Our boys sure know how to exceed.
Today as I was picking them up, I was talking with the CDC director in his office with Julian, about "homework club," which we've signed Julian up for now. He's been messing around so much in class that he comes home with unfinished classwork, and can't keep up with his homework too. But somehow, he manages to "forget" he's supposed to do homework club, so I thought he needed a reminder.
During this conversation, Julian answered a question the CDC director asked him with, "Well, today the principal told me to...." Stop right there. The principal? Why were you talking to the principal? "Which time?" asked Julian. WHICH TIME?!
Turns out, Julian was sent to the principal's office twice today. And Gabriel was sent there once as well, for fighting with Julian. Seems the principal happened to catch Julian pushing Gabriel, and Gabriel pinning Julian against the wall in retaliation. Fluff stuff for them, but totally not allowed at school.
We got a note from the principal tonight, who said that he told both boys that during school, they are not to be closer than twenty steps to each other. They all we went out to the yard and he counted off twenty steps, and showed them how far apart from each other they need to be. The principal warned them that if they are caught together, they will both be benched for the remainder of that recess. He warned us that if there's any more hitting or kicking, they'll be suspended.
Twenty steps apart -- a restraining order of sorts. Can they possibly enforce that? Both boys of course immediately claim that it's impossible, because the other one will pester and break the rule.
This is really freakin' unbelievable. Most adults we talk to recall stories from their own childhoods, when they wouldn't have dared to defy their parents the way our boys do or speak so rudely to us when we sit down to talk with them sternly about being sent to the principal's office. But no one can give us any specific suggestions on what to do, short of threatening a whipping with a belt in the basement when Dad comes home. Frankly they both deserve it -- Julian has really been awful lately -- but let's be realistic here. How fast would Child Protective Services be on us if one of our kids actually reported anything like that happening to them? How could we possibly discuss this with other parents or teachers -- it's universally frowned on. Those sorts of methods just aren't done anymore, but nothing else that is done works to get through to them.
In this particular case, I think Gabriel was fairly innocent -- I don't blame him for being fed up with Julian's pestering. What's really called for is more separation. What a shame -- I like having my boys together, but it causes such constant problems. They're not even allowed to be together at school anymore -- they have to stay 20 steps apart.
To think, I was so looking forward to next year being the first year our kids are finally all at the same school. Instead, I'm dreading the next 2 years until Gabriel goes to middle school and they're finally apart!