Saturday, January 26, 2008

Things parents should never, ever do at their child's school

Report cards came out last week and we're all starting to hear from parents who just can't understand why Tommy or Suzy didn't pass English even though they received MULTIPLE calls over the course of the semester about their child's poor grades. So, in honor of those parents, here are a few things that drive teachers absolutely crazy. If you're a parent, please take note to never, ever do these things. Ever.

-Ignore academic problems until it's too late
Last year I had a student whose parents didn't care about his failing grade in my class until three weeks before graduation. THREE WEEKS. By that time I had made a dozen calls to his home to inform them of his grade situation, the school counselor had been in touch about his chances of graduating, and five progress reports had gone out, all of which had contained failing grades. Three weeks before graduation, though, was the first time anyone from his family ever wanted to meet with me to discuss the situation, and by that point it was really too late to do anything to fix things. He ended up taking the class over in summer school.

-Lie to your spouse about your child's grades
A colleague of mine had an irate parent call the principal last year to complain that she had never informed him or his wife that their son was failing. After some back and forth between my coworker, both parents, and the principal it finally came out that she had spoken to the mom--twice--about the kid's grade but Mom didn't want Dad to know about it so she never told him about the calls. Bad idea. It was, as you can imagine, horribly embarrassing for the parents plus their son had to repeat that semester of English the following year.

-Just show up in the middle of the school day without any warning
Now, don't get me wrong, if your child is failing my class I want to meet with you in person. I don't, however, want to meet with you while I have a class in session. Last week a parent came by with her son to ask why he'd been marked tardy so many times. I would have been happy to talk about her son's issues with getting to my class on time, but not while I was in the middle of a lecture. Word to the wise--if you want to talk to your child's teacher make an appointment. Just showing up in the middle of the school day will never get you what you want.

In short, pay attention to your child's grades throughout the school year, keep your spouse informed of problems at school, and call ahead if you want to talk to your child's teacher about a problem.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The joy of 5 months old

Five months old has been very good to us so far. Luke is finally on something that resembles a nap schedule AND he put himself to sleep at naptime for the FIRST TIME EVER this morning. It took a few minutes of fussing and a dozen or so replacements of the pacifier after he ripped it out of his mouth so he could yell a bit, but finally he just rolled over, closed his eyes, and is now out like a light.

He's not quite able to sit up on his own yet, but with a little assistance from a Boppy pillow he can stay up for quite awhile. His tummy muscles are clearly able to support sitting, it's just his balance that's a bit iffy still. He's not tripoding much, but I think that in the next few weeks he'll figure that out.

His favorite toy is still his Exersaucer (though Juan thinks it's encouraging his ADD side since sometimes he'll play with each toy for 15 seconds before spinning to the next--I think it's hysterical) and we're going to have to increase its height pretty soon since he's almost too tall for the lowest setting. Anything that involves standing (while supported) is a big hit, which is probably why he's still wobbly while sitting--it's difficult to get him to want to sit some days!

We were at Costco on Saturday since I had an eye appointment, and I can't even tell you how many people came up to me and commented on what a happy little boy Luke seemed to be. And it's true--he's just the smiliest, silliest, most content baby I've ever met. He loves interacting with people but is generally okay to be by himself too. He's not showing much stranger anxiety yet (though we think it's coming soon based on a few experiences he's had recently with new people when he's tired) and flirts shamelessly with other babies and big kids when we're out and about. When we're in the car he mostly sleeps or sits quietly looking out the window. Gone are the days when he'd just scream and scream in his carseat--he still doesn't like being buckled in, but once he's there he's happy as a clam.

Overall, five months seems pretty good, and that makes me extraordinarily happy. Every month I think that things can't get much better, that he can't get any cuter, and then he does. It's amazing. I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet to have gotten such a wonderful little boy as my son.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Five Months

A few days late, but better late than never.

In other news, Kathleen is having her baby as I type! Congratulations, Kathleen and Brett!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Poor Baby

Luke has his first cold, and if there's anything more miserable than being sick with a newborn it's having a baby who's sick. Poor boy has been feverish, stuffy, and coughing since Monday and we're all feeling the strain. The good news is that (for the most part) he's still his happy, smiling self most of the day. The bad news is that he's waking up 6-7 times a night, which is making for both a tired baby and a tired Mama.

With any luck he'll kick the cold in the next few days and we'll be able to go back to our usual schedule. In the meantime, please send good health (and sleep) vibes Luke's way!

Please get better quickly, baby!

Friday, January 11, 2008

America's Next Top Offensive Talk Show

This news is making the infertility blog rounds today but I wanted to say a few words myself over the unbelievably offensive upcoming episode of the Tyra Banks Show that is currently soliciting comments/participants. The pitch for the show (direct from their website) is as follows:


Do you know a woman who is obsessed with becoming a mom? Have you seen and heard her struggle for years, felt her unvoiced jealously and seen her desperation first hand? Have you watched silently for too long as she gets her hopes up only to be disappointed and heartbroken when she can’t conceive? Has she tried extreme methods and spent a lot of money to get pregnant with no luck? Do you want to finally tell her she needs to stop the emotional and physical stress on her body and seriously consider adoption or a surrogate alternative? If you know a woman who is obsessed with becoming a mom and getting pregnant, then SUBMIT BELOW.

Please do not submit unless you are willing to appear on “The Tyra Banks Show".

The worst part of this show is that the following e-mail was sent out to RESOLVE members after the Tyra Show contacted RESOLVE for their help in finding women to be on the show.

The Tyra Banks Show is producing a segment about women who've been in pursuit of a pregnancy for a long time. The show which will tape/air this Thursday will focus on those of us who've tried, without success, almost everything Assisted Reproductive Medicine has to offer yet remain committed to the quest. Producer Anne Redecki is looking for articulate women who will speak candidly about their experiences, the emotional, physical and financial costs associated with ART, and their determination to stay the course.

If you're interested in sharing your story and being on the show, please contact:

Kimberly Saunders
Phone: 646 638-5641

Now, unless I'm missing something HUGE, this seems to be a classic bait-and-switch situation. It's like they want to deliberately mislead infertile women who would like to "speak candidly about their experiences" so their unsympathetic friends and family members can tell them they need to stop trying to have a biological child. It boggles the mind to think of what kind of sadistic asshole A: thought up this show in the first place, and B: wrote that e-mail and sent it out in hopes of deceiving and luring in women going through such a difficult situation. The fact that they misrepresented the aim of the episode to RESOLVE and used their membership in this way is just beyond the pale. For that alone, heads need to roll.

Contact information for the producer in charge of this trainwreck is above, and I'd encourage all of you to contact her to voice your disgust over what she and the Tyra Show are proposing. RESOLVE has been notified and is apparently handling their end of the situation as I type.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Did you know...

Want to know how to make 100 teachers scared out of their ever-loving minds? Spend 8 hours lecturing them about gang and school violence (complete with demonstrations on just how easy it is to conceal dozens of semi-automatic weapons in a pair of baggy jeans) but don't say a WORD about exactly which gangs are active at their school or what kinds of weapons the school's cop is pulling off students.

It's been a fun first day back at work.

We're starting to calm down a bit after the accident, in a segue that has absolutely nothing to do with the above observations, and I was even able to get a decent night's sleep for the first time since it happened. Hopefully that continues since the (suddenly scary) students come back to school on Monday and it's going to be a tough first few days back as they adjust to actually having to do work for the first time in two weeks.

I just hope none of them are packing heat.