Wednesday, May 23, 2007

When golden behavior is revealed as only gold-plated...

Last night, Charlie Brown and I marveled at how well LMNOB was behaving.

After school he'd taken her to Home Depot, as there is a massive yard work project looming ahead, and she was "golden."

She ate phenomenally well.

Just as we were noticing how great her evening was going, we decided to go 'round the table with bests and worsts of the day.

LMNOB's best = "There was NONE good things...." Then, before we could question the dissonance between her sunny disposition and a horrible day, she blurted, "Mama-I-got-curbed-because-I-hit-C-in-the-stomach-but-I-didn't-mean-to-not-that-hard-at-least-because-we-were-play-fighting-and-it-was-a-game!"

This was certainly a first. Getting "curbed" means that at recess the child must sit on the curb of the sidewalk, all time out and everything, but not quite as detached as "detention" because all the while, s/he gets to see what s/he missed out on with his/her poor choice as their classmates play gleefully around him/her. I've seen it on the days that I am at the school - and it seems to be pretty effective.

I was torn between three equally strong and valid emotions:
  1. You did WHAT?!?! Hitting is NEVER ok!;
  2. Oh you poor thing, let me assuage your people-pleaser guilt, and;
  3. Oh no. LMNOB's sensory issues have now landed on the playground, Houston.

And while the number 2 option grew stronger as LMNOB continued, "And later all the kids eating hot lunch, except L, called me 'Baby-Bully LMNOB' and it really hurt my feelings, Mama!" I mentally countered with, Well, wouldn't you feel like saying something if someone beat on you?

ME: "So....let's talk about this, ok? You were playing a game with M and C and all the other BOYS that involved play fighting, right?"

LMNOB: nods.

ME: "And you hit C in the stomach? Really hard?"

LMNOB, teary-eyed: "Yes, but Ididn'tmeantoo!"

ME: "It's ok - I get that, but let's look at it this way...if someone runs a red light, on accident, but it hurts someone else, the person who runs the redlight is responsible for making it better - paying for the doctor, damage to the car, etc - understand?"

LMNOB: nods.

ME: "So here you are, and C has a hurt stomach, and even though you didn't mean to, you are the one who made it hurt - and C's feelings are hurt because you are his friend and friends don't hurt each other - but you did, and so he's confused. Ms. S did the right thing by curbing you, because it gave you time to think about what you did, and it also made C feel like his feelings are important too...Now as for the name calling, it's just what people think, because they don't know that it was an accident. Give it a little bit of time, and it will be all better - ok? You're just kids and you all make mistakes - one little thing like this does not mean someone will be known as "the bully" until you graduate highschool -ok?"

LMNOB: "Ok Mama."

ME: "Another thing and then we'll drop it - I'm really glad that you told me about this."

Then, like I said, I dropped it. Odd that her backpack didn't have a note from Ms. S about this.

Or so I thought...

This morning, as I dropped LMNOB off to school, Ms. S made a point to ask me if I'd gotten the note.

Smile...and a slight squeeze to LMNOB's shoulder, "Well, she told us about it at dinner, but funny thing - the note didn't make its way to us...hmmm. LMNOB - do you have any idea where it might be?"

LMNOB mumbles no.

She is so busted!

Turns out, she was curbed for 2 recesses, and after LMNOB sat down, Ms. S told me that she'd been as shocked as I'd been, since it was definitely a first. She then discretely mouthed, "She hit him REALLY hard, too." She thought that with "all that we had going on" (i.e. SID) I would want to know. Uhh, yeah, that's a slight understatement.

Ater dropping her off, I came home to LMNOB's room to look at a stack of papers. Right on top were papers, very obviously from yesterday - worksheets, a note from the cafeteria saying we needed a new lunch ticket, but curiously, no note from Ms. S. Hmmmmmmmmmm....

We are going to have a talk tonight about lies of ommission versus telling the "whole" truth.

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