Welp, Mikey made it about two and a half weeks in kindergarten before being sent to the principal’s office. For the record, I don’t think the punishment matched the crime, but c’est la vie.
I got a phone call at 1:30 p.m. on a Wednesday from the school, and when I answered, it was his teacher on the line. It can never be good to get a call from you child’s teacher during the day when they are supposed to be, you know, actively teaching a class.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up immediately, hoping he wasn’t terribly injured somehow.
The teacher proceeded to tell me that while the kids were lining up to go to music class she turned around and saw that Mikey and a classmate were in a little “scuffle.” She said she didn’t see how it started or who started it, but that it escalated quickly. I’m not sure if her definition of “scuffle” involves fisticuffs, but that’s the image that formed in my mind.
Why couldn’t he just be injured?
After “sternly talking” to both parties involved (I don’t know about you, but in our house we call that getting yelled at), both parties were sent to the principal’s office, where they were given a “stern talking to” (got yelled at again) by the vice principal.
Both parties were also told that their parents would be contacted.
I told the teacher we would talk to him and assured her that he knows it is not acceptable to put his hands on anyone… along with all the other things that would make me sound like I’m not raising a little hellion. Then I asked if the other child involved was OK.
The teacher said, “Oh, yeah, she held her own.”
“He fought with a little girl?!” I asked.
That afternoon Mikey hopped off the bus with his usual pep. I asked how his day was and got the usual, “Good.”
“Did you do anything fun?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Did you learn anything new?”
“What did you learn?”
“I don’t know.”
“Did you get in any trouble today?”
I dropped it and waited until my husband came home, and we asked Mikey about the incident that his teacher described, and he played dumb. He couldn’t remember what happened, he didn’t know what happened – and apparently he was unaffected by what happened.
Well, without his side of the story it was a little hard to punish him and, quite frankly, I feel like a trip to the principal’s office was punishment enough. I mean, he’s 5. Between you and me – and I will deny ever saying this – him getting into a fight over line order is low on my list of behavioral concerns.
He acted out, he got yelled at, twice.
As I write these columns I sometimes worry that you readers are getting the wrong impression about Mikey. I want to assure you he is a good kid. He is kind and thoughtful, and smart (too smart) and has such a great personality.
He just also happens to be trying to kill both me and his father.
I should also add that whenever I get a call from the teacher I am never that mom who says, “Why, my child would never!” No, I’m completely certain my child absolutely would. And I always tell those in charge they have my blessing to reprimand him how they see fit, whether that’s making him sit out of recess or taking away some other privilege, or even sending him to the principal’s office and yelling at him.
In fact, if they could go ahead and really impose on him that he needs to listen that well at home, too, that would be great.
Holly Crocco is editor of the Putnam County Times/Press and mother of a 5-year-old. She can be reached at email@example.com.