Thursday, March 02, 2006

Me and my big mouth

Yesterday, while we were in the car driving to Ash Wednesday services, my son popped his fingers out of his mouth and said "Oh, no! I broke my contract with Mrs. B!" What contract is that, I asked? "I'm not supposed to suck my fingers." You have a contract about that? said I, blood pressure rising. And he confirmed that he had indeed signed a contract with the classroom aide, and that the teacher knew about it. And I probably should have remained calm and kept my snark to myself and not immediately complained to my husband that people at school cannot just set up behavioral goals at whim and institute contracts and this is something we need to discuss as a team and I had just talked at the last IEP meeting about why finger-sucking was not a good behavior to target, and ... and ... I've been through this kind of thing before, you know. I've had aides take this kind of thing in their own hands before. And I gear up quick.

By the time we got home, though, I had calmed down, and I wrote the lightest-possible e-mail to his teacher, leaving the largest-possible margin for this being a misunderstanding, and hoping that I could get some information without stepping on toes. She called me shortly after, and we had a nice long conversation about the fact that the "contract" was a joke that my boy took seriously, and there was in fact no stealth behavior modification program being employed. And I felt all good and happy and skillful to have dealt with the situation without having to throw weight around or burn bridges. Just the way it should be, no?

Except that this morning, my son marched into his classroom, went right up to the aide, and said, "My mom said I don't have to do what you say! I don't have to listen to you!"

The teacher called to let me know, because I've asked to be notified when he says inappropriate things, and I declared that I never said any such thing, because I didn't, exactly, though sort of, but not to him, but in his earshot, but not in those words, but ... oh, man, if I'm going to live with this little parrot boy, I'm just going to have to get myself a soundproof room, or learn to speak in code. If I can't even rant in the privacy of my own home, wherever shall I rant?

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