"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Know Where You're Going With This, So Don't Think You're Fooling Me For One Second, Young Lady

Princess? Come here please.
Have you looked at this reading bench mark test?
(blank stare)
Come look. 68%. Did not follow directions. 52%. Did not follow directions. 55%. Did not follow directions. This is a test that's supposed to show the state what you know, and you did not even read the directions.
Do not ask me if you can play Wii.
Uggggggggh....I wasn't going to.
Uhhhhhhh. Ummmmmm. How was your day?
Fine. Thank you for asking.
What did you do?
I helped in the Cuddle Bear's Class.
Was it fun?
Yes. I really enjoy helping in each of your classes.
Do not ask me if you can play Wii.

That is the first time Princess has ever asked me so much about myself. Which is good, right? Even though it was entirely motivated by want of stuff? This is how I'm trying to look at it, anyway. It grates my every nerve when she attempts to manipulate me by treating me like she recognizes I am a person, so I guess my choice is to get irritated, or to notice that she (sort of) practiced interpersonal contact instead of screaming and jumping up and down.

I'm sure there will be another chance for me to choose the low road.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012



Wednesday Josh and I went into school. Josh wore his sport coat. Just to be extra scary. We retrieved Princess from her room and went to wait outside the conference room for Mr. Principal and the laptop. We did not tell Princess why we were there. She did not ask. I imagine because she did not want to know. She looked like she was going to jump out of her skin (a good sign) when Mr. Principal and the laptop appeared, showing no surprise whatsoever at our presence in his hallway. We went in, sat down, and while Mr. Principal hooked up everything and projected a life-sized film of the notorious bus ride on the wall, I pulled out the "confession" Princess had written and went though it point by point (Buddy was mean to me. Peanut was mean to me. I sat in my seat and talked. You are stupid. I hate you. Go away from here. I didn't do anything. This is all true) and went over it with her. Then Mr. Principal called her out on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g she had said to him.

To Princess's credit, she did not continue to defend her lie in the face of hard-core evidence to the contrary. I really thought she would. Not that she broke down weeping in  remorseful confession, mind you. She still insisted that Buddy and Peanut were "mean" to her. When I made her define "mean," she said, "bossy." When I had her break down "bossy," what it boiled down to is that "being mean" apparently means, "warning me to put my butt back down in my assigned seat and shut my trap before I get in big trouble ie suspended." But she didn't accuse the bus driver of faking the tape or Mr. Principal of "just wanting her to be in trouble."

So that's good.

Then she promptly stole pudding from the lunch line.


While all this was going on, here was Peanut:

Teacher's comment- Peanut has really turned the corner. When had a sore spot when we had to deal with some cheating on her math facts, but since then she has taken responsibility for her actions and made great strides toward being a superior student. She comes to school with a great attitude every day and wants to please others. She has started to take on a leadership role and others look to her as a student who knows what to do.

And when second semester started, so did the Writer's Spotlight. Each second-grade teacher selects one student's writing each week. Those four children get to read their piece over the loud speaker and sit together for lunch at a special table that week. Peanut was the first child selected. Here is her piece:

I mean, how sweet (and smart) is that? I get chills every time I read it. The good kind.

But how is this? Biological sisters. Similar experiences. One taking one path; the other- the opposite. Does this give hope? Or show destruction?

Beats the heck out of me.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Bus Ride of Doom

So it finally happened. I'm impressed she made it two quarters- I had given her a month.
Princess is suspended from the bus Monday and Tuesday.

I'm not even remotely disturbed about the suspension, considering how she's been rolling lately. What I'm upset about is how it went down.

Ok. The part about being not disturbed was a lie.

Anyway. Her medications have been considered "balanced" since the end of December. What that seems to mean for Princess is that the noise has cleared away and she's left staring in the face of unimaginable fear about everything and horrifying shame.

I can feel it radiating from her whenever she's near. Which is a lot. Because bad things tend to happen when she is not in the same room as me. Things that are not her fault and she did nothing to trigger and she doesn't know why they happened.

Can you see the sarcasm font? I'm trying it out. No? Oh, well.

It's a step in her healing. I know it is. But it's so scary. 

So. Thursday the bus pulled up and it was driven by a different driver. Princess squealed, "yay! I LOVE this bus driver!" I squealed, "CRAP!!!!"

Thursday afternoon, Princess burst in the door (she always sprints the last bit of the walk. I imagine it's so she gets here before anyone can report on her) full of cheer and bubbles. The others followed. Buddy was last, purple with fury. There is nothing, NOTHING, I say, Buddy detests more than a rule-breaker. He loves social order. And Princess, well, she doesn't value it so much. She apparently did not value it at all Thursday afternoon.

The next two days passes, remarkably, with very little incident.

Friday the phone rang. Mr. Principal was on the other end. He said, "so, did Princess happen to mention anything about the bus ride Thursday."
No, but aaaaaaaaall my other children did.
Did anyone say anything about Princess being threatened?
I don't think so. Mostly that she seems to have broken every rule in the rule book, in order.
Hmm. I was just wondering what she'd say to you. Thursday she came in my office sort of crying, although they didn't seem like real tears. She told me that (we'll call her Sheila) was yelling at her and hit her and told her she was going to kill Princess.
Ok. Here's what I do know. I do know that Princess has an assigned seat and she knows she is to keep her bottom in it. I do know that Princess and Sheila are not to be near each other and that Princess know she is not to GO near Sheila. And I know that Princess was not in her seat, but was moving and jumping all over the bus. So my *guess* is that Princess went up to Sheila and began teasing or irritating her.
Well, you obviously know your daughter well.
Yeah. Great.

Then Mr. Principal told me that he has suspended Sheila from the bus for three days, but after hearing Sheila's side, he decided to dig up the tape from that day's bus ride.

That's right. The buses have a video feed. It was installed this year and all the children know about it. Princess, however, has never really believed it because there's not a big giant movie camera nailed to the top of the bus.

He said, "and I was horrified at the behavior I saw Princess display."

Yep. Horrified.

Princess had done just what I guessed. Princess sought out Sheila, stuck her face in the middle of Sheila's interactions with the people around her, sassed her, laughed obnoxiously in her face, then turned and talked to students near her. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Then walked into school, turned on the tears, and told Mr. Principal a death threat story.

Devious. Completely devious.

I have a plan and all. I warned her long ago that if she was not allowed to ride the bus she's be paying me for my time and gas or working off the dept, all privileges suspended. She knows that the principal called, and I imagine she knows it was about her, but since I said nothing she's not acting like she's waiting for the other shoe to drop. She doesn't know she's suspended and she doesn't know that irrefutable proof is available. She doesn't know that I'm going to have her tell me what "happened" then write it down and sign it. She doesn't know that I'm going into school Tuesday morning and will have her called to the office to watch the video feed with me. She doesn't know that I'm going to have her admit her wrongdoing to both Mr. Principal and Sheila. It's all set up nicely, and highly supported by Mr. Principal. I can deal with that part of it.

But the way she went about it. I don't know what to do with that. There is fear growing inside me that she is not only going to crash and burn, but she's going to take everyone she can with her.