figure one of the kids were sick. But it turns out that I was the one who was sick by the end of the conversation. My six-year-old son got into a fight at school. When I arrived to speak to the guidance counselor, Will was studying my shoes, afraid to make eye contact with me. The counselor explained that he had gotten into a “physical altercation” with another boy on the playground. She turned the frightened child over to me and handed me a manila envelope which contained the remains of his glasses. She said the principal was out for the day but that he would also be in touch soon.
When I had McKenzie people told me I was lucky. “Girls are way
easier to raise then boys.” I thought that was crap, how could they possibly be so different? After she was born I still didn’t believe that it could be so different. Then William entered our lives like a Tasmanian devil and rocked my world, soft and sweet and tough and sour at the same time. He is a daredevil believing he is invincible and he gives me heart attacks on a daily basis.
Once he was buckled and ready to drive away from the school I asked him to tell me in his own words what happened. He explained that the child he was fighting with walked up to him and knocked his glasses off his face on purpose. He went on to say that he was angry about it so he tackled the kid and held him down. I tried really hard to hide my smile. I was not pleased that he had gotten into trouble at school but I was pleased that he didn’t allow some bully to take advantage of him. Will is small for his age but what he lacks in size he makes up with in spirit. I imagine he probably gets picked on a lot for his size and wearing glasses in first grade doesn’t help matters either.
The mom in me was happy that he didn’t take any shit from that
kid; I would have tackled him too! But the mother in me knew that I couldn’t condone that type of behavior. But that’s a tough one…how do you teach a child to stand up for himself while following the rules at the same time? Sometimes just telling the teacher isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to show a person what your capable of doing if they don’t back off. I think Will achieved that.
He knew a punishment was in order and he was ready to do the time. My husband was on a business trip in Oregon at the time (I know, who goes to Oregon?) and as soon as we had a chance to talk we would discuss punishment options. We don’t tag-team parent, every punishment is mutually agreed upon. To bed early every night and loss of desert and snack privileges for a week was the sentence. We went easy on him.
Yesterday I received a call from the principal who said he interviewed the boys separately and discussed the bad decisions they made that
day. He said he punished them by making them follow him around during recess duty. He said, “That way they still got some fresh air and exercise but didn’t get to play with their friends.” I think the principal went easy on them too.
Will brought a note home that I had to sign and return to the school. Basically it outlined the events of the “physical altercation” and talked about the results. The form would go into HIS FILE. My son has a permanent record and he’s only in 1st grade! Fast forwarding to high-school I hope his permanent record is not contained in one of those large accordion type file folders that holds a lot of paper. Hopefully it just contains this one document. A mom can only hope.