The Girl Who Hated (almost) Everything


She doesn’t look like a total crosspatch, does she? Don’t be fooled.

I raised my hand. “I hate writing.”

Mrs. McMullen came to my desk. “Do it anyway.”

“I’ve been to the zoo once. In Kindergarten.” I scowled at my worksheet.

“Write about that trip, then.”

“I got lost.”

“I’m sure you’ll think of something, Jessie.”

I wrote, “At the zoo, we saw the monkeys. They were very very very very very funny.” I made the ‘very’s’ huge so I wouldn’t have to cover the whole page.

Mrs. McMullen returned it. “Do over.” She kept me in from recess.

I wrote, “I hate the zoo.… Read the rest

Of speaking and silence

CarolineWithSky“Caroline, help Lisa with her seatbelt.” I handed my daughter her classmate’s buckle.

Lisa said, “I got it,” in her nasal, robotic voice.

Caroline tilted her head and moved her mouth, but nothing came out. Her words had gone away again.

I climbed in up front and scanned the permission slip. “Crap, Scott which thing are we going to?”

Scott finished clicking in Sam. “Which what? Yogurt shop?”


“I thought you knew.”

“Well, I don’t, and the paperwork doesn’t say.”

“I’ll go in and ask.”

“The teachers are right there. Ask them.”

A minute later, with the right destination in hand, we started out of the lot.… Read the rest

Sam’s Old School

The director pounced as soon as I walked in the door. “I’m not sure what you expect us to do.” He held up some other child’s shirt, cut to ribbons.

“I’m sure you’re doing everything you can.” And I also need to get him to therapy. “I’ll be happy to pay for the shirt.” And if you didn’t have eighteen kids in that class, he’d never have been able to get that many holes sliced before somebody noticed.

“Oh, we’d never ask a parent to pay for…” Bullshit. I still have the demanding note with the receipt for the cost of replacing someone’s sleeping bag.Read the rest

First 100 Days of School

I hate all this bullshit about the first 100 days of school. What a totally artificial measure. Maybe it’s used to teach math concepts. Perhaps teachers can work it into their lesson plans and do something pertinent with it. But seriously? It’s just a crock of shit designed to give kids another arts and crafts project and force parents to shell out the big bucks.

Case in point? Sam’s class is all dressing up like their 100 year old selves. HUH? Sam does not get it. He has been told to wear a beard. More on that in a moment. Also, the kids are supposed to walk with a cane.… Read the rest