Thursday, February 8, 2007

School Woes

Well, I still have not heard anything about the Police Investigation with Gardner's work. I must ask follow up questions with Gardner and see if he has heard anything. But I do have other news to report.

Gardner just informed me that he is starting to travel to Sweden every week for work. I believe he starts next week. He will be going for a few days each week. He mentioned maybe Tuesday night through Thursday night. I tease him about bringing us all this way and just leaving us here. I must take advantage of this and go with him sometime. Now if I can only find someone to watch the kids.

So Spencer and Shantal have had some rough days at school this week. It really makes me sad. Tuesday, Spencer came home from school like normal. I asked him how his day was. He told me he spent the last hour in school in the bathroom. I thought perhaps he felt sick. No, that was not the case.

There is a boy in Spencer's class that always gets to the classroom after recess before anyone else and holds the door closed so people can't get in. Well, Tuesday, Spencer got there before this other boy. So he decided to hold the door so others could not go in. Well, there was a boy already in the classroom who tackled Spencer, plugged his nose and covered his mouth so Spencer could not breath. While doing so, the other boys came in the room and one sat on Spencer's stomach while a few others kicked and punched him. I don't know how it all stopped, but Spencer ended up in the bathroom and would not come out until School was over. He said he did not want everyone to see his face because it was all red with white spots from crying so hard.

This is not the first incident of this nature with Spencer. He got jumped a time before from 2 boys while trying to walk home from school. That time, I immediately took Spencer back to school and talked to the Principal. At least this time, his teacher did call and talk to me about it later that afternoon, and to check on Spencer. She informed me she was calling some of the boys parents. I was so happy to hear that. I think I really like his new teacher. Spencer did go back to school on Wednesday and one of the boys apologized to him. I was happy to hear about that.

Shantal comes home crying everyday practically. Maybe not crying, but mad. I always ask her the same question. How was your day? And she almost always answers the same. Good until it was time to come home. She has this "friend" who will never walk home with Shantal. She always says she will but then doesn't. It makes Shantal sad. I wish Shantal would just find someone else to walk home with instead. But she does not want to move on, she wants to walk home with Anna.

Another thing that annoys Shantal is the teachers. She has swimming on Wednesdays. They ride a bus into town to a Swimming Pool. Well, it is cold outside, but not what we are used to in Wisconsin. The teachers always tell her she *has* to wear her hood on her coat. And she hates hoods. She has ear warmers and that is enough for her. But the teachers don't see it that way. The German way of thinking is one way and then Shantal's is another. She had the same problem in her old school here. They finally told Shantal she could not go swimming anymore unless she brought a hat.

Anyway, Tuesday when both kids came home from school, I just started crying. I felt bad for them. I don't feel that they *Fit in* so well here at times. Gardner keeps joking that it takes so many of them to actually take Spencer down. But I know it is just that, a joke. I truely feel bad for the kids and wish I could make it all better.

Spencer and Shantal are both going to be starting Scouts on Monday. They need to get more involved with activities where there are other kids their age. Besides school, they are usually at home due to all the rain we get here. I think scouts will be a great way for them to make friends. Scouts meet every Monday and it is kids from their school. Spencer was a Cub Scout in Wisconsin and Shantal was in Girl Scouts in Wisconsin. Here, they combine girls and boys in scouts. So that will be interesting to see how that goes.

Thankfully, Hannah is doing FABULOUS in school. She still is not talking unless I am there. But she participates now. Tuesday she even went into the kitchen at her school and helped cook waffles. Then she actually ate some waffles. She has NEVER eaten at her school before and they serve breakfast everyday there. I pay 7 Euros a month for her breakfast that she does not eat. Well, I was very excited to hear this news and she told me how much fun it was and how yummy they were. She even asked to stay at school for lunch next time they have waffles. For her to stay for lunch is only 1 Euro 50 cents. Although, I know when that day comes, she won't want to stay anymore.

Valentine's Day is next week. It is a big thing here for adults. But not kids. So the kids and I are going to make some Valentine's Day Cards with my scrapbook stuff for some of their friends here. It is an American thing to give Valentine Cards to their friends and kids at school. It will be fun.

Karnivale is coming up here in Germany as well. It is actually the day after Valentine's Day. So far, it has the appearances of Halloween....all the costumes. But, if I recall right, it is like Mardi Gras in America. The kids are very excited about it. All the schools and even the primary at church is having parties where you dress up. Spencer is going to be a Cowboy, Shantal a Wizard and Hannah a Zebra. I'll have to expand on this next week, for sure!

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March 2007