To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET “Then there’s the playground. That’s been a nightmare. I got there just in time the other day when Gabby was so focused on being first down the slide that she almost pushed little Jie-ling off the ladder. And you know how hard we’ve been trying to help Jie-ling feel safe here.” Julia has said a lot already. But before anyone has a chance to offer support or ask questions, she barrels ahead. Her stress and concern fill up our meeting room like this girl’s energy and impulsivity fill up her classroom. “Gabby does pretty well at snack and lunch though. When she’s focused on eating, she seems to settle down, and then she can be really sweet and funny. You know, even though she does all these outrageous things, I don’t think she’s actually all that aggressive. She just does whatever comes to mind to get what she wants right then. When she’s calm, she can be truly kind. Yesterday, one of the girls forgot her lunch, and Gabby offered to share her sandwich even though she was starving. She’s really smart and curious too . . . when she’s not being so difficult, you can see what a neat kid she is. “The thing is, I know she’s getting to me. I’ve become so frustrated with how she doesn’t listen and how much time she’s taking away from the other kids that I’m sure she can tell I’m more and more annoyed with her. I noticed this week that when I come close to her, it seems like she assumes I’m going to tell her she’s doing something wrong. And she turns away even more than she used to. “Here’s something else. I know I didn’t do a good job talking with her mom yesterday. I had the feeling Beth was doing everything she could not to cry when I told her what Gabby’s day had been like. She just stood there looking sort of shell-shocked with her baby’s nose running and her two-year-old tugging at her sleeve and Gabby ready to tear out the door into the parking lot like she did last Monday. I think Gabby’s dad might be out of the house, too. I’m not sure what’s up there.” A number of teachers nod. This is a family that has been on the program’s radar since shortly after Gabrielle arrived some months back, and Julia isn’t the only one who wonders how things are going at home. Julia, though, isn’t quite ready to step back and begin reflecting on either Gabby or her family. She has more she needs to get out. “I do feel so bad for Beth. But then I watch how she just lets Gabby run wild when they first get here. I mean, yesterday, Gabby literally climbed on a table right next to Beth. And Beth didn’t say a thing! Then I hear how Gabby talks back to her mother at pickup time, and I sort of feel like these parents really shouldn’t have had three kids so close together. I start judging Beth and feeling so angry with Gabby that I find myself wishing we could just kick her out. And you guys know me, right? That’s not like me, it’s really not who I am at all.” 4 Chapter 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL