Thursday, May 17, 2012
Any time I see the elementary school's number on my caller ID, I cringe. I worry that it's yet another call about Hubba and his crazy shenanigans.
Like the day they called because he peed on the bathroom floor, just to see if it would make it to the floor drain.
Or the time he threw his lunch on the floor so he wouldn't have to eat it and could get out to recess.
Or the day he flushed a school toilet repeatedly to try to figure out where the water refilled at ("There are no tanks with floaty balls on the school toilets!" he declared) and flooded the bathroom.
Plus, all of those other times.
So when I answered to hear the good news that Princess had earned a blue ticket for good behavior, I breathed a sigh of relief. There are only 2 weeks until school's out, I thought. I'll bet he can make it to the end of the year.
I should have knocked on wood.
When I went to pick the kids up, they all broke out into a buzz of news. Did you get a call from the principal, Mom? Did Hubba tell you what he did? I couldn't believe it when I heard about it!
I looked at Hubba, who was looking back at me sheepishly from the corner of his eye.
"Well?" was all I had to say.
He sighed a big, heavy sigh. "Didn't you hear the message from the principal?" he asked, not wanting to retell the tale.
I checked the answering machine when I got home and learned that Hubba had some 'distracting behavior' during class and was not listening to the substitute teacher so they put him under in-school suspension for the rest of the day. I tried to call the principal back and get a more detailed story, but he was with another parent. So I asked Hubba for his version of what happened.
Here's his story.
The substitute teacher was a man who seemed kind of grumpy, so Hubba wanted to make him laugh. When it was time for Centers, Hubba would yell out, "READING CENTER OVER HERE! LISTENING CENTER OVER THERE!" and such, just to be helpful. And whenever he got the chance, he would sneak up behind the substitute and yell, "RAH!" to make him jump a little. And every time the substitute would say, "Hubba, STOP IT." And Hubba would laugh his contagious laugh, then the other kids would laugh too.
One time, the substitute got kind of mad and when he said, "Hubba, STOP IT!" it scared Hubba a little. He wasn't sure what to do, so he started to bang his head on the teacher's desk. The substitute told him to stop it, but he kept going. His classmates told him to stop banging his head on the desk, but he kept going. No one knew what to do, so one of the kids picked up the classroom phone and called 9-1-1.
I stopped him here. "He really called 9-1-1? Or he pretended to?"
"No, he really called. The police came to the school and everything."
Oh, my goodness. I was afraid to let him finish, but he went on:
The police showed up at the school and talked to the class about when it was okay to call 9-1-1 and when it was NOT okay. The principal had the substitute go home and had a new one come in to the class. And Hubba went to in-school suspension for the rest of the day. He even ate lunch in there, and it was NOT FUN.
I was pretty much speechless at this point. I talked to Allen about what happened and he said, "I think Hubba is destined to have a very interesting life."
We talked to him about appropriate classroom behavior and respecting adults. I talked to his regular classroom teacher who assured me that he does not act like this for her and told me that she thinks he is a great and smart kid. (I love her, by the way. She doesn't make nearly enough money for all that she does in that classroom each day.)
This all happened last week. I went through a complete cycle of overwhelmed and frustrated to crying and confused to laughing hysterically and back again. I doubted myself as a capable parent and rationalized that he is only 7. I debated homeschooling and came up with a list of the benefits of a public education for Hubba. I slept on it. I talked about it.
I finally decided to write about it. Because someday, this will not feel so frustrating. In any situation from Hubba raising his own little precocious children and asking for advice, to when he has discovered a cure for cancer and I'm asked to speak about the secrets to raising brilliant kids, I will have this story to tell (along with many others).
And Hubba-the-adult will look at me sheepishly from the corner of his eye, and we will laugh.