Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Thank God For Black Beans
Each afternoon when my elementary school kids get home we have reading time. It is set in stone. Three until three thirty so I can honestly sign their agenda books certifying they read as required. Looking at their CRCT reading scores, this strategy has paid off, something we've done now for my entire retirement, I'm in my sixth year.
Yesterday, after our two week extreme stress period, JoJo had a 3 p.m. screaming, slobbering, meltdown hissy fit. Kicking my walls in a rage, I grabbed his feet only to hear him yell, "Don't touch me! I'm going to call those ladies and tell them you are hurting me!"
"Baby boy, you're hurting my wall! Stop kicking!"
His birth sister, Miriam, also fruitlessly tried to calm him down only to have him turn on her bellowing, "You're a freaking retard!" Over and over, for 54 minutes he screamed, Miriam and I sitting on either side of him in the hallway, my anger growing at the trauma he'd encountered lately by being yanked out of his class and questioned.
The other kids, 20 feet away, were calmly reading their books.
JoJo kept screaming that he wanted to die and go to Hell because I wouldn't be there to boss him around. "You don't love me!" he hysterically shouted while Miriam rolled her eyeballs.
My son-in-law, Chuck, had told Yolie last week that he felt our latest ordeal might be what finally convinces the kids that I truly do love them and that I'm in this forever for them.
Second bus load arriving at 4 p.m., they all walked in to check where I was, still sitting on the hall floor with JoJo and Miriam, Jojo began heartbreakingly wailing, "Where's Edgar?"
And then I understood (because Sarah explained to me) that in JoJo's mind The People Movers (CPS) had been to our house and now Edgar was gone.
The distinctly different events collided in ten year old JoJo's mind, he made a wrong connection, and I then tried to explain to him that people grow up and move out, but they'll be back. Tony listed all the grown children that had been here in the last week, trying to reassure both him and JoJo.
JoJo apologized and commenced his reading time, face swollen from an hour of screaming and crying.
I checked PowerSchool and questioned Javy on his no grades in Spanish class while I browned flatbreads in my big black cast iron skillet, listening to his song and dance routine on why this teacher, Miss Kimberly, was so behind in posting his grades.
Within minutes, lo and behold, this same Miss Kimberly walked in our back door, carrying Allen's bookbag that he'd left down the dirt road by the creek, asking me where Javy's missing assignments were?
Too funny. Y'all can't get away with anything in this county. Busted. A very sheepish Javy standing there between Mom and his teacher, stammering, losing his computer privilege for the day and knowing it. Sucks to be you, son.
I'd finally broken my two week fast. My stomach slams shut in extreme crisis situations, no way on earth can I eat nor digest so I just don't even try. Last night I ate two very large flatbreads filled with black beans and rice, loaded with melted cheese, sour cream, garlic, fresh sliced tomatoes and the jalapeno sauce that CW and I'd made. Following this feast with at least a quart of water, I could hardly stand up straight. Some kids ate four. These are huge. I don't know how the soccer boys ran at practice last night, I was waddling.
At the ballfield, JoJo boastfully told Pastor Tony that he'd broken his own rage record. "Tell Tony about the Hell part son," I'd needled.
But by nine pm everyone was in bed so Miriam and I settled down to watch a mystery show (48 Hours) we'd recorded only to be surprised by sacks of dessert from Miss Elise, left over from an evening school function, an out-of this world lemon cake. I could hardly sleep on my stomach last night, so blessedly full was it.
Twelve hours later, I'm still stuffed. An early release day, the kids will be home in three hours and we're going to swim all afternoon.
(This is Martin pictured here, not JoJo)