Monthly Archives: March 2011

ain’t all bad

Yesterday we rode our bikes to Zeist! About 18 km in all, just me and the Sniglet. It was the first really nice day this year, and we stopped for french fries and salad and saw lots and lots of countryside. Um, and some freeway…

Actually, Jack, the Sniglet doesn’t usually cry at school, that was new. Usually he gets red and growls and clenches his fists and makes threats, and if you push him too far he opens up a serious can of whoopass. And I’m not defending the whoopass, I’m just saying it’s not a spontaneous event. It is triggered by behavior that I think is also unacceptable. So from the teacher’s side, you know, yay, he didn’t beat the soup out of someone this time. But the behavior that makes him want to, continues unabated.

I haven’t heard back from the teacher yet. She emails a lot less often since I called her a Liar McFlamey-pants to her face.

What? The Dutch are supposed to be plain-spoken. I didn’t think she’d be that upset…

Song du jour of the day: Holiday in Spain, by Bløf & Counting Crows



It’s a really long story, which is why I haven’t tackled it, and every time something else happens, the story gets longer. Basically, this Taalschool (language-school) was established to help foreign children learn Dutch and adapt to Dutch society so they can fit into regular Dutch schools, is what I was told. I was also told – by the director – that students can’t switch to their new at any old time, only at Christmas and summer. When I thought the Sniglet would start in September and transfer to a real school in January, I was okay with it. But this is his second full year at what is basically a separate-but-equal school for icky foreigners, and they told us lie after lie to convince us to keep him there, and to put him in a class that we knew was the wrong choice but they led us to believe we had no other choice and now they want him to go into therapy because he reacts badly to being picked on by the kids in his class, who are all 12. Or 13. And he’s 10. I hate. This school. I hate the lies they tell us, and the lies they tell themselves so they can continue to believe they are good people while screwing over little kids.

There will be more detail later, but it’s after midnight and writing that paragraph has made me unutterably weary.

Song du jour of the day: Miniature Disasters, but K.T. Tunstall

an email to a teacher

Hi Ms Teacher,

I’m sorry it took so long to respond to your message, but I had to think about what I wanted to say. I understand that from your point of view, it is better for the Sniglet to react with tears rather than explosions when his classmates try to provoke him. I’m not sure I agree, but let’s leave that for now.

Of greater concern to me is that his classmates are still trying to provoke him. I won’t say these confrontations are never his fault, but I don’t think they’re always his fault either. As I understand it, part of the Taalschool’s mission is to teach children proper social behavior – not just how best to react to being goaded, but also that goading people is wrong. As the youngest member of the Schakelklas[*] he is both less able to handle this kind of attention from the other children, and more likely to attract it. So, while I appreciate the [anger-management] coaching for the Sniglet, and I am happy to concede that he needs it, I would also like to know whether you are taking steps to stop the other children picking on him, or whether you are placing the entire burden of responsibility on the smallest pair of shoulders in the class.

To summarize: until he can be with children his own age, I think the Sniglet deserves a little extra protection. I’d like to know what specific steps you are taking in this direction.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Alala Mamabear

* Schakelklas = transition class for secondary school, so usually 12-year-olds.