

My question is what is best for my child? Should he be his own person, in his own building with his mom being like every other kid in the class, the teacher will email me like everyone else not catch me in the hall? Do I care what other people think and I go with my professional opinion? I’m just not sure.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Battle of Green Beans

World War Vegetables has been waged in the Fisher household. The parties involved are Parents vs. 4 and 1/2 year old. (I add the 1/2 because anytime you ask Jack how old he is he mentions it. So I feel that it is important detail ;) ) So far the battles have only been fought on the homefront but if they continue I am sure will go over-seas.
Tonight's menu was pork, corn and green beans. I got smart and I had Jack and Ryan help me clean, prepare and cook the vegetables. I explained what the choices were and let him, choose which one he wanted to eat. Jack decided he would wage war against green beans. I obliged and cut them small as he asked. Dinner started off great, he ate all of his pork and biscuit and then by the time the rest of us were done, his beans were still untouched. I offered him corn, let him know he would have 30 minutes to eat the beans and begin to clean up the kitchen. With 10 minutes remaining he announced, "I am not eat them." This time Tom explained, that's fine but that means you will take your bath and go to bed and stay there for the rest of the night.
I looked over at one point and I thought I saw him playing with his napkin. I was almost excited that he was smart enough to hide them. But the napkin was EMPTY. Then I looked over and I noticed his hands under the table...was he feeding them to Casey? NOPE!! Wow is there something wrong with me that I am hoping he is smart enough to try to get away with not eating them?
The timer runs out and he is escorted upstairs by his father for his bath. The bath finishes and I hear the boys giggle as they avoid getting dressed. Then you hear Jack cry "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO BED."
I don't know if there is a winnner in this battle. He didn't eat the beans and we are going to have to listen to him.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Battle of Corn

Jack doesn't eat his vegetables on a regular basis. In fact his is generally a horrible picky eater. I have been re-reading Love and Logic and deciding that I need to stop fixing seperate meals for the boys. So tonight we had hot-dogs, corn on the cob, and grilled vegetables. I told the boys they had to have corn or grilled zuchini and squash. Jack has eaten corn 1/2 a dozen times before although lately he is boycotting it.
Enter tonights battle of wills:
Jack refuses to eat his corn and asked for carrots. Tom and I both told him his choice was corn or vegetables. Corn was put on his plate. He ate the hot dog and then wanted to be excused. Ryan asked to go outside, so Tom told him he would take him out after he was done with the dishes. Jack immediately jumps up. Tom reminds him that he couldn't get up until he ate his veggies. The tears begin.
J: I want to go outside.
T: Then eat your corn
J: I want carrots
T: Not one of the choices. I love you too much to argue.
He then takes Ryan outside and I am left to monitor the battle of corn. Jack begins screaming crying I want carrots. I send him to his room and tell him when he is ready to eat his corn he can come back down. After about 10 minutes he returns.
As angry he can be he yells "Why can't I go outside??"
Me: Because you won't eat your corn. Eat it and you can go outside.
J: You are breaking my heart in a million pieces. More pieces than this stupid corn.
Tom had divided the serving into two sections a large section and a section "this is what you have to eat." I look over and he is flicking all the corn from the "eat" section to the other section. After he has moved almost all of the corn over he comes over to me.
J: Look at how much I ate.
Me: You didn't eat it, you moved it over to the other side of the plate. Now move it back and eat it.
J: But then I have to touch it and I'll get it all over my fingers.
Me: You can use your fork.
J: I don't want to eat it!!! I want to go outside.
Me: Well I would eat it soon because I am sure Ryan and Daddy will be in soon.
He then sits there and stews some more still not eating the corn. He uses a variety of excuses to get up.
  • I'm really really full
  • I'm cold
  • I'm hot
  • I have to go to the bathroom
  • I'm not hungry.

After 80 minutes the Battle of Corn was won!!

