* Turn that frown upside down

Rockin' Hercules
Things seem to be getting back to normal for Hercules this week. By that I mean he was suspended from Adventure Club for 2 days. His offense was pretty serious, and the punishment was appropriate. In addition, he's had a substitute teacher for the past 2 days as well. As you may have guessed, Hercules and subs don't mix well. Which just goes to show how much of a difference his amazingly gifted and infinitely patient teacher makes in his daily life. Bless her.

I just hope that neither of those subs ever becomes a full-time teacher. On both days I had to pick up Hercules from school (being suspended from the after-school program and all), and both times I came to the classroom, each sub frowned at me and declared, "Hercules had very bad day today!"

Thanks for that! That's just so helpful and informative. Makes we want to frown in return and say, "And I suppose YOU didn't have anything to do with that?"

Which of course I do not, I just sigh and walk away. I really have no desire to get more information from them. I know exactly what a Bad Hercules Day looks like, thank you very much. And chronically frowning adults certainly aren't going to make a bad day any better, wench. Not to mention that their solution is to take away his recess. They might as well just put the warrior in a padded room for a day if they're going to deny him recess! It's like keeping a puppy in a cage all day and being indignant when he can't sit still. Fools!

The recess issue is one that his teacher, Mrs. B, and I have spoken about in the past. She agrees that recess is pretty critical for Hercules, but unfortunately, when Hercules is with his other teachers - art, music, PE - that is generally their only prescription for bad behavior. She's in a position where's she obliged to carry out their sentence. But since she's so wise and wonderful, rather than make Hercules sit out his recess (or the length of time, usually 10 minutes, that he is expected to give up), she has him walk up and down a line painted on the blacktop. So at least he's moving around for that time.

Mrs. B called me after her first day out to talk about Hercules' day, as well as to prepare him for the fact that she would be out again the following day. Isn't she wonderful?? I love her! I mentioned that the sub had taken away both his recesses, and asked if there was something else that could be done. Although she was completely sympathetic, apparently she doesn't have much of say in how discipline is administered in her absence. She did say that she has raised this issue at meetings, because Hercules isn't the only high-energy kid who suffers from this policy. Basically, when you deny recess for any high-energy kid, you're just shooting herself in the foot because it just makes that kid even rowdier in the classroom. Duh. It sounds like the school is somewhat stuck on this problem, so she has improvised with her walking-the-line solution (here's to Johnny!). Maybe she can pass that on to her sub? I wasn't too clear on that.

So although it's been a rocky week for the little warrior, I've been trying to keep his spirits up. He tends to fall into despair very easily when he gets into this kind of trouble, and I don't want to see his self-confidence plummet after we've worked so hard to rebuild it since his Kindergarten ordeal. It's a delicate balancing act - trying to administer appropriate discipline without making him feel worse than he already does. But this past year has given me lots of practice, and I feel as though I've succeeded quite well this week. And even though I started off this post with a rather cynical statement about what is "normal" for Hercules, I have to say that this week is a milestone precisely because he hasn't been in this much trouble all year. So really, this is a reminder to me that although Hercules is still a warrior child, he's also grown up a lot and made some huge strides in just the last few months, and I really couldn't be more pleased.

Now, I've got to plan to some fun and surprises for young Hercules, because his birthday is this Saturday. Weeeee!


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