Thursday, April 15, 2010


Our re-entry into school after spring break has not been awesome in the Stimey household—or Stimeyhold, as I like to call it. By my count, Jack has been back in school for seven days. And we have gotten six calls/negative reports from the school.

The first call came last Wednesday, about ten minutes after I dropped Jack off for his first day back after spring break. It was pancake day at school and Jack was going to buy lunch. Unfortunately, in his distress over being forced to, oh dear lord, attend school, he had been unable to communicate to me that morning that he would have much preferred for me to pack his lunch. He was, however, able to communicate that to his teacher, who was forced to call me to ask me to bring him a lunch.

The next day was Thursday (as Thursday tends to follow Wednesday). I was playing in the front yard, sans cell phone, waiting for Sam and Jack's buses to bring them home. Sam's bus came first, which is unusual. Jack's bus never came. When we went back into the house, there several increasingly frantic phone messages from the school, telling me that Jack wasn't on his bus because of an "incident" at the end of the day and could you call us? Make that, I hope you get this message and call us soon. Update that to, Pleeeaassseeee call us NOW!

Turns out that Jack had gotten upset in his music class over not getting a reward, freaked out in the hallway full of students being dismissed for the day, and the teacher had to call the Green Team to deal with him. The Green Team? Not as fun and environmentally friendly as it sounds. It's the restraint team. Oy. The assistant principal was quick to reassure me that Jack was not physically restrained and that they were able to chill him out with words, but that he was too upset for them to put him on the bus. So, off to the school to pick him up we went, where I mentioned two (or seventy) times that I am extremely leery of restraint and that is not something I want to happen to Jack. I think they got the message.

I think Friday went okay. But his homework packet didn't come home. It also didn't come home on Monday.

That particular mystery was solved when I went in to volunteer on Tuesday and the teacher told me that the packet had been in Jack's folder both days, but that he had snuck it out before going home. Is it wrong that I'm a little proud of him for being so independent and creative to think of that? Oh, sorry. I mean, Bad Jack! Bad!

On Tuesday I also found out that Jack had greeted an overweight intern in the classroom with an exclamation of, "She is fat!" As a not exactly svelte person myself (hell, as a person myself), I was horrified. Another conversation to put on my list.

Don't even ask me about homework that night. It went poorly. Nothing got done. Nothing.

Okay, so we're back at another Wednesday. Another phone call from the school about a minor but significant behavior that I agree is inappropriate. I talk to Jack on the phone, who is sobbing about not liking first grade and how he wants to go back to kindergarten. The assistant principal tells me she'll send Jack back to his class in a few minutes. Meanwhile my heart is breaking into a gillion pieces. On the upside, Jack rocked his homework that night.

Day seven. Thursday again. Jack's case manager called me shortly after noon. Unfortunately I didn't get her message until after school let out and she was gone for the day. I was completely freaked out because she sounded super serious. Based on what I saw in his communication notebook, she wanted to talk about Wednesday's incident. That made me kind of happy that I missed her call. I had no desire to deal again with that incident, which Jack and I had already discussed and will continue to do so. [Edited to Add: Turns out that this was about an entirely different episode and a call was actually warranted. Oy.]

And again, Jack refused to do any homework. They're going to love me when Jack shows up at school tomorrow with one day of homework complete.

None of the school's calls and concerns were overkill (except maybe today's call [ETA: Again, not actually overkill. Again, oy.])—and, in fact, much of it was helpful and very appreciated by me—but when you stuff it all into the space of one week, it kinda sucks.

I'm thinking that we're going to write off this week and last week and start fresh on Monday.


  1. I say bail all of it and start fresh on Monday. I think the "homework hiding" is wonderful and awesome and shows such ingenuity and TOM, if I do say so myself.

    If it makes you feel the least bit better, this week has been incredibly trying for us, too, and I chalk it up to the exceptional academically and socially inspiring spring break activities we were able to shepherd our children through.

