Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This is a sequel, of sorts, to my post about Ilya's recent pugilistic experience. It ended up having some unexpected consequences - both good and bad.
If you don't care to go back and read the previous post - here it is in a nutshell: Ilya decked a kid who a) had been bullying him since the beginning of the school year and who b) had invited him "outside".
As a result Ilya was suspended for a week.
Here's the un-surprising result: After wearing out my knees giving thanks that Ilya was finally, this year, going to school regularly without problems! Alleluia!..... As I feared, a week's suspension ended up completely disrupting his sleep patterns and I suspect, also convincing him that they weren't all that anxious that he was in school every day after all, were they? So now I am back to begging, pleading, cajoling and doing my best to organize his time so he can go to bed and get up at hours conducive to actually going to school and staying awake there. But - it is still better than last year. He goes over half the time!
An unfortunate result. I went to Zhen's conference last week and his teacher struck me dumb with the revelation that "a mother" had come to her concerned that Zhenya might not be "safe". Safe? Apparently there is a sort of ethnic discrimination finding its way into the mothers' gossip.... Some of these nice ladies seem to have come to the conclusion that "orphanage kids" are dangerous. Fortunately, I am by nature unable to take offense. If I could take offense, I think I might take it now. Instead, I am just a little ruffled around the edges with anxiety. Fortunately, the staff knows that the bully of the piece was the boy who tormented Ilya.
Good result - for us, anyway. When the other boy's mother found out that he, too, was going to be suspended (not for the first time, by the way), both for starting that particular fight and for saying crude and rude things to Ilya, she retaliated by removing her child from the school (causing scarcely concealed rejoicing among much of the staff). Ilya is relieved that he doesn't have to deal with this boy any longer.
Surprising, yet good, result. I asked Sergei the other day how his social relationships were going. Sergei has a nice circle of friends, but a few of the boys have been very un-nice to him. He thought for a moment, his face lightening - he appeared almost surprised and expressed it - "Mom, I don't know why but suddenly they are all really nice to me." I asked him - "Do they know about Ilya?"..... Suddenly, Sergei's face showed both understanding and amusement - "Yes, they know!" And we both surmise that at least among the 8th grade boys, there is another sort of gossip going about, another point of view about "orphanage kids being dangerous" - but this time the result is not bad at all. Sergei, via Ilya, is finally getting a bit of respect.