Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Day Like Cherries and Cream

I know this post may sound silly, but there are certain things that just bring life to my eyes and make me smile.  It's when I'm having a day like cherries and cream.


I remember being little and two of my favorite things were cherry taffy and hot chocolate with whipped cream.  We had a bay window and I'd sit in front of it.  I'd watch the cars and people go by.  I remember wondering what their lives were like and what made them happy.  Because I was so happy inside, I wanted them to be too.  I sat drinking cocoa and eating taffy.  My mom would always wrap me in a fuzzy blanket.  I'd snuggle up in that, rest on the ground and watch the little dust particles that the sun illuminated.  It was magical and that's how I feel today.

It's funny how things change though.  I still love cherries and whipped cream, but different things make me happier now--like a nice pair of boots or a push-up bra that makes me feel like I'm not a board.

If you haven't read these stories, you might not understand the importance of boots.  They can make or break a woman.  You can try wearing them, but if it's not meant to be, they can destroy you.  Boots are the ultimate test--many have tried--many have failed.
So, anyway, today is extra good because The Scribe took her reading test yesterday.  I got a call from her teacher.  "I need to have a meeting with you," she said.

That worried me.  The Scribe has still been writing her Blog!  They're really just notes she sticks in some kid's locker, but she still has no idea who the kid is!  After I hung up the phone, I just knew The Scribe had gotten into some type of trouble again.  If she's not putting cat poop on the teacher's chair, sticking "kick-me" notes on kids' backs or writing a blog . . . I never know what that kid will do next.

I walked into the school, a bit slowly in you want to know the truth.  Let's scratch that.  I sauntered into the school (that's better), worried for what the teacher would say.  When I sat down in the chair across from her, she said, "What have you been doing differently with your daughter?  Have you been reading more with her?"

"I guess so.  A friend of mine suggested that I take her on a date to the library.  She's been reading books while listening to them on tape."  It was a ballsy confession.  Maybe that teacher hates books on tape.  Maybe she has something against the library!  I couldn't tell.  Her face was impassive like stone.

"Well, I have some numbers for you to look at.  Two weeks ago, your daughter read sixty words a minute at a second grade reading level."

I crinkled my nose.  The Scribe is in third grade.  She's supposed to be reading ninety words at a third grade level.  "That's hard," I said.  "But I'll keep working with her.  I know she'll get it soon. It just needs to click, right?"

"That's what we need to talk about."  She pulled some papers from a file, set them on the desk and tapped them.  "Do you realize, that the past week, your daughter has been taking AR tests on books that are anywhere between a fifth and seventh grade reading level?"

"No."  That concerned me; she wasn't getting high scores before.  Maybe the books were too hard.  "I--"

The teacher went on before I could.  "She's gotten one-hundred percent on almost every test."

I gulped.  What was going on?  My day was turning from curdled milk to cherries and cream!

"I pulled her out of recess today and told her she had to read fast or she couldn't go play with her friends."

"And?" I asked, hanging onto every word like I'd gone skydiving and her words were parachutes.

"She blew through the second, third and fourth grade reading papers.  Then," that goddess of a teacher tapped on the page in front of her, "she scored one-hundred-six at a fifth grade reading level.  So . . . I brought you here to ask, what are you doing differently?"

"Resource is out of the question?"

"Absolutely."  The smile on her face should have been framed!

"Well she has been reading a lot of Hank the Cowdog."

"I've never seen someone progress this quickly.  Ever."

"Thank God for Hank."  I giggled.

"After she finished testing, I was shocked.  So, I asked her why she's been taking so many tests on AR books, you wanna know what she said?"

I nodded.

"She said she didn't want to miss the AR party so she's been testing on books she already read.  Some of those books are recommended in Junior High!"

I slumped into my chair; it was wonderful news, fantastic!  I've been to so many parent/teacher conferences that have ended poorly.  That time the teacher found cat poop was almost as bad as when the current teacher said The Scribe might need to be in resource.  The teacher stood up to tell me good bye and I suddenly shook her hand.  "Thank you!  Thank you so much!"

Things are looking up.  Despite the fact that the vet thinks our dog has cancer (unless she can gain weight), but we've been giving her milk every day and she seems to be gaining a little bit of fat.  I have a push-up bra and some boots.  My ten year anniversary is next week and I guess Cade's planning a big surprise (I'm sooo excited about that).  But most of all The Scribe is okay; now we just have a new set of issues to deal with.

I read the blog she wrote to drop in that locker today.  I know it's horrible, I read her "secret" blog notes, but she stuffs them in the front of her backpack, right where I can get to them!

Name #9

Do you ever feel like no one has enough attention for you?  Sometimes I do things because I need to spend time with people.  There are a lot of kids in my family.  I haven't been trying my hardest because then my mom helps me read and do more math.  It just makes me feel like she cares.

I really tried yesterday at school and now I think they're onto me.  Do you think I'm a bad kid?  Do you ever feel like you need more attention?  Maybe someday I'll meet you.  When I find out who you are, you can tell me.  I hope you're an only child that gets a ton of attention.

~The End~

So, it's still a cherries and cream day even though that note made me feel like a rotten egg.  It's amazing how much you can learn from children.  Today I learned that I need to manage my time better.