Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Talking Points

Allow me to pummel the dead horse that is JP’s behavioral issues. I’ve written extensively on the conduct grading system at school: the Es, Ss, Ns and Us, from best to worst. We’ve seen them all with JP and, frankly, we’ve gotten used to the Ss (Satisfactory). Take today, for instance. He came home with yet another S and when I asked him what it was for he said, “Talking in the hall.” Now, The Quartet’s propensity for talk is woven into their DNA, and asking them not to talk would be like asking them not to be short or tall, or telling them not to have brown hair or blond, or not to watch TV. So we’ve become used to the fact that he’s going to talk, and his teachers may need to get used to that fact, too.

When he was younger (he’s five now), he was quiet. For a short period of time between when he started talking and when he started talking a lot, he was a quiet boy. Just like me, he was an observer. But then he reached a certain age, or height or temperature or whatever, and he began talking and babbling and whoop!ing, and he hasn’t let up. Apparently he doesn’t let up in school either and that is what has attributed to this torrent of daily letters. I wish I could tell you what it is he talks about but I’ve become adept at blocking out the voices until I hear, “Ow! My head … !” or “The baby … and … duct tape from the ceiling fan … to the fuse box!” Other than that I’m pretty sure it’s all talk of Scooby-Doo, Pop-Tarts, fart jokes and something or other they need from their mother. And it’s all. the. time.

I shouldn’t joke, I know that. Just as there are children in China without Brussels sprouts, there are kids in China who can’t speak English. So my kids need to make sure to eat enough for all the hungry kids of the world, and to speak enough English for all those who can’t, or won’t, or just care enough about their fathers to give them a little bit of quiet every now and then.