Thursday, December 13, 2007

time is not on my side

the other day my favorite kid comes in and asks me to help him with his homework. i try to explain to him that my fabulous new activities assistant is in charge of homework help and that he should go into the program room with the other kids. he complains a bit and says he wants ME to help him with his homework and Ms. AA doesn't help him like i do and Ms. AA is too busy helping the other kids blah blah blah.
at this time i would like to say that i am a complete supporter of favoritism and i totally bend over backwards for my favorite kid because i love him so much. there i said it. and you know what? he deserves it. he's so cute and sweet and troubled. but i digress.
so i sit with my favorite kid and try to help him with his homework, which is all about telling time. have you ever tried to teach someone to tell time? it's infuriating. how the hell does anyone ever learn this the first time around?
so i am explaining different concepts of time to him and he is getting so confused and distracted and i am getting frustrated and the whole thing is awful. after a while when we are making very little progress he says "this is a waste of my time."
oh, that killed me. for about 10 seconds he was no longer my favorite kid.
"this is a waste of your time?! i don't have to do this! i am trying to help you! work on it yourself then!"
then he kind of cowers at my fury and says, "what is a waste of time?"
now i am confused. "you just said it!"
"yeah," he says, "but you're getting upset and i don't think i really know what it means because i didn't think i said something bad but i must of said something bad or else you would not be getting so mad. is that like a bad word or something?"
oh, bless him. he's so cute. so then i explain what a "waste of time" is and he is all apologetic and i say that i too am sorry for becoming frustrated and we continue with the homework.
around this time i realize that he has a serious problem comprehending what i tell him. it is all jumbled in his head and he just can't grasp any of the concepts permanently. have i mentioned that he was left back once? he was. so now i am realizing that i think he legitimately has a learning disability or maybe adhd or maybe both. because he is really struggling.
later when we were all going home i saw him standing in the foyer crying. i assumed this was some sort of family problem, like his mom forgot to pick him up or something. but when i ask him what wrong he says,
"this kid was calling me stupid for not knowing how to tell time because i am in the third grade and i should know how to tell the time. and really i am in the third grade twice now so i really should know how to tell time and there is something wrong with me that i don't know how and he was saying that i am stupid and i will never understand anything. and also i am so sorry for saying that thing that made you upset because i didn't know what i was saying."
so then i hug him and tell him of course i understand that he didn't mean what he said and i am not mad and everything is fine and he doesn't have to worry about it and god-as-my-witness i will teach him how to tell time!
so that night when i went home i made a fake clock out of a bloomingdales gift box. it's quite fetching, very art deco.

No comments: