Friday Flashback: It Might Run in the Family
My younger sister called me last night, seeking advice on how to handle a situation with her six-year old son whom had been called into the Principal's office of his school for some recent, unacceptable behavior.
Given my numerous trips to the Principal's office on behalf of The Teenager, I am, appparently, the go-to advisor for these kinds of problems however, my experience with discussions of unacceptable behavior goes waaay back to before The Teenager became, well, a typical teenager; back to when the Man-Cub was but a mere tot of four.
The following excerpt is from a journal that I started keeping in early 2003 and it accurately describes why I think my sister has nothing to be embarassed about; her kid was censored for rough-housing, my kid was apparently perverted.
Yesterday I learned that my four year old son is:
a. A pervert
b. An exhibitionist
c. A typical four year old boy
The jury is still out as to which one- if not all-of them.
When I picked up the kids from daycare Miss Lucy quietly informed me that the Man-Cub had been baring it all to the other children. Apparently he was not alone in his crime; he was in cahoots with an evil red-headed child who tattles on every other kid every chance he gets. In fact, a typical day of picking up my son goes something like this:
Man-Cub launches himself into my arms for hugs and kisses. I feel a tug at my skirt and look down to see red-headed evil child.
"Your son was mean to meeee!" or
"Your son pushed meeee!" or, my personal favorite, "Your son wouldn't play with meeee!"
I pat red-headed evil child, henceforth to be known as 411 (for information), on the head and dismiss him summarily. As I walk out to my car I notice that 411 has latched onto his next unsuspecting victim and "Your son was picking his nose!Your son was pinching meee!Your son was mean to meee!" will be the last sounds I hear as I buckle up the kids and start up the car engine and some Sarah McLachlan to drown out the noise.
So, today, the fact that the Man-Cub chose the red-headed evil 411 as his co-conspirator annoys me to no end.
As I am having a talk with the Man-Cub 411 is right in my face "Your son was pulling down his pantssss!" Finally, the Girl-child, hands placed firmly on her hips, leans down and gets right into 411's face and SNEERS at him "So were YOU, you little creep!" 411 slunk away to await the arrival of yet another poor unsuspecting parental unit and I continued my talk with the Man-Cub.
"Son, you know how special your private parts are. You know that we don't share them with people."
"Yes, Mommy!" Sob, here come the water works.
"You know that little voice inside your head that tells you when you are doing something wrong? Remember Mr. Conscience?"
The Man-Cub nods his head; sobbing like a baby.
"Well, didn't Mr. Conscience tell you that it was a bad idea to introduce Mr. Penis to your classmates?"
Man-Cub shakes his head. Tears and snot are running freely.
"He must have been asleep in my head!" Followed by uncontrollable BAWLING.
After he calmed down a bit we talked some more and then I sent him in to apologize to Miss Lucy and to let her know that it will NEVER happen again. I fought the temptation to FORBID him to play with the red-headed evil 411 EVER again. Obviously, I am aware that forbidden fruit is the sweetest. I can only hope that Mr. Conscience either wakes the fuck up or the Man-Cub realizes that 411 is trouble. Because it couldn't have been MY son's idea, right? Damnit.
I think I have impressed upon him how important it is that he follow the rules and policies at the daycare, though. And I'm serious about it. This daycare is amazing! They provide before and after school care and actually provide the transportation to and from the school. I drop my daughter off at school in the morning and then I don't have to worry about racing to pick her up after school or about her walking to our hardware store to meet her Dad. The pre-school program at the daycare is top-notch; the Girl went into Kindergarten waaay ahead of the other kids and the Man-Cub already recognizes core words like cat, hat, etc. The summer program is equally amazing. The older kids do field trips, swimming lessons, bowling, miniature golf and tons of science activities and crafts and the younger kids have guest visitors who do programs for them every other day. Last year they had a magician and they all learned how to make coins disappear. Plus, the daycare is affordable enough not to have run us into the poorhouse. So, getting kicked out would totally suck. And they can do it, too. One family with three of the worst-behaved kids I have ever met in my life got kicked out just last summer. Miss Lucy means business.
Once we got home I sent the Man-Cub to his room to reflect on what he had done. A while later he came downstairs and cuddled with me on the couch.
"I promise never to pull my pants down at school ever again."
"Thank you, baby."
My son. Maybe I should change his name to Monty.
Thus began a long history of fretting over my parenting skills.
Welcome to my world, sister.