07 July 2018

Bess Tuggle - Memoirs of Surviving Children, Pt. V: The Third Son, First Grade Incident

Raising children is a tough job. They can make you laugh, cry, groan, scream.. drop you to your knees and then hug them until they can’t breath. They’re still all like that old dinosaur show: “I’m the baby, you gotta love me!”

My third son has always been a smart, lil’ mess. There were a lot of times he was too smart for his own good, and mine too.

School homework was required before they were allowed to do anything. If their teacher didn’t send something, I’d make something up. They always had homework. One dear old friend was a regular visitor and once a week she’d take the dictionary off the shelf, open it, close her eyes, point at a word, and all the boys had to learn the word, how to spell it and the definition (the last one she picked was “Harridan,” which means a grumpy old lady). Yes, homework.

I always went to all the teacher conferences. I would come home thinking I was raising a house full of idiots after the conferences, then get their report cards and think “Wow! I’m doing –something- right!” I didn’t know what, but they were doing just fine.

Well, I got notice that son #3 was about to fail first grade. Fail. Flunk. Get held back. Whatever you want to call it. At first I was devastated, and then I got mad.

His grades had been good all year. Regardless of his parent/teacher conferences, his grades were all good on his report cards. So, I scheduled an appointment with the principal.

The meeting was amicable. Everyone agreed the child was smart. He had great grades in reading and math. They were above first grade expectations. The only problem was that they thought he was “immature.” That was their reasoning for holding him back.

I listened as long as I could stand it, then looked the principal dead in the eye and responded “His father is pushing 40 and he’s –still- immature; my child isn’t going to outgrow this.”

My kid moved on to the second grade, graduated high school and is currently a Corporal in the United States Marine Corp.

He’s still immature.
Bess 

A jack of all trades, Bess Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations. 
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