Just a mom raising The Boy (adopted from Guatemala) along with my fabulous husband (MFH). I am a shoe whore, especially of the high heeled variety. Hence, the nickname.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Path of Least Resistance

We had our meeting on Monday, and it went surprisingly well.

Regarding the speech help - the principal said they would never take a kid out during the extra activities to work with them. I had my permission slip with me, and showed him where it said the help would occur during "recess, music, or library". He didn't know that was there. He insured me it wouldn't happen. I said if it does, I will pull him out immediately. The kicker is the speech pathologist took him the very next day - before I had even returned the permission slip.

The standardized test scores on The Boy show he is at or above grade level in all areas except one - math. In math he is in the lower quadrant of his class.

The teacher's take on it - and we agree - is that The Boy understands the concepts of addition and subtraction. After all, he does the work and until this year, he didn't ever have math homework. The problem is that he hasn't memorized the math facts. Because of that he is slow and when the other kids finish before him, he gets frustrated so he brings the work home.

I am coming up with a way to work with him at home on the facts and letting him earn something he really wants as a reward - he chose a new motocross helmet.

To boost his self-esteem, she is going to send him to the kindergarten class to help them with math, which will reinforce the facts with him as well.

We all agree that he is intelligent and capable - but he may never work any harder than he has to in school - or, as the principal put it, "The Boy will choose the path of least resistance." (For the record, I have hopes that he will be like me and do well without a ton of extra effort!)

Fortunately the carrot that dangles in front of his nose is sports. He is athletic and this is where he excels - and you can't play if you don't make the grade.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This mom and this dad walked into a bar.....

and laughed hysterically when the mom came up with this:

Every fall when they assign students to teachers, our son's teacher will not say, "Ugh I got The Boy this year."

Instead, he/she will say, "Ugh I got The Boy's parents this year."

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I got a note from school asking permission to work with my son on his slight speech impediment. He says the "r" sound properly if it's at the beginning of a word or in the middle of the word, but it trails off slightly at the end of a word. It's not a huge issue, obviously, or I would have had intervention a long time ago.

I asked him how he felt about having help with this, and he said it was okay with him.

When I read further, it stated that the 30 minutes twice a week would not occur during any of the important core classes, but instead he would miss music, library, or recess.

Well I'm sorry, but those things are important to my son. I'll not have him miss the classes he enjoys.

At my meeting with the principal and his teacher on Monday, I'm going to tell them that they can send the program home and I'll work with him myself - or they can choose a time to work with him where he won't miss a class that's important to him.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


I've spent a lot of time in the past few days conversing with my son's teacher via email.

She has said things like "The Boy is unable to concentrate" and "he does what he wants when he wants" and "The Boy is very social which makes it difficult for him and those around him to learn".

I have suggested that instead of putting 8 year old children in "pods" that perhaps it would be better if they were separated. She said she just doesn't have room. I said that when one of the teachers up and quit suddenly three days before school started that they should have replaced her so the classes wouldn't be so large. She is obviously overwhelmed.

I was able to visit at length with a dear friend of mine who is also a teacher and who knows my son well. She affirmed for me that he is very intelligent. She also reiterated to me that it is the teacher's job to see to it that my son is able to learn. She suggested, and it is probably true, that there are "holes" that need to be filled when it comes to math processes for my son. Because of his social behavior in school, he has probably missed out on vital instruction and may need additional help.

I don't want him labeled. I feel that once we go back and fill the holes, he will take off and excel.

I am scheduling a meeting tomorrow with the principal, his teacher and last year's teacher. I want, as a team, for us to come up with a solution that will help my son. I also want to see his test scores so I can determine where exactly he is in Math since his teacher can't seem to tell me.

I am then prepared to enroll him at one of the learning academies in town for some additional help.

I feel that the school system is failing my child.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I hate to even open this can of worms

When we decided to adopt our son I never gave much thought to the possible differences between us that are related to DNA.

When you have a bio child I suppose you say things like, "He gets his athletic ability from his dad" or "She would trip over her own feet just like her mom".

Or, yep - he is MENSA material just like his parents.

Right now we are struggling at our house. The Boy just doesn't get math. His dad is a mathematical genius and I was in advanced math all through high school. (Although I sucked at geometry and I don't care who knows it. It was a stupid class.)

I got out of him tonight that he talks and goofs off during math so he can bring it home and we'll help him with it. But he admitted, it's too hard.

We are both just sick about it. We spent 2 hours on math homework tonight and didn't even get it finished. I want to get him the help he needs and intend to start the wheels rolling in that direction tomorrow.

And I know there's no guarantee that our bio child would be a math whiz.

But I do have to wonder.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Everyday The Boy takes the same thing for lunch - two pieces of salami and two pieces of Tillamook Cheddar cheese cut exactly to fit four Big Wheat Thin crackers.

Add in a fruit snack pack or chips, plus a drink.

That is all.

I'd hate for you to think that I raised a picky eater. It's not my fault. Really. When I was growing up, we ate what was on the table. Period. Or we went without and ate that same meal for lunch the next day. And dang it, if it was good enough for me.....

So this year dad made a rule that he had to eat cafeteria lunch at least two days a week. After all, they offer three different entrees each day. Find something you can eat.

Well who knew that a chicken patty sandwich was just a BIG ROUND CHICKEN NUGGET if you throw away the bun?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The rest of the story

I must have looked as if I was going to cry (and who wouldn't???) because he crawled into my lap. I was honest with him like I always am in matters such as this.

"Honey, we really have no way of knowing for sure because we didn't meet your birthmother, but your paperwork says that she just couldn't afford to take care of you. The people of Guatemala work very hard for not much money. According to the papers, she made in one whole month about what mommy makes in one hour at work. So you see, she couldn't buy diapers or formula or clothing or any of the things that a baby needs. I'm very sure she loved you and she thought she was doing the very best thing she could do for you by letting us be your parents."

There is more, but I know he couldn't process it. I don't know how we'll ever share all of it with him - but I've heard that sometimes the social workers just made up a story to appease the officials. Who knows. It's all we have.

He asked if I know her name. Then he told me he's happy he came here to be our son.

And he hasn't brought it up since.