While I was disentangling Paolo's limbs from my body this morning, his teacher said to me, "I learned something about Paolo yesterday." I froze. My mind raced through many discoverable habits, none of them good. He eats his boogers occasionally, but trust me, my writhing around in grossed-out agony will put an end to that trend. Or maybe someone learned the hard way about getting out of pirate jail. Could it be she discovered Paolo is a male chauvinist piglet? I'm working on all of these behaviors, I swear! All except the pirate jail thing. I can't help that there's only one way out.
Apparently, when the class breaks into smaller groups to do worksheets, Paolo refuses to participate. He sits in his chair at the table and won't do any work. He just bides his time until the groups are dismissed, probably pretending he's in a better place, like a wading pool of chocolate pudding. The head teacher assumed he didn't know how to do the activities on the worksheets, like tracing letters or circling certain objects, and maybe he was too embarrassed to try. So she sat with him yesterday one-on-one and asked him to draw the letter M for her before he could go play. She was probably expecting a Helen Keller w-a-t-e-r moment, but my boy grabbed his pencil, drew two perfect Ms and ran off. "He's been fooling me, hasn't he?" she asked with a laugh. "I thought he was slow to learn, and he's probably been bored this whole time."
That's the thing with Paolo. If he's interested in learning something, he'll suck it up like a strawberry shake. If he's not interested, the information just bounces off without sticking. I don't want to be one of those parents who tells my kid's teacher who my kid is. I think Paolo can represent himself, and the teacher needs to form her opinion based on her experiences with him, not on my boasts or warnings. But since she brought it up, I clued her in on the fact that Paolo knows way more than he's been letting on. I'm not crowing BOY GENIUS, because he's no genius, but if he would focus, he could probably handle the curriculum of the four-year-old room. I would never suggest he be moved up with older kids, however. Paolo has the social skills of a home-schooled ten-year-old, peeping out in terror from his mother's homemade gingham skirts. Maybe that's part of why he denied all knowledge of the alphabet when his teacher tested him a month ago. Or maybe he's a Republican.