Monday, October 29, 2007


Joey had a field trip today to a fancier pumpkin patch than the one we go to. I like ours better, but that's for a different day. The point is, he went. Then he came home.

Another incident occurred between field trip and home. The bus had to take a child back to school. Due to increased press about kids being left strange places by buses around here, such as poor Stimey experienced, instead of returning to school at the end of the route, the bus drivers now must take the child IMMEDIATELY back to school, then go back on their route. When the bus arrived back at school, apparently Joey got himself out of his seat and started to get off the bus, and had to be re-settled.

When Joey arrived home ten minutes late, he got off the bus and practically ran to the house. I thought it a bit strange, but said goodbye to the driver and followed him. I found him in the living room, his face buried in the couch cushions, absolutely inconsolable.

Thus begins a game of Twenty Questions that breaks the heart. Joey is not good at questions, but without them, I have no way of getting any information. Unfortunately, even if he answers a question, the answer may or may not be accurate, relevant, or even make any sense. It becomes a very strange game of Sherlock Holmes, sifting through the words I get to come up with some clues to what occurred with the child over the day, and to see if any of those occurrences might explain the current behavior. To make things more complicated, any incident he describes or offers may or may not have actually happened to him... he can get just as upset about something that happened to a classmate in his presence as something that happens to himself.

The clues I have are that he does not want to be hugged (HIGHLY unusual), something about Andy is not here (Andy was sitting right next to him) and Where is Andy? Something about Mrs. S and Mrs. H (his teachers), the bus, and someone asking him "Do you understand me?", a possibility that he almost missed the bus, and he refuses absolutely to discuss the field trip or look at the pumpkin he brought home. He also says he will miss recess, and will miss "first."

My current theory is that he did not get on the bus like he was supposed to, probably to come back from the field trip, and was threatened with either not having recess or some other threat if he did not get on the bus. He did not respond (probably process what was being said to him); perhaps he was asked to get on, then escalated to telling him his teachers were on the bus, to that inane question ("Do you understand me?"), to threats of punishment. If he was already upset, such a scene would certainly be traumatizing.

However, I have NO IDEA. I emailed the teachers, but have yet to have a response, so I sit here with no way to untangle these threads, and to try to talk to him about what happened- or didn't happen.


Niksmom said...

Oh that breaks my heart for both of you! Poor little guy! I hoe the teachers' version/explanatino makes some sense and isn't as bad as it seems right now to Joey.

Geez, just want to reach through my computer and give him a huge hug (except he doesn't want to be hugged right now...). Here they are...use them when you are able. xxxxxxxxxx

Casdok said...

Its difficult isnt it.
Hope you get some answers.

VAB said...

Unfortunately, I have that T-shirt. It sure is frustrating, isn't it? Actually, it looks like you got a pretty good haul of clues. It's great that you have the teacher's email.

Stimey said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. It's so tough when you can't get them to tell you what happened. Jack is just like that. I ask him questions about things that happened in school on days that I'm there co-oping to see if he answers with what really happened. Most of the time he doesn't/can't.

I hope you get some answers, and perhaps a nicer bus driver. They make such a difference to kids.