Well, I asked for it. I don't want to throw Elf out there without any help next year. That means requesting special services. That means going through their evaluation process. That means answering questions on their dopey psycho McWeird tests. (Please respond "always, almost always, sometimes, rarely or never," as it applies to situations with your child in the last two months, mmkay?)
Runs away from home.
Has difficulty making friends.
Hits other children.
And so on.
Last time I answered these questions when Elf was barely six, they decided to label my kid as "emotionally disturbed." Mostly because he ran away from everybody ALL. THE. TIME. because he didn't want to go to school. (Wonder why?) Problem solved on that since he's homeschooled, and we have trouble getting the kid out of the house now more often than not. It's almost as though he lives at school now. :)
But... what kid does NOT set fires with his parents? Even Emperor was hoping to spend money on matches at Wal-Mart just yesterday because he wanted to figure out some "experry-mints" to do in the kitchen this week with cooking oil and flour, and would it save time to just put the fire IN the bowl rather than baking things in the oven? (Sorry. I didn't let him get any matches. Bad mom.)
And what kid does NOT bully others? Elf used Emperor's baby nickname when they had a disagreement the other day. (THAT IS BULLYING. I've read the literature from the schools.) Patrick is a little more subtle about it and just calls him "Octavian" when he is upset. And (sigh), yes, Elf and Emperor got into a giant hitting match two days ago over who should get to read the longest, because one child had a long chapter in his book to read and the other child said it wasn't fair because he didn't get a long reading when HIS chapter was long last time... so... no fair...(smack, smack, shove...)
Dang, but if I check the "yup, he's bullying, and pretty regularly" box, they'll be looking for trouble and watching to see if my kid flashes some gang signs that first day of school. If I don't, but check the "Elf is perfectly behaved all the time, a most amiable child; never cross" box, they will think (rightly) that Mom is a big smartypants liar.
I wound up checking "rarely" on about everything and on "sets fires," I checked never. I reasoned that "setting" fires without parental permission is probably what they meant, not "lighting" them WITH permission.
Ok, ok. I need to adjust my attitude on this. Look at it rationally: D let me do things my way by homeschooling these last almost five years, and now it's time to send the kid off on the bus next year. I'm still allowing myself to get snarky about the McFill-in-Circle-Tests, though. Because they really ARE pretty dopey.
Maybe I need to look at it from the school's perspective, too. They're getting a new kid. I think if I were getting a new kid to watch along with 600 of his best friends every weekday, I'd want to know if I could expect him to light fires and punch the teachers out. But still.