I spent 3 evenings last week up at school playing Rescue My Children from the Evil Senior Theme.

Tuesday evening, I spent an hour and a half helping Buggy with his notecards. I met him at school after practice. We did some research on the computer...and he plowed through the requisite number of notecards that were due Wednesday. This happened at a remarkable rate of speed. (The Bugg is all about the business when it's Go-Time.)

Please note: Tuesday evening was a Buggy-Only event. Initiated by Buggy. Not Ms. H. Monday during lunch, Buggy had asked, "Miss. Can you help me with my notecards, please?" Ms. H said, "Sure."

CB made no mention of needing help with his research, notecards, nothin. So I didn't extend an invitation. I figured I'd put it on him to remember. It didn't happen.

Thursday afternoon, CB showed up in my room with a "Thank You for All You've Helped Me With" Note. This softened the concrete-heart just enough that I inquired about his notecards. He admitted needing help. Two hours later, he had a a stack of articles and the how-tos for highlighting info.

Friday morning, before school:
CB: Miss, are you going to be here after school?
Ms. H: I wasn't planning on it, why?
CB: I'm not exactly clear on the format for the notecards. Can you help me for just a little bit?
Ms. H: A verrrry little bit. Be here by 3.
CB: Ok. Thanks, Miss.

I was not aware that "A verrrry little bit" would turn into a FIVE HOUR STRETCH OF TIME.

I wish I could say that Tolstoy Junior churned out a new work of fiction. Ohhhhh nooooo...in that period of time, we managed to PAINSTAKINGLY construct 5 bib. cards. And 10 notecards. And write a thesis. Oh wait. The thesis was actually written by Hellion and CB...after Ms. H had to leave the room because of CB's chronic piddling/lack of focus/moping about problems with the girlfriend. The straw? When CB started whining incessantly.....

CB: Miss...I can't use these articles. There's a word missing on the end of each line.
Ms. H: Roll with it. Fill in the blank. Hellion will never know.
CB: No, Miss....I can't use them.
Ms. H: ROLL with it. You're a smart boy....fill in the gap.
CB: Miss. Seriously. I can't....

I don't know how the sentence ended. I walked out of the room. I walked around the corner and sat down against the wall.

One of the Special Ed teachers was mighty-surprised when she came out of her room at FOUR-THIRTY on a Friday afternoon and I was sitting outside her door. I looked up at her and said, "I had to put myself in time-out. I was afraid I was going to turn a child into a greasy spot on the floor." Her response? A knowing nod. And some Halloween-size candy bars.

I was packed up, ready to leave at 5:30....FINISHED with children for the day, when Buggy called on his way home from practice. "Miss. Can we fill out my ACT application?"

Yes. The damn answer was yes.

Thankfully, Buggy brought Novia....who performed an intervention with CB and walked him through constructing some notecards. (I had told her I was contemplating CB-cide.)


We ended the evening with Ms. H explaining to CB in no uncertain terms that his work had better be on Hellion's desk by 7:30 Monday morning. Or else.

It wasn't.

So the "Or Else" occurred today.

This morning,I had CB tell me that the reason he didn't turn in his stuff was because it was IN HIS LOCKER.

Ms. H: "Try again, because I watched you GET INTO BUGGY'S CAR WITH IT FRIDAY NIGHT. Go to class."

After school today, CB asked if he could use my phone. I said No. He was shocked. I told him that, until he gets his grades to passing...ALL of his grades to passing...I was nothing more to him than his English teacher. Because I cannot do this anymore. I'm letting my stuff slide because I'm trying to save him....when he clearly does not want to be saved, or else he would be exerting some effort on his own....and would be passing MORE than 3 out of 7 classes. I told him he was officially unadopted. Because Mama H can't afford to give so much of her time away, without receiving any return on her investment.

It took him a minute to realize I wasn't joking. But I think he finally got it. Please God, let him internalize it. Please.