Mom and Dad :1 Jack: 0

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cute things

Ryan is starting to put together sentences. Generally two words but watching him develop is awesome.
Today we are on our way home, Jack was being very obnoxious and we reminded him of appropriate behavior in the car. He then decided to jam along to the music. After about 10 minutes Ryan decided he was going to annoy his brother. Over and over again he said, "Jack, HI!" After about 10 times Jack begins saying "Ryan stop that's annoying." Then Ryan decides to make his penguin noise, which sounds like "Ackkk Ackkk" Tom and I had to laugh.
As I am putting him to bed tonight he says. "Ryan funny."
Also everytime the phone rings he says "Shorty talk" any indication of how much I talk to my mom?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Keeping up

I guess I started this because I wanted to remember all the things that made me laugh and even cry about my boys. I sat tonight working on a new photo book, because I haven't done one since Ryan turned one, and I realized how incredibly blessed I am . I also realized that I need to take time each day to reflect on the good. So, I am going to try..... ;)
Today the boys and I went out to Albion to see Drumunity. It was an amazing performance geared at kids. We went with Aunt La-La, Anderson and Lilli. I think my favorite part was watching the boys faces as they pounded away on the drums. Of course I could have done without the noise, but hey that's life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back to school

Okay so I know that boys tend to not be very good at being sick. I also know that I should not complain. I am very lucky to have a great husband who is very helpful. BUT I would like to vent for a moment.

So I have been sick since Friday. I'm not dying but I am not on my A game. We had a party yesterday. Tom was great for the pre and post party.
Today was my first day of grad school. Tom slept in till 10:O0, I knew he wasn't feeling well so I got up with the boys. Fed them, dressed them, etc. Once he got up I showered and left for school. I was at class from 12-4. I got home and he went back to bed. I then spent the next two hours putting away laundry. Then I had to unload the dishwasher so I could load the dirty dishes from the sick into the dishwasher. At 7:00 I finally sat down to relax.

Wow it's been a day! But honestly I wouldn't change it. I just wish sometimes I could take a vacation from reality ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Conversations with an almost 4 year old

Jack is quickly approaching 4. It's weird that you can actually have a full on conversation and he tells stories that are actually quite detailed. Here a a few of his funny ones.

J: Mommy, today Ryan P kicked me in the "knuckles" it hurt so bad.
M: Did you tell Miss Carrie?
J: No, Miss Carrie was driving bus and Miss Kim was going home. So I told Miss Jackie.
M: What happened?
J: She said "Not nice, Ryan go sit on the bench." Then she got me a boo-boo ice and I put it on my pee-pee. It hurts to get kicked in the "knuckles"
M: I guess so

M: Jack, Santa is watching. Do you want to be on his nice list or his naughty list?
J: Maybe his naughty list
M: If you are on naughty list you don't get any presents.
J: Hmmm maybe the nice list.

An indication that my child has too many toys. At his birthday party he opened the Batman Castle that he got last year from Santa.
J: Wow a Batman castle! I always wanted one.
Later when we discussed he already had one he said he wanted to keep it. I tried to explain we didn't really need two and maybe he could pick something else.
J: Yeah but if we keep it, than my baby can play with the old one and I will keep the new one and then I don't have to share.

Every year my close friends and I get together for ChristmaKuh . The kids all got gifts. Addie got a Barbie and some clothes. As the other Moms were cleaning up I was playing with the kids. Also known as stripping and redressing Barbie. Sammy and Jack came over.
S: I want to play with Barbie.
A: There is only one.
S: I want a Barbie.
J: Me too!
Me: Sammy do you want a Ken so that maybe you can play Barbies with Addie?
S: Yea that would be okay.
J: I want a Ken too!

Jack is capable of taking care of himself in the bathroom. However, periodically he will yell from the bathroom "I'm DONE!!" Which translates to will someone come wipe my butt. We get a big kick out of it, because a larger version of Jack used to do the exact same thing. In the middle of Jack's birthday party we heard a "Daddy! Daddy, I'm done." It progressively got louder and more desperate. Turns out other 4 year olds do the same thing. :)

Needless to say they are keeping us entertained and that doesn't even include the stuff Ryan has been up to. :)