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not quite varsity blues

paul is not the biggest fan of school. he doesn't like the fact that we can't be there with him. if he had friends, it would be better, i think, but when he talks to us about school, he doesn't seem to be interested in forging friendships -- all he wants to tell me is that kid x and kid y got in trouble.

paul: do i have school today?
me: yes.
paul: waaaahhhhh!

paul: do i have school today?
me: no, it's saturday.
paul: do i have school the day after tomorrow?
me: yes.
paul: waaaahhhhh!

on thursday night he was miserable. he was dreading school because his teacher was to attend an all-day meeting, thus necessitating a substitute teacher. paul is very attached to his teacher. when we met her at back to school night, she said very matter-of-factly that paul wasn't happy at lunch because she wasn't there with him.

friday went better than he expected, but he's still not so happy about school on monday. i do feel for him -- i was afraid of everything as child, shyer than shy (little has changed) -- but i'm worn out by his whining. i try to be sympathetic, but he's clearly wanting me to say that he doesn't have to go to school and i can't say that. i can't rescue him from this. i've started saying, "i'm sorry, but you don't have a choice." (then cam comes in and is so understanding and kind-sounding that i feel like bad cop.) i've tried talking him about taking what he's unhappy about and trying to make it better, but he's so stuck on the notion that he's alone at school. i wish he was happier, i wish i could do something for him, but isn't school something he needs to do on his own?

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