Friday, November 04, 2005

Accountability to God and Child.

This week Isaac came home with a two inch cut on the inside of his upper right arm. I was somewhat shocked by this until I he told me how this happened. “Kayla Pearson scraped me with a wood chip.”
This is not an easy place to get a cut and had to have required some effort. This did not surprise me because a few weeks ago Isaac developed a black eye which lasted some two weeks given to him by Kayla Pearson. There is a new incident every week that has her name on it which has included hitting, kicking, shoving, spitting and other various forms of nuisance.

So after the cut and Isaac getting two sad faces on his daily report one which was prompted by him and Kayla bugging each other Jules and I sat down with our oldest boy and told him that if he shouldn’t play with her any more. We explained they always get in trouble when together or Isaac comes home and tells us about her hitting him or otherwise receiving some sort of injury.

Today as I dropped of Isaac Kayla Pearson was sitting near the door playing, by herself. There have been many mornings that she’s already sitting at the teacher’s desk because she’s done something; it’s not even 9am yet mind you. As I say bye to my boy the tussled hair and blue eyes of Kayla look up at me as she asks, “Why did you tell Isaac he couldn’t play with me anymore?”
My first thought was “because you’re mean” but I thought better of it and leaned down to try and give her an answer she might understand with a bit of tact.
I ended up telling her that she and Isaac are always fighting, he is always on the receiving end of getting hurt and that if they can’t play together nicely they shouldn’t play together. I then recanted my newly enforced no play rule and said they could play as long as they didn’t hit and hurt each other.

I said bye to Isaac and left. The short walk to my car rattled in my head as this little girl was stopping me in my tracks because of actions I’ve set upon my son. She was holding me accountable for my actions and rules as they pertain to Isaac. Simultaneously I was realizing that someday I will be looking to the thrown of God and have that exact type of question, though on a much grander scale, being asked of me.

Last night we went looking for some shoes for Isaac, he found some rain boots or “fireman boots” but they were too small, he wanted those and daddy said no, insert meltdown. I got cranky and bothered because I didn’t like the way he was acting or the way I was acting. His excuse was that he hadn’t eaten dinner yet and mine was that sometime I’m a cranky old ass.

Later my thoughts turned to God and his ability to overlook the times when his kids are fussy, hungry, and crying while laying in the floor of K-Mart (I’m boycotting Wal-Mart). In the reflective face of God I’ve got to relax a bit with my boys.

There is an amazing grace in the heart of a child. I know that today people consider the thoughts of a child to be very refreshing while still not placing a lot of stock in those little minds. For those of you who have smaller kids there are moments when the giggling faces twist and contort and push you to the edge. Amazingly enough those same faces pull you back in obviously in parallel with Gods grace.


bigsip said...

Well said, Mullins. That gave me chills. It's amazing how honest and open children are. I reckon that's one of the reasonss Jesus said to be like them.

Jamison said...

KMART AND TARGET ROCK! DOWN WITH WALMART (Their prices arent that low anyway, compare for yourself)...

Im making a Kayla Pearson voodoo doll as we speak, got any locks of her hair?

Love you Mulls

mullinz8 said...

Earlier this week we went to a Chinese restaurant and saw Kayla and her mother come in half way through our meal. When she and Isaac saw each other they both lit up like best friends.

Jules and I started talking wondering out loud where the girls daddy was. Upon hearing this Isaac jumped up and yelled “I’ll go ask her if she has a daddy!”

Jules and I both held him back and told him it’s not something you ask at dinner and to wait until he sees her in school again if he has to ask her.

I could be wrong but I think the girl might have some issues considering how many incident reports I’ve seen with her name attached.

Jamison said...

whoa... thats scary to think about... you are suggesting she was abused? Or at least has seen men abuse her mother...

that must be sad to see two kids who really like each other unable to play with one another. But it makes sense, I mean, what if she puts your sons eye out? Or gives him tentus from a rusted piece of metal?

I imagine it is hard to see. But you dont want issac growing up being sexually aroused by being injured...

bigsip said...

Yeah, she seems to have some discipline issues from what you've been telling us.

It may be she has no Dad by way of death or divorce. The male authority figure can be a huge influence in a family. Research shows this time and time again.

mullinz8 said...

Purely speculation but I would guess the dad wasn’t there from divorce. There could be a cycle of different guys rolling through the house or the mother could bad mouth the dad or who ever is around. It could be the girl is just really rough around the edges but overriding that is the frequency in which she’s getting into trouble.

I want my son to be loving to everyone but not a punching bag.

I’m going to tell Isaac this weekend that he can play with Kayla if he wants to but as soon as she is mean to him to walk away. If that doesn’t work then I’ll teach Isaac how to take the girl down like a ninja during recess.

Diana said...

You guys, my biggest challenge this week is seeing all the stuff little kids go through. I have one kid in my class that was kidnapped at 6 mo by his dad and his mom didn't get him back until he was two, one little girl who pretends she's a horse when something scares her, one little girl who informed us today that mommy called the police and they came and put daddy in their guys I'm gonna run out of tears. I don't know if I can do this.

