Kids can be pretty amazing

While second grade went mostly great for Baby Girl, there were a couple of bumps along the way (as to be expected). One of those bumps involved an elderly substitute teacher.

And I’m sharing this not so much to complain about the sub, but to praise the girl’s classmates.

The girl’s class typically had the same sub each time the teacher was out. The sub was around 80 and a former teacher. She comes from a different time and is very set in her ways, especially where neurodivergent kids like BG are concerned.

Per the girl’s 504 Plan, she is allowed to have fidgets in class. Anything that isn’t disruptive (we learned quickly that her pop tubes are super noisy) is fine. One of her fidgets is mochis. They’re tiny squishes in the shape of animals, 2 inches or smaller in size.

She used them most of the year. She’s very much a sensory seeker, and rubbing something like this is very soothing to her. Having something like this seems to help her regulate and focus a bit better.

Her teacher was fine with them and never had any issues, but the sub was not a fan.

BG came home very upset one day because the sub took her mochi from her. She didn’t give any details beyond that, so I messaged her teacher to ask her to leave a note letting the sub know that she’s allowed to use one the next time.

A month later, I was talking to a mom of another child in the class and she asked how BG did following the incident with the sub taking her fidget. (The same incident, not another one.) I told her I talked to the teacher.

She told me that her daughter was angry when she got home that day over how the sub treated BG.

“She told [BG] that it’s all just an excuse to play with toys in class.” The mom said she also made another comment about how “all that stuff is ridiculous,” which she thought referred to ADHD/autism and “we didn’t have all this when I taught.”

Oof.

And then the thing I just loved.

The class practically rioted.

Okay, maybe not rioted, but she said her daughter said almost all the kids got upset about how the sub treated BG (and she cried as well) and came to her defense. A bunch of the kids spoke up and told the sub BG needs her fidget to help her focus and that she shouldn’t treat her that way. They also consoled BG. (I later confirmed all this with BG, since she didn’t mention all that.)

Those kids are ages 7 and 8. The compassion and empathy they showed for BG moved me. They took the risk of losing their recess or getting in trouble another way of speaking up against an authority figure to try to help their classmate. And not just one, but most of the kids in her 19-student class, according to the mom. It hit me how these little kids have more understanding that many adults do.

BG mentions how they help her out in other ways, too. They’re very protective of her, and that was evident even in kindergarten. (They’ve had all the same kids in her class each year.) They help her with her headphones during fire drills or other loud situations (and sometimes cover her ears for her). At a recent program, I noticed one one kid was gently guiding BG during some movements in a performance that were complicated for her.

Anytime I talk to other parents, they mention how much their child loves BG. They talk about how she always teaches them cool things (whether it’s about lions, wolves, mythology, or Harry Potter).

As the parent of a child with autism, ADHD, sensory issues, developmental coordination disorder, etc. you wonder how other kids will treat your child. (Well, that’s a concern regardless, but a heightened concern with her anyway.) And in a lot of non-school settings, I’ve noticed how she’s often shunned by other kids. Especially those groups of little girls.

But at this school for the past three years, she has had her little tribe that just loves her, understands her, and embraces who she is.

Next year will be different because some kids are leaving and new ones will take their place, and I hope all goes well. At any rate, her experience has been wonderful so far!

It was the clippers fault

For a little more than a year now, I’ve been rocking an undercut. Long on top, shaved a few inches all around underneath. You couldn’t tell with my hair down — and hardly with it up, because it’s so thick. Between a surgery in early April and other business, I hadn’t made it in to freshen up the cut in a couple of months. And with graduation, end-of-school festivities, work, and vacation coming up, time wasn’t on my side.

“Never fear,” said my husband. “Me and my trusty clippers are here.”

Okay, so he didn’t phrase it that way, but he did offer to shave the undercut multiple times. Foolproof, easy, quick were among the words he used.

I trusted him. And the result was NONE of those things.

Remember that movie The War with Elijah Wood and Kevin Costner from the 90s? And the little Lipnicki brother ticked off his older siblings and got the worst haircut of his life as a punishment? (And if you aren’t familiar with that, just use your imagination, because I COULD NOT find an image for once.)

That was me. Not only was the undercut awful, uneven, down to the skin in places, etc., my husband even cut into my normal hair line and took a chunk out.

“It wasn’t my fault. It was the clippers,” he defended himself.

And like, I know it wouldn’t be that noticeable anyway because I have thick hair and all that, but still, DAMN.

All of a sudden, I was able to make time to go to see my hair person. Like within two days. I emailed her pictures, cried a little, and then had a midlife crisis of sorts and just decided to let her cut most of my hair off. And color it.

I spent the better part of three hours getting the new cut and colors (cosmic colors, as Baby Girl put it, which she helped me pick out). And the result was pretty damn awesome.

No, that’s not me. That’s Katy Perry. But that’s roughly the haircut I went with. Plus the purple and blue colors up front.

Thankfully my hair person was able to mostly even out the damage my husband inflicted. (Except for two Thor Ragnorak haircut type lines, which I thought was his fault, but ended up being a weird scar type deal from another surgery a few years ago that I just didn’t notice.)

Not having a ton of hair is so weird. And freeing. And slightly terrifying since I don’t have anything to hide behind now that masks are mostly gone and my hair is mostly gone.

Fun times!

It has been a minute

Hey.

It has been more than a year since my last post. (All the old posts are privatized just because.)

We are almost at the end of a mostly normal school year. The kids started out the year wearing masks, but quicky brought home COVID anyway. We all did relatively well with it. I developed pneumonia, but not hospital-bad pneumonia, but that’s faring relatively well.

The boy is about to wrap up middle school. He’s glad. He went to a different middle school this year and was not a fan, so he is ready to move on. The girl will be going on to 3rd grade next year.

Despite hearing horror stories about her teacher, things went great. (Other parents said she was awful with autism/ADHD, but she was super open to learning and applied strategies we shared with the other kids.)

I’m still at my writing job and recently took on more work. I function best with both the job and staying on top of household chores when I’m under pressure, so I tend to get more done that way. It’s weird, but me.

My husband is doing well, too. He still gets to work from home a lot, which is nice.

So, all good in the hood.

I thought at the start of the pandemic two years ago that I would finally kick the writing up a notch. Creative writing or blog writing or hopefully both, but that didn’t happen. I do miss it, though, and am hoping to get back to writing somewhat regularly, even if it’s just once every couple of weeks.

Bye for now. 🙂