Nothing Special

I cried with Zippy today.  It was report card day.  Most of you already know that report card day is NOT our favorite day.

Zippy got in the van and as quickly as he could, he dug out his report card to see how he had done.  He was NOT pleased.  He immediately started growling and crying and complaining about his Cs.  “All I make are Cs!!” he cried.

He was mad and sad and disappointed.  And, as always, I hated to see him hurting.

But then his anger and disappointment suddenly grew and exploded into a very emotional, painful cry as he yelled out, “I didn’t get anything special!  I didn’t get anything!”

He said it several times before I knew what he was talking about.

“She was folding up certificates and stuff, and I didn’t get anything!  I have always gotten something special! I didn’t get anything!”

He was heartbroken that he had not received the usual ribbon for achievement or coupons for a free kids meal at a local restaurant that he usually receives in his report card.  For the first time ever, he had just received a report card in his report card envelope, and he was devastated.  And the tears were flowing.

And as I watched him, my tears started flowing.  Nothing special.  He hadn’t gotten anything special.  Just a report card that he was really disappointed in.  And we were sad.

And I cried again tonight as I told Paul about it — that he was the saddest about not getting anything special.

But then I thought about our afternoon and evening.  He had recovered fairly quickly from his disappointment.  We picked up a friend from school when we picked up Elliot so that helped Zippy snap out of his sadness.  He was a little gloomy and moody throughout the evening, but for the most part he was really okay and had mostly forgotten his heartbreak.  And it probably helped that I made pancakes and bacon for dinner — who doesn’t like a dinner of pancakes and bacon to mend a broken heart?

As far as report card days go, this one wasn’t too bad.  And now we’re done with report card days for another 6 weeks or so.

I. can. wait.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I am sorry Zippy goes through this. GB gets a report card, but it tracks IEP goals and then is a written narrative on how the marking period has gone and what she has mastered. There are no letters, which is good, because she loves A’s and feels like a failure with any other grade- a legacy of her first grade teacher and mainstreaming.


  2. 😦 this makes me sad. He tries so hard. I just want to hug him.


  3. Posted by Kaytee on July 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    I guess the world has changed a LOT – I never ever got special certificates or coupons for kiddie meals with my elementary school report cards. Because, well, it was a report card.

    Even in high school report cards were, well, report card. Just report cards. At the end if year assembly certificates were given out but only for specific achievements (honor roll, valedictorian, athlete of the year or whatnot). Nobody got (or expected) special recognition for having done what was expected of them, ie attend class, hand in assignments, write exams. I guess I’m old fashioned, but I like it better that way (if for no other reason than once you’re a grownup you do not get certificates for going to work. Why encourage the sort of behavior that likely results in individuals thinking they’re an uber-special snowflake?)


    • Hi, Kaytee. Thanks so much for you comment.

      Yes, the world has changed a LOT. And I actually agree with you about not awarding and rewarding kids for doing what is expected of them. I really do.

      However, school is a whole lot more rigorous now than it ever has been, and kids don’t ever get to be kids in school anymore. Unless it’s one of the 2 allowed parties of the year, it is work, work, work. And when I was in school, that wasn’t the case. We might get to watch a movie just for grins or we might get to do a color packet or a word find just for kicks. Not today. School is so regimented that there is no time for play at all. So in that regard, I think a free kids meal every 6 weeks is a nice treat and a way to treat a kid like a kid. But this blog post was not actually stating my opinion in favor or against the practice.

      Since sticking a few coupons or a Perfect Attendance ribbon in with the report card is the way that our elementary school always does it these days, then I’m okay with it. And, for the record, I wasn’t meaning to say that the school should have given Zippy an award for his report card of Cs — they can decide which grades they’re going to reward. All I was saying is that my son had done his best that six weeks, he ended up with all Cs, and didn’t get anything special in his report card for the first time in his life. He was devastated. He cried, and I cried. It was a very sad day. Another reminder for him that his best just isn’t good enough. And he gets those reminders all. the. time. And it’s painful. I’m not saying the world should change or lower its standards. I was just telling about a painful experience that my child had. It’s life for him. It’s life for us. And I try to write about the goods and the not so goods here on my blog.


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