Jamison said...

i think it is unfair for people to bring children into the world only to not change their lives and have that spill over into the childs life...

My bro and his wife are pretty much divorced now, which wouldnt bother me so much if they hadnt had a child. I dunno. Tough world for kids these days to say the least.

Rachel said...

Oh, Diana, that's terrible! How is it that all these kids are in one class?! You just show those kids that they're really princes/esses in disguise. Love ya girl; you hang in there because kids like these need teachers like you.

Diana said...

Thanks, Rachel. The little girl with the arrested Daddy (this happened Wednesday) is hispanic. She doesn't know a lot of English but she understands a lot. I've been really trying to give her extra attention. She's pretty behind in a lot of their work, though. She's really smart and works really hard, there's just that language barrier. She's the kind of kid that proves that no child left behind/ achievement testing don't work.

Brewster said...

You can't really know what is up with that kid. Speculation won't get you anywhere. Mullins, it sounds like you're doing a good job of teaching Isaac. He shouldn't avoid girls because they are different, or have slutty moms. Heck, that's who you used to spend all your time around.

But if she is hurting him, or getting into trouble, then yeah stay away.

Sorry you've got so much trouble with your kids, Diana. But like Rachel said, they need a teacher like you to help

Diana said...

I think what's bothering me so much is that I don't have much time in that class, just two more weeks. And I don't feel like I have enough knowledge to really help either.

bigsip said...

Just do what you can with the time you have, Di.

I know that sounds a little cheesy Gandalfesque, but it's true.

Mullins, you're a good Dad. I love you and am proud of you.

bigsip said...

I honestly think the discipline problems stem from not having a strong, male role model present.

In grad school, our Research class was the class that would make or break you. We all had to do massive research and write looooongg papers based upon the research. Very much like a thesis.

Anyway, one of the paper presentations was given by a young, black lady who seemed to really care about what she was saying.

Her research was all concerning the absence of the father in the home and it really opened my eyes as to how important Dads are.

She cited many professional journals that gave in-depth stats on not only discipline issues, but drug use, learning deficiencies, premature sexual experimentation, teen pregnancy, early sexual development in young women, and the list goes on and on!

It was very hard-hitting. I guess what I'm trying to say is that not having a parent around adversely affects people in ways we can't understand many times until much later.

God's plan is to have Man and Woman totgether for life. The more I see and hear, the more obvious it is to me.

I've seen many people, yea even my dear loved ones here, overcome and lead happy lives after Mom and Dad split. But, I know there are many more struggles to be had when Mom and Dad don't stay together.

Let's pray for families. They seem to be rarer and rarer.

mullinz8 said...

I think people seem to think of kids as living dolls without feelings and thoughts of their own. I’ve seen many interviews with young girls from split homes and displace their lack of active parents into having a child because the child will love them unconditionally. Once the kid is born and they realize it’s actually a full time job without days off they decide that they’ve made a mistake and want to try the things they didn’t get to because they got knocked up looking for the idea of love. I’ve seen this again and again and I just want to slap these selfish idiots in the face and remove any chance of them having any more kids. Children having children, sad and sick.

If there is anything that I want to teach my boys is that they need confidence in who they are. Their identity with Gods grace is intact within them and no one else.

Di, in two weeks I’d learn as much Spanish as I could. If nothing else learn the phrase “I’m proud of you” or something like that so you can give her affirmations in her own language. If you’re going to be a teacher this will not be your last time dealing with Hispanic students who have very little idea of what’s going on. Let her teach you some words when you get the chance and you’ll likely give her a peak into a world where people different than her actually care. Obviously you care a great deal about these kids, do all you can to let them know in ways they understand.

I was doing some balloon animals for Jules’ bank on the 4th last year and there were two little Mexican boys standing in line waiting to get something made. When they got to the front of the line I threw out a little Spanish and asked them something stupid like how to say balloon in Spanish. We bantered a bit and they ran off. Five minutes later there were ten Mexicans in and around the line all wanting to talk with my horrible broken Spanglish. This is the reason I can say hello in a cozen languages and have a smattering of vocabulary in the same along with a rudimentary sing language base.

The real reason I learned sign language is because I met all the Miss. Deaf America contestants when I worked at Dollywood and had no way to communicate with these smoking hot ladies. Had I been able to make my fingers sing I could have bagged a beauty queen. It’s a gift to know you’re second brain can end up benefiting your larger brain.

bigsip said...

Ah, Mullins...speaking the language of lust.

It's fun to see a person whose native language is not English when you say something in their language.

I remember saying "Ahn young ha sayo" to Korean students and their eyes lighting up. People want more than anything to communicate and be accepted.

Mullins' idea of learning some affirmations in Spanish is great. Not only does it show her you care enough to try, but that you care enough to learn.

If a kid sees you learn, they'll try their best to follow that example.

Best of luck, Di. Don't try to save the world. That's impossible. Just do your best and be Di. Be a kind, good person and shine that pretty light of your's!

Jamison said...

i love different languages... heck, epcot was one of my fave things cuz I could talk to the ladies ;^)

but anyway, yes, I agree with Mullins, people dont think their kids are for real...

