Speaking of Paolo's flaws (and I can admit he has flaws, even though Sam says I'm so protective of my children that if they killed someone, I'd help them hide the body, which is completely untrue, because they always find the body, so you have to make it look like an accident), he had a rough year with his first-grade teacher, due in part to his lack of focus. The other part of the year's difficulty was due to his teacher being a mean, old hag. What follows is an example of the efforts I made to impress upon Paolo the importance of concentrating:
Paolo, your teacher says you were not paying attention in class today. You didn't get your work done, and you had to make it up at recess.
[Deep sigh] Yeah.
Did you like doing work when all the other kids were playing?
So next time your teacher tells you to do your work or you'll have to miss recess, you'll remember what that felt like, right?
[Pause] Um ... yeah.
Do you have any idea what I just said?
No! [explodes with laughter] No, Mama, I have no idea what you just said.
Shortly thereafter, I gave up.
Apologies for the egregious run-on sentences today. I don't know what came over me, unless I'm always this way and don't even realize it. Maybe my endless droning is why Paolo has the attention span of a goldfish. Perhaps the poor kid shuts down out of self-preservation, because if he truly listened to every word I said, his frontal lobes would tie themselves into knots.