It was quite a morning. By 11 o'clock in the morning I texted my friend with this:
Oh, boy! so the morning started off with my mother missing - somewhere between United Emirates and Tanzania. A few hours later she was found. Her plane landed some 24 hours late...must have had a mix up or a connection issue in Dubai. All the while James putting up a huge fight over morning chores! Even kicked me... I am just walking home in the heat from getting him to school. His teacher is the best! She made him answer to her and apologize to me :-). Now I have a plea from DSHS to please, please, please consider taking a brother/sister duo abandoned by their mother - 5th graders. How do I find the strength to say no to that??? THis is hard. SO how is your day. Hope it's better than mine.
I got a first hand demonstration on how awesome James' 3rd grade teacher is. I am so very impressed.
The kid was being slow and lazy and when I tried to motivate him he balked. BIG time BALKING. It was not good. For a kid that gets up at 5:30 and doesn't meet the bus until 8, he has a problem if he misses the bus. He did. Actually, it was an all out choice to miss the bus. He also faked feeding the chickens and generally dawdled along with a serious attitude.
Of course, he walked to school. So did I. And it was HOT. We both had sweat pouring down our faces when we arrived. Mrs. Secretary in the office was very firm with James. I had told him he needed to speak to her about why he was late. He never uttered one word, never answered a single question she asked him and pretty much wouldn't look her in the face. She scolded him and gave him a pass to give to his teacher.
I took him in the hall. I told him that when he saw his teacher he WOULD apologize for being late. He would answer her questions and he would be respectful. He cried his eyes out. It was SO HARD for him, but he knew I would not hesitate to walk him home again to take care of a little business and would walk him back.... So he bucked up and as he entered the door the teacher stood up. "Mr Ford, I am so glad to see you have arrived. Now tell me why you are late."
She turned to the other students put them to work, then came close to James, took both his hands in hers and asked him what he had to say for himself. He apologized and told her the reason for being an hour and half late. She went on to talk about his responsibility as a third grader and how it should not happen again. Then, surprise, surprise, she made him turn to me and apologize for all the trouble this morning and had him thank me for loving him enough to make him do what is right and good for him.
I was in awe. This is the kid who can hardly utter a word under pressure. The whole class staring at him, the teacher expecting him to respond, and me standing there requiring him take responsibility for his behavior and he answered her and apologized. He stuttered and he paused, but he spoke. She gave him words to use in apologizing to me and that was a bit easier. He can repeat with less brain freeze then when he has to dig up his own words.
The teacher also brought up the book issue. She wants me to choose some books for him, and bring in some of our own. She has no problems making it work for us.
When the bus came home, James really, really hoped I had forgotten that he needed to clean the barn. He was super nice until I reminded him. Then the screaming began. I needed to run an errand and was planning to take the twins with me, but I will NOT drive with him in my car when he is unpredictable and I had to turn around and bring him home. I told him that he cannot bully me around with his screaming. I will not respond in the way he is trying to force me. Thankfully, Vanessa was there. Missy started in on extolling her virtues.... yiyi.... and I left her at home, too. We have had quite enough of her telling us all how good she is. Every time James makes a misstep we get an earful on how she's such an angel. lol.
James is currently scooping manure with a normal attitude. He switches it on and off at will.
Oh... and those kids that need a home. They even sent me a picture to show me how cute they are! I've been praying for them all the rest of the day. Can you imagine your mom just walking away?