Thursday, September 23, 2010

Boys Back To School, Mom Sighs in Relief

_3003900The last couple weeks have been eventful ones. My eldest, CC, turned 11. Eleven!! I can hardly believe that he has turned into such a little grown-up, though he certainly still has plenty of the little boy in him. He collected all his presents while we were still in the States and is still on some kind of monetary high because his Grandma and Grandpa gave him "sixty whole dollars" as his present. He even managed to not spend it all and has started a savings account in an envelope kept in the recessed of his dad's office. He also has started playing rugby, a football-like sport played over here that is played with NO PADS. The only protective piece of clothing the players wear is a mouth guard. (Yes, I was dismayed by this. No, I am still all for him playing.) The only things I know about rugby were learned in the movie Invictus, so I am all for him getting into the scrum and racing down the field with the ball while other boys chase after him like wild dogs. Its a sport that heals nations, for God's sake!

The other biggie was the starting of school by my youngest son, the Animal. (Kindergarten starts at four here in the UK and it is called Reception, for those who are not Anglo-philes.) The Animal has been in preschool since he was two, so I am already used to him being out of the house for at least a portion of every day for school, but of course this is momentous because he is at "big boy" school now, with BOTH of his brothers. He is pleased as punch to be grouped with the big kids and so far the only problem we've had since starting is that he is echoing CC's sentiments, quite loudly, that he "hates school."

The Animal emulates pretty much everything CC does these days, so I should not be surprised, but it is still pretty awful to hear your four-year-old howl, "I HATE SCHOOL!!" as soon as the car door shuts after picking him up. He is obviously happy when we drop him off, happy when he leaves, and I even had him walk back to school after the fourth day in row of  his “I hate school” business so he could discuss with his teacher why he hated school and maybe we could all come up with a solution to make it better.. Ha! He called my bluff on that one! I never expected him to say "Okay." to that, but he did and we had a pretty good talk. Clever little cuss.

He is now all sunshine and rainbows about school, saying “I LOVE school!” when asked. Why? Because I struck a bargain with him that I would base his allowance on how positive he is about school and not just on whether he picks up his room or now.  The power of pocket money and candy cannot be denied.

Destructo has started taking new meds for his ADHD just in time for school. We kept him off his medicine for the entire school break and though this made things a little, um, interesting for the family dynamic, I couldn’t be happier about the decision. To see him eat like a horse, after having his appetite so destroyed by the new Concerta dosage we tried out near the end of school in June, was a beautiful thing. He is now taking a short-acting ritalin in the morning and afternoon and it has made his transition back to school fantastic. He even won the award for “Settling Back” in his class at the first week’s assembly.  Another bonus: he grew TWO and HALF inches since last Spring! Wow.

My husband starts classes next week, too, and I am dreading having to take over all the driving duties that our new home, further away from the village, now demand. The Animal is transitioning into school by starting out with half days, so I have to go into school three times a day for the various pick-ups and that adds up to about two hours of time. He will start full-time in November and that is when I will truly have time to myself again. I’m afraid blogging will be pretty spare between now and then, but I will still be writing at, so come get your pop culture/celeb gossip fix over there anytime. 

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