Saturday, November 2, 2013

Let's Ring Some Doorbells

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.
As I've noted before, it's against the law for a momblogger to not post pictures of her kids' Halloween costumes. Barack Obama himself will come and shut your blog down. Just close it right down.

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.

It's sad.

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.


Aimee said...

First: 5'9" She's outgrown me by four inches. At age 12. I am jealous. Tall girls row better.

Second: Those poor, poor girls. Sigh.


Mary B. said...

So, so happy you're back. Missed you.

Star said...

Happy to see the kids in their lovely costumes. Sobered to hear about Conspiracy Guy's kids.

Judy said...

Me: "Becky is blogging again!"
Susan: "Oh, YAY! It has been so LONG!"
You bring light and enlightenment. Or at the very least you make us laugh. And put Laura to work as a fashion model and bank that $$. That girl has the magic!!

Marsha said...

Those poor little girls. One job, indeed.

Justine said...

Aimee took the words out of my mouth: A natural rower! Programs usually start in 8th grade & she could do a week summer camp to try it out. But your choices are pretty much Roswell or Gainesville, so...

Anonymous said...

I don't give too much of a whiff about grades and testing and that, but it's chilling to me that the girls aren't doing anything. No singing, dancing, riding the rails, animal husbandry, Braille, masonry, or building a Datsun B-210 from spare parts. I mean, ok. Whatever. But his lack of attention is neglectful. Too bad, but I just took a look & Georgia doesn't have laws. Homeschoolers can do what they like & there is no way to enforce, which is good for people like me, bad for kids like your foster children.

Hank was sticking up for his friends & wanting you to open up, too! Whatta mensch! The hero of this tale! November! xoxo

Keely said...

Oh man, those girls must just be starving for learning. So distressing. What is that guys DEAL?

delaine said...

The kids are presh in their costumes! I am pleased that Laura, even at age 12, is still innocent enough to want to trick or treat. She may be tall as an adult, but I'm happy she's still a little girl.
Now as for the two little girls. Those parents are doing those little ones a great disservice. I've seen through my career homeschooling done well. This is not an example of such. Learning is cumulative and more than workbooks and worksheets. What is down the road for them? Middle school and high school. Totally unprepared. It is inexcusable. Shame on them.

Camp Papa said...

I'm sure that CG has a story that would "disarm" my hostility, but I don't know it and he his failing at his one job.

KristerT said...

It is truly heartbreaking,what is happening to those little girls, but I have to admit, when you referred to their Dad as your neighbourhood's own Jean Piaget, I couldn't stop laughing!

Common Household Mom said...

The Halloween pix are great. I'm glad to know that Obama will not be shutting my blog or your blog down. Whew.

CG should be forced to shut down his 'school' by somebody. I mean, most all of us try SO hard to be good parents, and do right by our kids, but then this guy has to give parenting a bad name.

Lisa Lilienthal said...

I'm with ^^Matt, Elle and Camp Papa^^. For shame that man.

Doorbellsdirect said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nina said...

You're back! I'm just catching up. By the way, could be my dodgy internet connection but I am getting no pictures at all on Nov 1-4.

Shocked that there's no law in place to protect your foster girls from such non-parenting. Some people whine about the "nanny state" over here but at least that nanny would have those kids in school. Won't social services (or your equivalent) get involved?