Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Am I, Chopped Liver?

Kinley sobbed all the way to school this morning, after her bedside prayer for her brother to be fever-free today was evidently denied by God. Poor Knox had developed a high fever four days ago and just couldn't seem to shake it.  You may be thinking, "How sweet for her to be so concerned about her little brother that she would actually weep on his behalf!".

Well, you can stop thinking that, because she wasn't concerned about Knox. She was just mad because now her daddy was going to have to stay home with her sick brother instead of going on a field trip to the Indianapolis Symphony today with her.

From the size of the fit she threw, you would have thought that she was one of those poor children whose hard-working parents aren't ever able to get off work to go on class trips.  But she's not one of those kids.  Instead, of course, she's the ONE kid in the class who's had a parent with her on EVERY SINGLE TRIP OF THE YEAR!!!!

And that parent would be ME!!! Her mother/teacher. But to her, I don't count.  Somehow only Josh's presence counted today.

And to make it even worse, Josh DID go on a field trip with her...... LAST WEEK!  Yes, you read that right.  A mere five days ago, Josh put aside all of his other obligations and went with our class to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which offers free tours to Indiana's fourth grade classes during April and May each year.  That means she had not one, but TWO parents on her last field trip, a privilege no other child in her class has had all year.

Kinley is far from deprived.  But she would beg to differ.

Kinley and Josh were together in front of one of the garages during the Indianapolis Motor Speedway trip just five days ago.

Kinley's hystrionics this morning (and also yesterday, in anticipation of this problem) really got under my skin.  Now don't get me wrong.  I'm not heartless.  I did feel sorry for her at first.  But I had only about a 10-minute window during which I was willing to overlook her pouting, moping, and whining.  She grabbed onto that window and clearly wasn't planning on letting it go any time soon, so I got irritated.

"Do you even remember that just a few days ago your dad went with you?" I shrieked as she sobbed on our ride to school.  "Oh, and let's not forget that I'M going to be with you today! But clearly that makes no difference to you!"

Sniff sniff blubber blubber from the backseat.  Between sobs she managed to squeak, "But Daddy NEVER goes with me!"

Really?  Did she really just say that?  Clearly her grief has clouded her memory.  So let the pictures below serve as proof that Josh does, in fact, go on field trips with this child.

Mrs. Boyd's class poses for a group picture at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Josh took the picture, so I guess this isn't proof after all.
 During the talk about the history of the Speedway, Kinley (seated on the left in a white headband) answered the question about why the winner of the Indianapolis 500 drinks a jug of milk.  (Notice Josh standing on the right, clearly present.)
The students learn that each flag communicates a different message to the drivers.  Again, not a good "Josh" example.
 The kids hear a talk about the physics of Indycars.
The kids got to stand on the winners' podium.

Given Kinley's clearly fragile state in the car this morning, coupled with the fact that preparing for field trips stresses me out, I decided to let her sulk in the back seat without further conversation.  Once at school, I went about my business and left her alone in my room to pull herself together.  By the time I returned and other kids started to arrive, she was out of her funk.  I took attendance, organized parent chaperones, and then we loaded the bus.

On the bus, she first sat in a seat with me.  But after a few minutes, she decided to sit with a friend.  I chose to take this as a good sign that she had recovered completely.

Once she got to sit by her friend on the bus, Kinley perked up a bit.

A few miles down the road, our bus started having trouble, so we had to pull over and wait for another bus.  In all the excitement, Kinley seemed to forget all about the apparent injustuice she'd suffered just an hour before.  Things were looking up!

Our new bus has arrived! 
We disembarked bus 206 on I-65 after it began leaking antifreeze into the passenger area.

The bus change brought about a seat shuffle that meant that I was no longer seated near Kinley, so we ended up not sitting together once we arrived at the concert hall in Indianapolis either.  She didn't seem to care in the least.

Having a little time away from her during the concert and the bus ride allowed me to get over my anger and gave her enough time to forget that she was crushed.  We ended up enjoying the trip and even sitting together during our picnic lunch. 

After waiting on the side of the road for our new bus, we arrived at the symphony with not a moment to spare.  The 45-minute symphony performance was lovely even if it was short.
After the performance, we waited in the concert hall to be dimissed in the order we arrived (which, of course, meant we went last).
Kinley and I eat lunch together after the Indianapolis Symphony performance.

While we ate we talked about the concert and bemoaned the fact that we had to eat on the ground in dresses.  Everything between us seemed to be set to rights again.

Until we got home.  As soon as Kinley walked into the kitchen and saw Josh, she had to remind him about how wronged she was.  She started in again on her whining and moaning.  She even dared to use the word never again. 

But this time, I decided to let Josh listen to her.  I no longer had to be her teacher or her chaperone.  I wasn't trapped in a car or in a classroom or on a school bus with her.  I could escape and let HIM deal with her!  So that's just what I did.  I turned around and walked away, smiling to myself with satisfaction.


