A teacher from my daughter’s school called me the other day to report an “incident” involving my daughter at recess.
First of all, any phone call from my kid’s school sends my heart rate soaring with that familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach that something is wrong.
Secondly, if the school has to call me in the middle of the workday, it had better be for a darn good reason.
So of course my mind started working as the teacher introduced herself ….
- Did my kid hit another kid?
- Did my kid get hurt by another kid?
- Was there an accident on the playground?
- Did she wander off at recess?
No actually, my daughter was found using a stick to scratch words on the outdoor gym doors.
- Oh my god… were they bad words?
The teacher tried not to laugh. No, they weren’t bad words. They were, “I love you”, “I love mommy and daddy.” But when the girls were told that what they were doing was wrong, apparently my daughter burst into tears and was devastated that she got in trouble. The teacher told me my daughter said, “I usually a good girl”. The teacher said she felt awful after seeing my daughter’s reaction. She made sure to tell me that she felt my daughter understood the seriousness of what she had done wrong and had learned her lesson.
When I texted husband (who picked her up from school a half hour before the phone call) he had no idea what had happened. Daughter apparently felt it wasn’t worth mentioning to her father. The had a talk and he sent her to her room and told her she could draw and write words on her sketch pad and read a book.
When I got home from work she was still in her room. I asked her to tidy up her Barbie dolls and tended to the baby. When I returned to her room, not only did she clean up the Barbie dolls, she also tidied up her room!!! Hmm …. sucking up to mommy maybe?
I took her Barbie dolls away for the night. There were no promises made on when she’d get them back. We had a long talk about when and where it’s appropriate to draw and write. We talked about vandalism and the consequences of it. The school would have to repaint the doors and it wouldn’t be inappropriate for them to ask us to cover the cost (though I seriously doubt that would happen). We also talked about listening to our instincts. After I explained what that meant, she admitted that she knew it was wrong to write on the door, but she did it anyway because her best friend wanted to. Her best friend ever! (She met this girl in September, remember.) I told her next time to suggest another activity. She said she was dumb and stupid for doing what she did. Yeah, she was, but I didn’t agree with her. She’s six years old for heaven’s sake!! She made a mistake and hopefully learned from it. She’s certainly not dumb nor stupid.
But I am a little miffed with the school. Back in my day, defacing school property probably meant detention right? Do they even give detention in grade 1 anymore?