I work for a school, mostly well-off folks. 7 out of 10 parents are talking on their cell phones at 7:50 am as they drive their kids to school and drop them off, and hardly move the phone from thier mouth to say 'bye'.

I am thinking "Yeah, your kids will remember with fondness their trips to school with mom or dad..."

And they wonder why these kids drink like sailors and do as much drugs as the kids in the public schools do... could it be that NO ONE AT HOME KNOWS THEY EXIST???

Next time you go to a chinese resturant, get someone who works there to ask you "how was your meal?" or something like that. Answer with "ma ma hoo hoo" just like it is spelled... They will go nuts and laugh! It means "so so" and they get a kick out of it everytime I say it because, apparently, it is something they say alot, but not somethign americans tend to learn.

bigsip said...

FUNNY! ma ma hoo hoo...

Yep, parents ignoring their kids is my biggest pet peeve in the world. It's as much of a bother to me as people driving while on the phone.

To see both together would drive me to violence!

Brewster said...

In France I always found that attempting my battered French helped. Often the Frenchies would try a little battered English and together we could understand each other.

I think the real point isn't learning "hola" but rather showing these kids that you care about them.

Being a teacher is very rewarding, I imagine, and immensely difficult. You're going to see many more kids that will break your heart in two.

Abused kids, handicapped, mentally disabled, kids with no parents, and parents who don't care.

Teaching has became very politicized, but show those kids at least one person really cares about them, and they'll do alright.

Jamison said...

im actually thinking when I see it "who on earth are you talking to at 7:30 to 8 in the morning?"

Ive never gotten a call in my life on my cell phone that early, and I highly doubt any of my friends would appreciate me calling them that early:

"Hey, whats up?"
"Ummm, Jamison?"
"Yeah! Whats up?"
"Uhhh, just... driving to work...?"
"so, did you need something?"
"Nah, just bored..."
"okay, so, I'll talk to you later?"
"no, wait I..."

bigsip said...

It's the cell phone version of SpAm...

bigsip said...

...or a Forward.

mullinz8 said...

Di, Sipper is right don’t try and save the entire world but please try and save your part of it.

I thought it would be very cool being a teacher because I had some that were wonderful and actually cared about me and some of my friends. Norma Lynn Freedman James, my favorite all time teacher, once wrote me a little note about choosing my battles and standing up for what’s really important. I still have the note, in fact it’s such a sacred artifact it’s in a giant china cabinet behind the picture of MBS taken right before madrigal dinner at FU one year. Poor Chuck dodged that performance but the rest of the gang is there with solemn “M” fist raised.

Mrs., Williams my third grade teacher is my least favorite teacher because if she called you out for not listening it was transformed into a belittling experience because the child (me in those cases) was obviously dumb and inconsiderate.

A teacher, no matter their student age is a guiding force in a child’s life. When you complete this study you will have the ability and awesome power to influence and shape the mind of a young human. Don’t take your amount of influence lightly. What a parent lacks you will have the chance to fill.

The parents Jamison mentioned surly don’t realize that they’ve made their children into a bullet point on their list of priorities. They may never know until it’s too late.

Children, like the little girl who inspired this blog are very intuitive. If they see a grown up learning and taking time they will too. It doesn’t matter how hard I scold Isaac, especially when he knows he’s done something wrong, he always comes back to me. Those little Spanish kids saw me engage them where usually they have to fight to get an adults attention, kept them coming back for more. This is the same thing no matter the age really. If I speak a different language to someone it registers that this nut has paid enough attention to learn something for my benefit. Even if it is a silly conversation about Chinese food. At out local China Buffet dive all the staff know us because we tell Isaac how to say thanks and bye in Chinese.

bigsip said...

That's great, Mullins!

Caring for people and letting them see you mean it is entirely and truly what Jesus wants from us.

Being nice, approachable people is extremely important. I appreciate that about you all. You're good folks!

Diana said...

I've actually been trying to do that sort of stuff with them because I actually know a little spanish. I understand a lot of what they say and can communicate a little. Today in the lunchroom, Kelly said "COLD!" and shivered, and I said "Si, Tengo frio." She looked at me funny a minute and grinned her biggest grin at me! I love that little girl!

mullinz8 said...

Way to go Di, you’ve caught a moment in her ray of the sun, del sole.

Don’t let it go, charge on!

mullinz8 said...

By the way here is a great site for some language starters. I found it after I make Jules take a freighter trip someday.

Jamison said...

I think you said "yes, I have cold" which probably made her smile even more.

Soy = I am
tengo = I have

Then again, it's been, oh, i dunno, 13 years since ive studied it. Today all I can ask for is the check, more napkins, and a straw.

Never-the-less, im sure the smile was wonderful.

Diana said...

In Spanish there are certain adjetives that go with tener that are descriptions. For instance "Tengo hambre" is "I'm hungry" or, litterally, "I have hunger". "Tengo frio" is "I'm cold."

Jamison said...

ah, i gotcha, kind of like "mucho gusto" is what you say when you enjoyed someones company... yet it actually means "I like alot"?

See? learning new things daily!
Di, some elementary schools (like the one I work for) hire elementary spanish teachers! whatdaya think?