The Kindergarten Honeymoon is over. Already. Bubble burst. Glow gone. Now we're in it. I'll digress a few days....
Day one went spectacularly. When I picked Christian up, he said, "That was a really fun day, Mom!" I was glowing from ear to ear.
Day two: Also spectacular. When I picked him up, the very first thing he said was, "I got a key today, Mom!!" A key is a reward for good behavior. Three keys equals a trip to the treasure box. I was a proud Momma. Then, he asked if he could have a playdate with his new friend from school. I thought, Why not? He's bonding with someone already, let's foster that. And we left with promises of asking about a playdate the next day.
Day three: Amazingness continues with the acquisition of another key. Christian got to ask the Mom of his new friend if he could come over for a playdate and she said yes. We arranged a playdate for after school of day four.
Day four: I clean house after dropping Christian off at school. I make snacks. I get excited about a new friend for Christian and a fun playdate. The school day wraps up and I head to the school to pick Christian up. As I walk in, a smile playing across my lips, Christian's Kindergarten teacher briskly slides in front of me. I'm not kidding here- it was like the side sliding move in the Electric Slide line dance. It was startling. Her side kick teacher/ henchwoman slides in next to her.
She begins: Hi. I need to talk to you, before you get Christian.
She: We had a little incident today. Well...two incidents, really.
She: Well, one of the other teachers found Christian peeing on a bush during recess.
Me: (The sound of my jaw hitting the floor.)
She: The teacher asked him if he knew where the bathroom was. (Hope bubbled up: Oooh,ooh..good question!! It's a new school-maybe he didn't know where the bathroom was.)
He said yes.
Me: Oh. Ummmm...I don't really know what to say. He doesn't usually pee on bushes.
She: (She leans in conspiratorially) Well, to be honest we've seen this before, it's usually not a big deal and I don't think it will happen again.
Me: (Relaxing, just a little bit)
She: Unfortunately there was another issue. I guess Christian and Dash were excited about having a playdate today.
Me: (Tensing, just a little)
She: Well, the boys told us that they decided to start their playdate early and when the bell rang at recess, they decided to hide instead of come back to class. We were pretty freaked out. Nothing like this has ever happened and we were alarmed to find two Kindergarten boys missing. We found them and when we brought them back to class, we told them that unfortunately they would probably not be able to have their playdate today and the choice they made was not a very good choice. They don't believe that their playdate may be canceled though. We hope that you can help us to reinforce that this is not acceptable behavior and that it will have consequences.
Me: Oh- There. will. be. no. playdate. (If I weren't so white, I would have waggled my neck on this one.)
I catch a glimpse of the other Mom, who is looking at me with huge eyes, like Can you believe this?? I look at her: Right? No playdate? She says, Right. No playdate!!
The teachers seemed to visibly sigh from relief. I get it- I think half of the conversation is really about how we'll respond as parents. Are we going to follow through and discipline our kids? Or, are we the kinds of parents that are going to let things slide, thereby producing the year long trouble makers in the class?
I'll sum up the rest. There was crying when Christian realized the playdate really wasn't going to happen. There was "quiet time" to think about his choices when we got home. And there was a chart made as a way for him to begin earning back his playdate.
I got crafty with the chart. I channeled my inner anger into the damn best chart I could make, as if a chart would completely irradicate Day NUMBER FOUR of Kindergarten.
The good news is Christian seems excited about the chart and what he can earn. The bad news is I think most teachers at the school now know of my kid as the disappearing-from-class-peeing-on-a-bush kid. Great. Thanks Christian. I sincerely appreciate it. Day FOUR???? Seriously???
The next day, I walked into the school office with a check. I figured now was a better time than most to make a "donation".