So the kids got their progress reports last week.
Natalie comes home first so I checked hers out. She’s almost mastered everything she should.
This is probably one of the most important bits to me:
All those crosses mean mastered/excellent. Basically, she’s able to keep her hands to herself and stay quiet when the teacher is trying to talk.
“Some kids don’t listen,” Natalie informed me. “Some kids keep talking and don’t keep their hands in their laps.”
Yeah, one of those kids used to be her brother. He struggled in Kindergarten. Things improved with time, thank goodness, but he was one of the noisy ones.
Tommy came home fifteen minutes later looking troubled.
“Did you have a good day?” I asked. Sometimes school can get overwhelming to him because of his Aspergers. It can be a sensory overload and things don’t always come easy to him.
“I did…” Tommy set his backpack down but didn’t make a move to show me his progress report. He went into the kitchen and got some water.
“So,” I said, following him in. “Do you have something to show me?”
Tommy froze. “What?”
“Your progress report?”
Tommy set his water down on the counter with a thunk. “How did you know about that?”
I grinned. “I’m a Mom. I know all.”
Tommy looked nervous. He takes things literally and was probably thinking, “Does she?”
“So where is it?” I pressed.
Tommy chewed his lower lip. “I just…I…” He went to his backpack and slowly opened it. “Please don’t be mad.” He hates disappointing people.
Uh oh. I worried he might have a bad grade. Like a D. I’m cool with anything above a C. Would I prefer As and Bs? Yes. But I don’t put pressure on my kids for straight As. Some parents do and that’s their right but it’s not for me. I am no Tiger Mom.
“Here.” Tommy practically threw the progress report in my face and darted off into the kitchen.
Well. That wasn’t a good sign. I looked down and saw…well, As and Bs…and oh, there was what was troubling Tommy. A C in math.
I struggled with math. In elementary school I remember getting S’s in the subject—for satisfactory, which was basically like a C. Then when I got into high school I got Cs and yes, even some Ds because MATH IS EVIL. Who CARES what X is? You really don’t need to know how to do that in real life. There are APPS for that now. If you WANT to learn how to do it long hand, go ahead. But for us regular non-math folks, the APP or CALCULATOR is just fine, thanks.
Still, I knew I had to address Tommy.
“Tommy?” I called out.
He peeked around the corner. “Are you mad?” He chewed his lower lip.
“I’m not mad,” I promised. “And the C isn’t that low. You have a 78. You can bring it up.”
Tommy stared at the ground. “I’m stupid,” he mumbled.
My jaw fell open. Tommy is many things but STUPID is never one of them. “You are not. Don’t ever say that,” I said. “Math can be tricky.”
A tear slipped down Tommy’s cheek. “Long division is terrible.”
Ugh, it is. I hate it. Who cares what the remainder is anyway?
“You know, we can ask the teacher for help. Sometimes they’ll stay in at lunch so the student can get extra help. I had to do that in high school.” I made a face. My parents made me do it to bring my D up. I hated having to spend my lunch in a classroom. I wanted to be with my friends. But no, I had to sit on a plastic seat and figure out what X was even though I didn’t give a rat’s ass. Thus, the D.
“Okay.” Tommy wiped his face.
“Your other grades are great! I mean, an A in reading. That’s good!” I said. “And a 99 percent in Social Studies? Fantastic!”
Tommy began to perk up. “Yeah.”
“We’ll practice math, okay?
Tommy began to smile. “Okay.”
“So you’ll never be in the mathletes. No biggie. Science is more your subject anyway,” I said, winking.
So, for their first progress reports of the year, I’d say they both did pretty good. If Tommy can improve in math, great. If not, well, it means he takes after his mother.