Tuesday, March 23, 2010

vacation in magic blubber

I love my parents. Love them more every day.
The parents of my children (and there are a couple wonderful, wonderful exceptions) tend to make me irate. I lay three cases before the feet of the jury:
Case One:
I have had this fifth grade girl since the day after Chad left me last year. So, I will have had her for a year in a couple weeks. She has been a huge, huge challenge. She lives with her grandparents, due to her mother kidnapping her a few years ago and keeping her for a couple years, during which, she turned her daughter over to someone else for a few months. During that time, all sorts of unspeakable thing occurred. Long story short, this girl is legitimately a handle full. For me and her grandparents. However, her grandparents have the backbone of a sea cucumber. Their wishy-washy and pathetically weak behavior towards their granddaughter not only enable her to lash out but prompt it. After several warnings and promises that they would not send their granddaughter to visit her evil mother, they did so over a week ago (keep in mind that Spring Break is still a week away), because they needed a break. The call I received yesterday, during which the grandmother’s attempt at concern in her voice was nearly laughable., I was informed that they can no longer get a hold of their granddaughter and have no idea where she is and are not sure if she will ever be returning to school.
Case Two:
I have a fourth grade boy who has been a terror for most of his school years. He is legitimately pretty stout and husky, but I wouldn’t qualify him as overly fat—at least compared to my own childhood pictures. However, his mother is a rather large hunk of flesh. Instead of really worrying about his behavior or trying to get him help, most of the calls I receive from her are concerning his diet. He is forced to get salads at school at least four out of the five days a week, and she tells me to only allow him to have toast at breakfast. (Good thing I got used to breaking rules a long time ago.) He is sick to death of salads and won’t eat them and throws them away. He has no friends, the kids don’t like him, but even they make comments about how sorry they feel for him with what he is forced to eat. After a couple rough days with this boy, I receive a call yesterday from his mother, again. Not about his behavior or what might helpfull, but demanding to know why her son is gaining weight. Well, my theory? Being around such a fat parent is probably contagious.
Case Three:
My newest girl (fifth grader) has lived a life most only read about. Her mother, so it seems, prostituted her daughter out to pay for drugs. The daughter has done multiple drugs herself, is a cutter, and has been very sexually active on her own, and this is the short list. She just moved in with her religious aunt a few weeks ago and will soon be moving to another foster family because ‘things just aren’t working out.’ However, yesterday, they were doing battle over a book. She has been very concerned that the only book my student will read is “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Which to me is thrilling. More than anything educational, she’s a very smart girl, she and I have been working on what it means to be a fifth grader and experiencing childhood moments. When she came to me, she wouldn’t play at recess, wouldn’t laugh, nothing that would seem childish or young. You should see her now. It’s amazing how much she laughs and jokes. So, yesterday, I was informed that I was supposed to confiscate the book ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl (the same guy who wrote ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘The Twits’). Matilda is appropriate for second graders and is full of childhood innocence. The reason for the battle of this book? She THINKS it might have magic in it. When I called to suggest to the aunt that I have found it best to pick our battles with these type of kids, I was informed how vital it is to guard what we put in our minds—and then added to the list should be anything Harry Potter or Twilight related. (In case you didn’t know, there’s not really many other books that elementary aged children talk about or read.) As long as she lives under her aunt’s roof, she can not have such things—end quote. First off, I wanted to challenge her high-flouting Christianity in her face—cause I could take her in Bible and religious knowledge any fucking day of the week. Then, point out the oh-so-minor fact that the raping, prostituting, drug use, and cutting might, just maybe, have already put certain things in her mind. But silly, liberal me. I should have realized that Hagrid, Matilda, and Bella are much more harmful to her immortal soul.
And that was just yesterday.

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