|Hank has really changed these last months.|
|Look who is 5'9" tall now.|
|These twelve year-olds weren't about to not trick-or-treat.|
On Halloween night, while the kids were out doing their thing, I sat in the kitchens first of one of the K(C)athies, and then of Normal Neighbor, and I exchanged a wealth of neighborhood info with those excellent ladies. There are so many changes in the 'hood to make you guys aware of. I might take a few posts to work my way around the block, filling you in on the current status of many of the characters you know from this blog.
Conspiracy Guy is well known to long-time readers. Click on his label over there on the left, or just right here, to read his history in posts. In a nutshell, his most notorious actions are being the world's most oblivious stay-at-home dad, who let his children roam the streets from the time they were two and four. I swear before the Lord, my foster children would come to my house at that age and stay for hours, without anyone inquiring after them. (Now that they are seven and nine, it is more normal for them to roam, I suppose.)
Then they got a little bigger and more girls moved into the neighborhood, and Hank is no longer their only playmate, so we see less of them. But still plenty. Conspiracy Guy's other thing, you may recall, is taking his kids out of school to home school them. Now, I think home schooling is great and I know people who are doing a completely awesome job of it. I also knew from day one that CG would muck it up in a terrible way because he is lazy and is himself ignorant.
I'm sorry if this sounds bitchy, but I'm not doing anyone a favor by shielding you from this.
So, we all continued in this way for the last few years. His little girls were doing some form of workbook home school with him in the morning hours, then walking around in the street from late morning until the elementary school bus came, when they would pounce on all the potential playmates as they got off the bus.
But this August, change was in the air. The littler one, who is the spokesperson for the two of them, told me that they had started going to home-school school. It's one of these flex-time academies that I guess is designed to supplement your at-home curriculum. There are a couple around here and they have a religious bent. Hank has another buddy who goes three days a week and is home schooled the rest of the time. Anyway. I said, to the little one, "Well, that's neat! How did you decide to do that?" She said, "My dad needs a break." Okay. But then, THEN, a couple more weeks went by and I realized that the girls seemed to be gone all the time in the mornings. The report then made its way to my ears that the school had assessed them and said that they needed to be there five days a week for extra help.
The older one, who is nine, was very candid, in a charming and guileless way. She said the school had given her the test for third grade, and she didn't know any of it, and so they said she needed to come extra days and do second grade along with her little sister. Those were her words, "I didn't know any of it." Bless her. But she seemed happy with this school arrangement, and I said that she would probably meet a lot of new friends that way, etc.
I told Matt about this whole situation, and he was like, "That guy had one job." I mean, he is just sorry. Is that harsh? He is. That nine year-old is not dumb. She is inquisitive and probably has some learning issue that someone competent could have intervened with a long, long while ago.
So last week my pediatrician buddy and I walked up to meet the afternoon bus, and the foster children were there. Hmm. I said, "Hey, no school today?" And the little one said they weren't going anymore. At all.
Back to being home all day, every day, with Jean Piaget over there.
The little one sounded like she was quoting one of her parents. She said something like, "They wanted us to go every day, and we didn't want to do that, because we want to home school." So they quit.
So maybe Conspiracy Guy has some plan for meeting the apparently urgent educational needs of these little girls. But I doubt it.
Sorry to be such a downer. And sorry this post is so long! I forgot how to blog and all.
Oh, OH! And speaking of Halloween, for years that we lived here, the foster children never trick-or-treated because of something to do with Seventh-Day Adventism, but this year they did. But Conspiracy Guy didn't hand out candy and kept his porch light off. Which offended my sense of Halloween reciprocity. To my kids, I was all, "That's just taking! You have to give!" To which Hank said, very serious, "Mom, it's really okay."
Okay. That's what I have for you today.