Cheryl Baber said...

Aside from Kinley's obviously distorted perspective that Josh NEVER goes with her on field trips, let me offer the following thoughts.

My perspective on things has changed lately as I watch my children crave time with their father. What was once taken for granted is now the coveted. You're right, Kinley does get to have you on every field trip. Your primary role on field trips, however, is as the teacher, not the parent. It isn't that Kinley doesn't appreciate your being there, even if she acts it, it's that you're always there with her at school. Josh is not. The problem is that because of your unique situation, what once was special is now routine. Josh has become the "special" treat when she gets a visit at school or needs a parent chaperone.

Kids crave that "special" feeling that comes from things being out of the ordinary- to be able to have that chance to bond one-on-one; to feel that they're more special than their siblings or peers whose parents couldn't or didn't come.

Unfortunately, you've been blessed to be able to have Kinley as your student, but it carries curses with it such as her no longer feeling that she has a "parent" with her on the field trip, because your primary roll is that of teacher and not parent.

I'm sorry if my thoughts come across harsh. Like I said, having watched my kids yearn to feel special has opened my eyes to a lot of things. And for the record, I'd have walked out of the room and let him deal with it too!!

Lanita said...

Welcome to my world--again! My kids always preferred their dad, though you'll be glad to know that I've forgotten the histrionics that accompanied any disappointment. You would surely forget, too--except that it's online for you to look back on and refer Kinley to when she has children of her own.

Mindy Hart said...

did you remind her that the friend she was sitting with on the bus probably hardly EVER gets to have a parent go with her on the field trip because they have 8 others to look after at home? :) Or is that too much?

boyd2 said...

Cheryl, you're so right about my presence being old hat now!

Lanita, I've thought a lot about the pros/cons of having this whole thing online forever. And I can't decide if being able to reread the histrionics is a pro or a con!

Mindy, I'll be suer to point that out to her!

Mrs. Perry said...

Your blogs are even more life-like when they are so well illustrated. First of all, Kinley should be crying for the art teacher who has to teach all day - every day and cannot take ANY field trips to such cool places! It makes me want to cry. When she is older then she will look back on this ancient form of recording called a blog. It will remind her not to be upset when her own overly emotional daughter 'goes off'. Beside all the references to this being a trait of gifted children - everyone should remember that it is also a trait of the lovers of fine arts like Kinley who is moved by music & art!

boyd2 said...

Sue, my iPhone makes having a camera handy to document these things so much easier. And I have the Blogger App on my iPhone so I can upload to my blog straight from my phone. In fact, I wrote the first two paragraphs of this post on the bus ride home from Indy while it was fresh in my mind!

And with the hormone/drama queen/art lover/ gifted kid/music lover combo going on inside her, this kid's gonna have LOTS to relive in Bloggerland once she's older. :)

Michael Perry said...

OK, you asked for it. I have jotted down some notes/observations on your blog about Kinley and the field trip. You know I love the entire Boyd family, but sometimes tough love is required.

First, Sorry Knox was sick. I hope he is feeling better.

Gina, I am sure to Kinley, you are not chopped liver, but you may not exactly be an ice cream sundae either.

I feel like I need to stand up for my buddy Kinley as all these 'educators' analyze her every behavior and post their thoughts for the entire world to dissect and comment on. I will therefore be the dissenting opinion here.(I am sure the educators in quotes will elict the proper response from your bloggers)

Let's keep one thing in perspective. Being the son of an Italian (Sicilian)mother and brother to two Italian sisters, I can assure you that the level of hysterionics at the Boyd household is a relative term, as I doubt if it involved flying cutlery or use of firearms.

I have been the permanent pedestal dweller in our home since Vinnie was a toddler. Mrs Perry took on the role of disciplinarian/teacher/bad cop and I have not wanted to relieve her of her choice. I get my time to be bad cop when dealing with her. Josh...it's good to be the King.

I understand Kinley's saddness spilling out past the 10 minute Gina Boyd morning window if there is a crazy woman 'shreiking' at me while driving the car and telling me she 'is going to be with me all day'. I have lived this same scenerio many times as a child.

There is also a different point of view here. You say she has a parent going with her on every trip (you). I say she has her teacher follow her home every night from school (you). tomato/tomoto. As a former catholic school student, my worst nightmare was if a nun actually showed up at our house (safe zone)

Lastly, I would love to see a post from Marsha Davis (your mom) on this blog, discussing the behavior of the 5th grade Gina Davis to see if Kinley comes by it honestly.

Before I hit send, I re read what I wrote. I am going to be in a lot of trouble with some of the local teaching community, but hopfully Kinley will read this and ask Josh to move over and let Mr Perry up on the pedestal with him.

boyd2 said...

Mike Perry, this is my favorite comment EVER! Thanks for being a tireless advocate for the little Boyds!