Another “issue” came up with Declan’s school today. Unbeknownst to us, they watch videos on bad weather days when there is an overload of kids. OK, fine… but yet again no one bothered to think we might want to KNOW ABOUT THIS. I realize I sound like an excessively hippie mom, but when my son is waking up with nightmares about Buzz Lightyear and broken arms, I get concerned.

But before I continue with the video rant, let me take you back a bit. The previous big broo-haa-haa at school was when a teacher gave Declan gummy worms right in front of me, after we had explicitly asked for sweets only on special occasions.

One of Declan’s main teachers took the charge and informed me they didn’t know our wishes about gummy bears, because the form we filled out 2 years prior only said not to give Declan “candy bars.” This pisses me off to no end, because A). Bryan obviously meant “candy bars” in a generic way – are you REALLY going to split hairs with me over a Snickers bar vs. gummy worms? Sure, let’s do a compare and contrast to see how really DIFFERENT they are. B). We had filled out a new version of the famous “candy bar” form for the new school year and I KNOW I wrote “sweets/sugary foods” – so pray tell me, where was that new form I filled out? So, now, in addition to giving my kid candy, you lost the form I filled out about it? C). We had communications issues with his previous class, and ended up on a conference call with the teacher of that classroom for an hour, discussing the lack of communication… and in turn, she developed a form to help transition Declan up to the older class (that was supposed to be universally adopted). It was 2 pages long and ALSO had slots for our wishes about food. So, where is THAT form? Glad I bothered to try to help improve communication.

Needless to say, we were pissed… And before you think we are too crazed about it – Declan does get ice cream every Friday night, in addition to special occasions along the way. The final decision on the sweets at school issue was that he could have them on special occasions, but they should let us know about it – so we aren’t on a sugar overload on any given day. And apparently (based on the amount of communication we have received about it) – the kids have never had one iota of sweets since then. (Yeah, right).

So, back to the video thing. I brought it up with the very same lead teacher this morning. I was very polite, and just kind of asked what had been happening in the classroom, and if she had any ideas of why Declan was having nightmares about Buzz Lightyear – and that he told us he saw him in videos on school. (Another sidenote, during our tour of the school before we enrolled, the Director told us they do zero, zip, nada TV. Of course, based on the previous “candy bar” comparison, TV and videos are two different things, I suppose.)

Anyway, she immediately got defensive (which really irritated me since I made a huge effort to not go in there with guns blazing), said they only did it on bad weather days + when there were a ton of kids at school and they all cannot fit into the gym (OK, I could see that – but why has there never been any mention of this?). So I ask her what the criteria was for the videos they show (thinking the direct-to-video Buzz Light Year videos are a modern day equivalent of Tom and Jerry) and she says, “well, they are all G rated.” OK, fine but all Disney movies are G rated and while Bryan and I love them – Declan ain’t seeing them yet. They can be fricking scary, people!

And then – this is the best part – she says to me “Well, we had no idea that you didn’t want him to watch videos.” Bryan’s comment when I told him this later? “Well, we haven’t specifically told them not to cover him with Draino. Do you think we should let them know about that too?”

Don’t get me wrong, we let Declan watch TV. Some days he gets quite a bit of it actually. But it is always something age appropriate (although I do feel for the school in that they have to appease a range of ages; there are some kids who are 5!). But also, the things we let Declan watch have some educational value… I mean Jesus, the other day Blue’s Clues was teaching how the sun shines on the earth and the shadow on the other side is “night,” and how the moon revolves around, etc. I had to rewind it 3 times to understand what the hell Steve was talking about. But Declan totally got what he was saying.

So, what’s my point?

We are going to look into the preschool at the local elementary school, and consider moving him out of his current school. Declan could start there in September. Of course, we need to talk Jenny and Cap into moving Lily there too, since the thought of separating them breaks my heart!

And not that we have made any firm decisions, we think he will probably start Kindergarten in September 2007. I think otherwise he will be bored… And lucky for him, he is tall for his age – so hopefully he won’t get his ass kicked all the time for being the youngest in the class.

So maybe you know where I am going with this by now… but that means Declan would graduate from high school in:


Isn’t that the fucking coolest?

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