Wednesday, September 26, 2007

13-year olds (plaid pants and hiding behind tshirts)

The first school year gathering is an open house and picnic.  M was all excited, planning out her attire just as intently as for the first day of school.  Last year, her class had school that day, as their fall trip started on the next day, on what would have been their first day of school.  Few from M's class showed this year, how disappointing.  J and two of his sisters came, though, and I got a nice shot of M, J, and J's one sister / friends with M.  Nicely, that night, L and M got together for an ice cream and 2-hand practice (then M worked to teach me some beginning Irish step dance steps, in preparation for the class I tried out but won't work, M being both very patient and amused).

I thought M and J were paired as a team for fantasy football, but seems J was simply helping her out with information on the players to chose from.  "Mom, Mr. L says that girls are statistically better at fantasy football as they focus more on abilities and not on personal preferences."  I told Mr. L that M's actually asking me for the sports section of The Washington Post, and once wanted to watch television news for the sports.  "I did pick the one year when there are no football fans in the class."  Not sure that's a big hindrance.

Then J told M that J had thee same green plaid pants.  Md, J, and M, were to all wear plaid pants the next day, M and J texting, that night and the next morning.  "M, J's mother is probably leaving to drive them to school already, why don't you just call him?"  "Mom, no one calls any more."  Except then she calld Md, who changed from her red shirt so she could coordinate properly with plaid pants M would bring in for her.  Except the ones M wore were too short for school code, combined with a class meeting on said rules (some girls were showing up in sofee's), so M changed into the ones brought for Md, so at least she and J could coordinate.

Another night, J calls M, asking if she could come to a pool party at his house the next Thursday.  "Mom, can I go to J's house next Thursday?"  "Thursday?"  "Yeah, we have off school."  "Oh, right.  Sure.  What for?"  "I'll tell you in a minute."  J ends up asking M to not tell anyone else as he hasn't called said anything to anyone else yet.  A handful of youth went, and J's mother home, all active kids swimming and scootering and just having fun (as we left, J was sitting down low on his scooter, Md and school friend L and girl J were around, plus J's two younger sisters, M having gotten there earlier than others and leaving just a bit early for dance).

One night last week, OHBoy (who is actually 12) and M started hitting each other with empty water bottles after dance class.  Then they really started getting into it, in a fun way, sometimes hitting bottles against bottles.  I've never seen him interact like that, but after a bit, I did ask M (and him) to stop before it got bad, just in case.  (Many don't even know he's actually autistic; he's so highly functioning so to speak, and is physically adept and active.)  M won.  They had planned a rematch on M's back to school night as OHBoy's mother was going to take M home until I could pick up M.  Except another parent who lives much closer to me offered, also.  Sorry, M.  You'll still see him three times a week through December.

When I picked up M from riding to run her to dance then me back to school, M looked at my outfit and nodded, "I give you permission to wear this tonight."  I HAD chosen one of the new ones from this summer (that's really browns and fall-ish), so I would look somewhat okay during Back to School Night.  She liked the brown cap-sleeved sweater I'd shown her previously, a couple times, but she hadn't seen on me.  I laughed, "That's good, honey, as I don't have time to run back home, anyway."

M is in a group (of otherwise all boys) from her class who are planning the equivalent of their schools extreme race day event.  It's somewhat like a triathalon except it may include a different set of 3 athletic events (usually mountain biking, running, and something else as the school pool is closed), a big event supported by the whole school, with prizes.  PE teacher is assisting.  One boy suggested a water dunking pool (before they researched the costs).  Pros and cons were bantered about, along with who would be dunked.  The volunteer then was suggested to do it naked, and then jokes started.  M said she told PE teacher she was going to go check on some particular other work.  At first, he responded that, no, M needed to stay there until something was figured out.  M said she looked at him, said, "No, I need to leave now."  Then, PE Teacher realized, oops, this is juvenile boy talk, and told her to go ahead andleave.  If he had not, he'd be receiving a call from me.  He'd made a comment back to the one boy, putting that boy in his place so to speak (boy won't bring up that topic again), but it was still, well, something to avoid with girls around, too.  The other days, just brainstorming and work on the race itself.  She has done well competing in this in past years.

There are two boys in M's 4-hand figures team.  One is also a J, as is the older World Qualifier dancer, J, so I'll refer to this boy as J4H or 4HJ (even if he was also in M's 8-hand, I think).  4HJ and his sister, K, are twins, moved up from the home school dance classes.  They had their first feis this summer, starting at Novice.  Both did really well!  4HJ even got a first place, and then in the last local (Baltimore) Feis, tied for 3rd with M in Open Prizewinner in, hmmm, Treble Jig I think, and their 4-hand team won first!  These twins are both neat kids, are blending in comfortably, and are also in one of the performing troupes.   Monday night was a special show your stuff or get cut, Oireachtas Figures practice.  (M's 8-hand team, where M was paired with OHBoy or is that Choreography?, has not had a lot of attention, and they couldn't meet up over the summer to practice, and even though I see them as a team now, coming a long way, they got cut as a team that would take too much work this year so plan for next.)

After the teams were either cut or chosen, FiguresTeacher had an intense practice for the 4-hand teams.  4HJ was across from M.  FiguresTeacher stops everyone, as she sometimes does to focus on a particular step and moment in the dance.  When the boy (or girl in boys position) and girl are linking arms in front just so, they are to go right up against the chest of the one dancer.  FiguresTeacher paired with M, pushing for emphasis into M's chest wall (NOT the breast area, btw), talking repeatedly about the chest and needs to touch the chest.  "If you don't want anyone else touching your chest, put your hand there."  M was a mite red, and later I found out also feeling that fist.  4HJ, across from M and having to look at the teacher and M, all about chests, nervously pulled the top of his t-shirt into his mouth, chewing it a bit, turned away (as if embarrassed).  M didn't even notice.

FiguresTeacher later told us gathered parents that she could hear allof OUR giggles.  Then smiled and saidshe had to teach them correctly, which we all knew and agreed with.  Just, well, it was cute.

When were out of town last weekend, M got to spend time with her "adopted twins from Russia" classmates who'd moved.  They're quite athletic.  After some awkward how have you been's, they had fun.  Towards the end, the three were roughhousing.  I told the mother thatM really doesn't know any other girls she can do this with.

Whomever boy (or young man whenM's a young woman) M ever pairs with, will have to be smart, and physically capable, to truly match with her.  All in time, however:)  This both planning on wearing plaid pants the same day stuff is really cute, and that's just fine for now.

Tuesday morning I did change my shirt from the sloppier t-shirt I'd slept in, put on a bra and combed my hair, while I focused on being sure M was ready for her class trip and taking care of the animals.  I planned to shower and change afterwards.  We were at her school, taking her things out of the vehicle.  I had not heard further about a phone tree for pickup after the big trip, and I hadn't written down the names of the places (so I could e-mail C, as it's out of state, even though he was told the same info).  M realized I was walking outside, in public, towards Mr. L.  "Nice shorts," M commented, sarcastically.  "Huh?"  "I mean, nice pants."  They WERE nice casual pants, actually.  I just never usually wear them except at home or walking Daisy.   I had refrained from wearing my pink plaid pajama pants:)  "Ah, sorry M, so, is your mother embarrassing you now?"  She still let me give her a kiss and hug good-bye.  Later, walking by with girlfriends and a big smile, "Mom, can you please....?" 


1 comment:

  1. Naked dunking pool..... it is best she left and thankfully the PE teacher realized so in time.  She sounds like a great kid and you sound like a great mom!