My oldest child is a barely minted five year old. We put him into Kindergarten early because he was having behavioral issues due to boredom, and I couldn’t be his everything while still doing what the home needed and his baby brother required.
Yes, I felt more than a little remorse and trepidation at letting my miracle child out of my control. If I was being blunt, I was scared to death. How do you control these outside influences that you don’t see but endure the repercussions of? How do you be OK with the violence and ugliness that is picked up when your child is surrounded by people you haven’t carefully vetted? How, on bloody earth, do you trust a supposed teacher who defends said bad violent apples because they “come from a good, hard working family”? Seriously, how do you, the parent, make this right and manageable in your head without being a helicopter mom or writing a letter so scathing that Torquemada would have recoiled?
That’s where I’ve been at since preschool when Alex came home shooting guns and killing people. But don’t worry Mom, just the bad guys. Before you roll eyes, we own guns which are very safely locked away until the boys are mature enough to respect the power and implications of those tools.
Now, because of a wonderful birthday in December, we put Alex in private school in order to get him into Kindergarten. No discussions of red shirting or pushing kids or any of that bull. We chose this based on who Alex is and what his specific needs are.
And still, despite the exorbitant tuition fee, we’re encountering “issues”. Issues like a teacher interfering with food choices that were carefully made to abide by the schools guidelines and provide our child with the immune boost he desperately needs.
Yes, a teacher told Alex that he couldn’t eat a snack because it wasn’t healthy. After the third time of the same prepackaged snack coming home I asked him and he told me his teacher, we’ll call her Mrs B, said he couldn’t eat them at school because they weren’t healthy.
These were whole grain cookies with less sugar,sodium and carbs than goldfish crackers AND they had 45% of the RDA of vitamin C as well as a slew of other things that a growing kid could use.
But they weren’t healthy because they were masquerading as cookies.
How do you deal with that? My initial reaction was to call Mrs B up and educate her until she was a weeping puddle of apologetic slime. But that wouldn’t solve the problem for Alex, that would only make me feel better.
Parenthood is not fun.
What ended up happening is I had Alex tell Mrs B to please read the package. So he did, and she did, and he ate his damn cookies.
Now we’re dealing with the computer teacher, we’ll call him Mr K, calling students “goober”. Alex is oft referred to as Goober. He has a screw-off side and can be quite frustrating at times. I get that. I totally get that.
It is not OK to call people names. No, not OK. If you have a long term relationship and have cute pet names that have endearing meanings, please call each other those names. Just don’t teach five and six year olds that calling people names is an OK thing to do, m’kay? Especially a derogatory name like “goober”. Completely not OK and now momma is looking for an implement of pain and suffering to rain down upon you for introducing this concept into our family.
But I can’t because this isn’t my battle. That is a horrid position to find yourself in.
We had a brief, light, discussion of what the word “goober” means. It’s an insult and means you’re slow or stupid; putting this in terms that a five year old can understand. I asked him to tell Mr K that Mr K needs to call me if he calls anyone a “goober” again.
OK momma, breathe. Let it go, let it play out. Trust your child.
And then the night after that conversation Alex, my sweet precocious child, tells me his teacher, not Mr K, called another student “goober”. This student is special needs and has problems with impulse control. I don’t know his exact diagnosis, and frankly it doesn’t matter, he’s a good kid until he’s triggered and spirals.
Yes, my ire hit heights unknown until now.
But then, then, oh my god, then, Alex says that he stood up for that child and told the teacher “goober” wasn’t a nice word and means stupid.
He took the knowledge given and extrapolated the implications and meaning when used at anyone. Then he had the courage to essentially reprimand his teacher.
How can I not trust my child in this world? How is it that this beautiful gift can show me such innocent courage without ego?
Kids man, they teach more than they learn as long as we pay attention.