Continuing with sharing the children’s public school stories, this is Lina.
She is something else. She talks too much and, like her mother, has more blonde moments than brunette. She’s overly dramatic. She’s wonderfully weird. She wasn’t made for public school. Like Michael, she went to head start with Ms. Minter. There weren’t any behavior problems other than talking. Kindergarten went well also. Her teacher and teacher’s aide loved her… just wished she wouldn’t talk so much. I supported their efforts to get her to stop talking so much and even followed through at home. It just wasn’t effective.
She also started dance when she was 4, at Michael’s therapist’s request to give Lina something that was just for her. This conversation happened during a tearful meeting between Donna and myself. I confessed that I felt Michael got more attention than Lina. She showed a natural talent for dance actually and did well… except for the talking. Her first 2 years she learned her recital piece outside the classroom.
First grade found us faced with mean girls.
I am not skinny. My husband is not skinny. Our families are not skinny. My kids are not fat, though. But Lina didn’t have the ‘body’ of a dancer and one particular child, who will not be named, pointed it out to her. So at 6 years old, my daughter decided to stop eating and she stopped listening to me about it. I begged the dance teachers to talk to her and they talked to all of the girls about eating healthy and how they need to eat a lot of calories because they burn a lot of calories. I’m forever grateful to Miss Ashley and Miss Jenni for that talk.
We also had an issue with her school teacher cutting back on her bathroom breaks. Because you can’t possibly have to go to the bathroom outside of the scheduled bathroom times. This resulted in a medical problem. Her body stopped being able to tell when it had to go poo because she was having to hold it until she got home, so it stopped going poo. Once we realized what was happening, we took her to the doctor and started medication. That teacher also had to hear from me. Keep in mind that at this time, I was practically living at that school anyway for Michael (this was his last year at public school).
Second grade saw a return of her bowel problems as her new teacher did the same thing as the first-grade teacher. This “gem” of a teacher also yelled at the students, slapped their desks with rulers (she was way old school), and the whole day’s worth of work home for the parents to oversee. I talked to previous parents of hers and that is just how she was. When Lina started coming home with bruises on her legs, I had to go in. The little girl sitting next to her was punching her in the leg. Since I was homeschooling one and public schooling the other, I was trying to mend my relationship with the school. A.K.A. I was trying to behave myself.
The teacher knew about the bruises. Lina had already told her about it. She didn’t feel “comfortable” talking to that girl’s mom as she was the type to “play the race card and threaten to sue”. Granted the teacher was in tears telling me this, so I believe that she truly felt bad. I also didn’t care that she felt bad. She wasn’t protecting my baby and how is that right? When does ‘cover your own butt’ trump someone’s safety?
That was it for me. She had already been begging me to homeschool her at this point. I told the teacher to move her away from that child or I was going to do more than threaten to sue and we started making plans to keep her at home the following year.
She has considered going back to public school, but then she talked to her dance friends and found out exactly what middle school was like. She’s not interested anymore. Lol. I do think about what she might miss out on; dances, prom. But when I do she points out that she wouldn’t be able to help teach her 3 pre-K classes at the studio if she was in school and she would miss her little girls. The studio owner said that she has a real talent with the little ones too and said that, if nothing else, she will make a great dance teacher some day.
Don’t get me wrong, she still gets in trouble for talking too much. But all of the adults in her life have figured out how to work with her on that and still preserve her spirit.