I'm ready for school to end. I even wrote a grumpy post about it over here. My neighbor up and went to a wedding in California about a week ago and I'm sitting on my deck drinking mojitos at night wondering why the hell we didn't try and stuff ourselves into his suitcase. He actually did what I have dreams about doing. He ended the school year early. Poof. It's over.
Connor's classroom has a system where each kid has their name on a fish that sits on a rock. If a child misbehaves, they move their fish to blue. If a child misbehaves a second time, their fish goes to yellow and they score a note home. One more strike and your fish goes to red and you get a visit with the Principal. Some offense are large enough to merit instant red or yellow. Follow that? Yeah, me neither.
In any case, Connor's fish sat on the rocks for nearly the entire year. It was moved once when the whole class got their fish moved. Then, a few weeks ago, I do believe that fish decided it was too hot on those rocks, so off to the comfort of the blue water it went. This happened four times in six school days and at this point, I started getting notes from the teacher and holy-moley, those notes are shockers and cut right to the core. Knife, meet stomach. Now twist and add lime (and I wonder why I always feel like drinking a mojito these days).
That's when I gave some consideration to ending the year early. I have full-time childcare, after all. And Helen's school is finished for the year. Ending early isn't particularly difficult for me logistically. Connor has had a couple of sick days (one of them being lice - so that surely doesn't count against him, right?) and he was gone for a week of skiing. It seems to me that adding another couple of weeks of absences wouldn't be enough to cause him to have to repeat the year, although that's probably a puzzle not worth solving.
Here's the thing. The last misbehaving was Connor truly being an a** (that word rhymes with pass, in case it's not obvious) to a classmate. Apparently the class failed to get a "mystery motivator" (which I have now learned is a class prize like extra recess) because a couple of kids had their fish moved. Connor not-so-kindly let one of the offenders know she was responsible for their lack of prize. She cried. I got a note. He didn't actually feel that badly. My first thought was, OMG my kid has turned into a jerk, and my second thought was "wow, kid can really bring the pain when he wants". After I freaked out inside, I emailed my friend Jean, because she is master of all things behavior related and school. She talked me off my ledge, and then I summoned Connor and told him to knock it off. I also informed him how few days of school were left and further informed him that his fish had better not swim again. So far, so good.
One thing that kept me from ending the school year early was the promise of Field Day. Really.
Back in the day, Field Day was awesome, if only because it involved no actual work, and did involve a lot of sitting around. It was always on a day that really tested the stuff Kansans were made of. And to think, kids these days have air conditioned classrooms. So. Soft!
Field Day, at least for Connor, is not like Field Days of yore. No. Field Day involved no potato sacks, no giant bands strapping legs together for the "three-legged" race. And it did not involve running around the entire school. I told you, kids these days are soft.
It did involve games with a parachute:
an unattended bucket of water:
crab soccer (note to Therese, perhaps Ireland was confused with this and football last Sunday?):
Connor was thrilled.
Nine more days, Connor! You can do it!
P.S. My spellchecker is a teetotaler. It doesn't know the word mojito.