  2. Whew - like Kate said, you must be exhausted, just keeping notes on it all. You are granted a fresh start, Mr. Jack!

  3. Eek. Keep breathing and doing what you already do best...loving and advocating for all your boys. I have faith that you, Alex & Jack's awesome team at school will work things out.

  4. What last week ? There was a last week ?

  5. You could be writing my life right now. I'm sending a few hugs your way. And hope for a better start to next week.

  6. It's spring! Our *ahem* favorite time of year... when Joey goes nuts before leaping forward. And I mean nuts.

    hugs to you and to Jack. He can call me fat anytime. After all, I'm his kind of woman. I take that quite to heart. :)

  7. We had a neighbor who got calls from the principal so frequently, the number was on speed dial. 5 minutes after the daughter got her diploma, the mom deleted the principal's number to celebrate.

    The price of college is worth no longer feeling responsible for their homework.

  8. What a rough week! I know that feeling when you see that Montgomery County on your caller ID...ugggghhh. I think chalking it up to transitioning back is probably right on. Transitions are so hard, change is so hard. Here's to Friday (they can't call you over the weekend!!!) and to a better week next week. Hugs to all.

  9. Would it work to say something like -- OK, that wasn't a very fun week for any of us, some weeks are like that (even in Australia). Let's have a fabulous weekend, enjoy the wonderful weather and start next week with a do over where we all do what is expected of us even if we don't love it (for you going to school, for me laundry, for your sister piano, ok, Jack doesn't have a sister but my son does and he hates first grade too some weeks).

  10. I'm right there with you - we have had more phone calls and meetings in the last month than in the last two years. The behavior specialist said April is "evil" and that she gets more referrals this month than any other.

    Also, I hate music class! I am trying to get Michael out of it for next year because it has been a nightmare from day one.

    (BTW, if the school keeps having issues, I would ask them to do an FBA and a positive behavior plan, if he doesn't already have one.)

  11. Our spring break has been these last two weeks. I'm trying to stay positive, but realistically I expect next week to be much like yours.

  12. I have to agree with the previous posters. I was coming on to specifically tell you that my "typically developing" 8 year old is the biggest pain in the ass EVER in the spring. Every spring, in late March- beginning April, he completely loses his shit. He stops attending, can't focus, shows every possible sign of ADHD known to man even though he doesn't have it. I want to KILL HIM every April. I always think it is allergies and I start him on Zyrtec but I don't see a difference. Then, somehow, we get through it, summer is better and things get back to normal.

    No idea why this happens but it really does. This is the first year that I really noticed it was a pattern with him.

  13. I can so relate. My 6 year old had a horrendous week too. Calls from the principal included...Sending lots of happy hopes for a better week your way!! :)

  14. Whew! What a week! I like the sound of your "Green Team" I wish our school had one that could deal with our son without restraint. So far the facility he's in right now has not had to use physical restraint and it's working well for him!
    Enjoy your weekend! Monday is an official do-over!

  15. Okay. I'm tired just reading your post. As usual you seemed to handle everything with aplomb. That is the correct use and spelling of that word right? ;-)

  16. Here's to a fresh start this week and hearing about many more about Jack's successes than difficult times. I do love his creative solution for homework! :)

  17. Sounds like a crappy week for all involved! Jack's school has a restraint team? Sounds scary! When I worked as a 1:1 for a kid with autism (he had a tendency to be very violent, ie, throwing chairs, going after people with scissors, trying to yank a kid out of a wheelchair...) I had to restrain him quite often, on my own... but why does a whole TEAM need to be involved for a first grader?
    By the way, my blog has moved because I couldn't afford Typepad any more! I am now at

  18. I am so sorry about that...late commenting, but I hate homework too. I feel very fortunate that one kid seems to like it, the other doesn't have much. I don't make them do it, but discovered my fiercely independing husband wants them to do it all, boring parts and all.

  19. as my utah-an friends would say: "oh my heck!" that sounds like one crazy week. hope things are running more smoothly now.
    as a mother of two spectrum-y boys (ages 6 and 2) and a nutty, but NT 4 yo girl, i'm very happy to have found your site (found it through hopeful parents). thanks for sharing your experiences.


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