Thursday, April 29, 2010

Principals and Principles

I'm hungry.

Not that that has anything to do with anything.

George doesn't like school. Every day is a battle to some degree, and argument about how he doesn't want to go. This morning we had this conversation:

George: What if I did math at home?
Me: You would be really good at math.
George: If I did math at home then I would be homeschooled.
Me: hmmm... but you go to ___ ___ Elementary. (smile)

I thought, wow, that was an easy argument. He got dressed, got his shoes on, backpack packed, and was ready to head out the door, and that was all I got? Halleluja! We were even EARLY! This never happens.


So as we are getting into the car, the tears start rolllliiinnggg down. Big, huge, fat crocodile tears, in torrents like an African rainstorm. (Not that I know what that's like, but you get the point.) And then... the lip. Oh, the lip was out, that sad little lip. It's a heartbreaker, truly. The story... his tummy feels sick and he feels like he's going to barf.


As a mom, I know this is probably another tactic. But what if it isn't and I send him to school, only to barf on the floor in front of all his friends? ugh.

So, I take the change and say, "you know, when you lie, then when you tell the truth, people don't believe you.

If you have a habit of not telling the truth, then people don't know when you are."

This is a hard truth to learn, and I don't want my child to wait to learn it when they are 10, 12, 14, 24. The Truth is all we have. Our words, how we use them, say a lot about us. If people don't believe what we say, they don't trust us. Ever. 

Golden rule: Always Tell The Truth.

So, after the reality of that hits, the story changes to plain old, "I don't want to go to school." Yes, my son, that is clear.

We finally pull out of the driveway, streams flowing faster with each block we drive, and once at the school, it begins anew in greater force. I actually have to sort of pull/push him gently down the hall (very glad I changed out of my pajama top, put on a bra AND a sweatshirt) and walk him to his classroom. He is clinging to me for DEAR LIFE.

What the heck?

I peel him off me to go in and talk to his teacher. She was occupied (with a roomful of Kindergarteners? Imagine that.) and so I went up to his student teacher, who he loves, and explained that he's having a hard time and is actually in the hall crying.

"Oh, is that because he visited the principal yesterday?"

Oh, he visited the principal yesterday??????" I said while trying to maintain control of my voice.

Apparently he said "a word" and so he had a chat with the principal. She didn't feel it was necessary to send a note home. Well, yes, quite likely that IS THE VERY REASON I AM DRAGGING MY CHILD INTO SCHOOL BAWLING. YES, IT IS!

Grr. Why was I not told? A question for later.

So back out to the hall I go to gently calm this troubled, traumatized soul.

My son is very tenderhearted, and takes reprimand (well, except from mom and dad, we've sort of worn out the effectiveness, so it doesn't sting as much) very, very seriously. However, if you are not his mom or dad, he will just save it for later. He is not likely to start crying or get upset in front of "strangers." But, fearing reprimand from the mother, he will also not tell ME what's going on.

Ahem. I need to know. When in doubt, tell the parents! Even if it's not a big deal. thankyouverymuch

So his wonderful teacher, who I think had a sub on the day of the offense, and have I mentioned how I love her and she is wonderful and she is ABSOLUTELY  the God-given teacher for my son, came out into the hall, and apologized to me at least 3 times, saying she would not have handled it that way. She's very compassionate and tender herself. I thought she was going to cry. Because who wouldn't have their heart wrenched by the sadness of this sweet child in the hall?

We both assured him that today was a new day, and it was going to be a good day, and that he would be ok. She gave him a hug, and managed to convince him to go inside.

And I went and talked to principal. Nicely. But now she knows I need, want, to know these kinds of things. So that I don't have to drag my very upset child into school again.


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