#38 I, Isabel Scheherazade, (now that I’ve told about Olivia our Latchkey Girl) explain about what it means for a 4th grader such as the two of us to have a 1st grade buddy and the Big Problem this little guy comes with. (Does ANYONE have NO problems? Pop says, “no, that wouldn’t be very interesting, now, would it, Isabel?”)

by storytellerisabel

A little back story, as they say: The fourth and first grade teachers team up once a week so that us big kids can help the little kids in reading and writing.

Mimi, I pat the empty space near me in the nook. Can you sit and brainstorm?

Mimi leaves off drying brownie pans, What needs brainstorming, Isabel?

I tell her about the buddy program. Olivia and I are assigned to this little boy.  I don’t know if it’s going to work out.

Olivia gives more details. We think our teachers must have matched the big and little kids. So, the guys who like racecars have little guys who like racecars. The girls who always wear dresses have little girls who have frilly dresses.

Not sure about this theory, I think.

So Isabel and I share this one kid, Arturo.  We’re the only ones who share.

Is it because they had one too many fourth-graders? Mimi asks. Because Isabel registered after they figured out numbers, or something like that?

I answer Mimi. That’s what I thought, too, until we started with Arturo. But now I agree with Olivia.  

Olivia gulps some milk and swipes her mouth with the back of her hand.  Mimi, I think it’s because the teacher knew it would take two of us to get anywhere with Arturo. Two smart, resourceful self-starter types like me and Isabel.

I laugh at this description of us, and so does Mimi, but Olivia stays serious.  Really, she shakes her head. This assignment is difficult!

Why is that? Mimi asks.

He won’t talk, Mimi, I say.

Won’t talk or can’t talk?  Mimi asks.

Won’t, says Olivia. His teacher said he’s an elective mute. That means he’s decided not to talk anymore. 

So, hmmm, says Mimi. Your little buddy–Arturo, right?–Something happened to him?

(To be continued.  We’re going to the twins’ soccer practice. It’s like watching a swarm of bees, sometimes they forget the ball and just race around. Kids. 🙂 I look at Clyde and Sam differently now that I’m learning this new little guy.)

ISABEL SCHEHERAZADE (buddy, sister, friend, grand-daughter, talker, blogger, & orphan)