I got a voice mail from the school. No, they didn’t need to talk to me, but they needed to let me know Kiddo#3 had been “picking up rocks” during recess. The message went on and on while I sat, open-mouthed.
“Kiddo#3,” I called later, when my Patient Husband was home, “I need you over here.”
“AWWW!” He stomped over. “What now?”
I said, “I got a call from the school. What happened at recess?”
He said, “I don’t know.”
I said, “You were picking up rocks?”
He nodded. I said, “And were you throwing them?”
He said, “No, we were dropping them down the storm drain.”
Since the phone call hadn’t mentioned other kids, I asked. One friend’s name I recognized; another had run for the hills and hadn’t been captured. Fair enough. “How big were the rocks?” He said about golf-ball sized. (Which probably means they were hamburger-bun sized.)
I said, “Wow. After that call, I figured they were as big as a loaf of bread and you were building a catapult. Was anyone getting hurt?”
I said, “And what did you do?”
He doesn’t remember.
I said, “Did you talk to Mr. Principal?”
No, the principal was out; he talked to someone else. He doesn’t remember whom.
So far the accounts matched. I said, “They made you write a note?” Yes, they did. “What did the note say?” He doesn’t remember. I said, “So the note says, Dear Mr. Principal, Sincerely Kiddo#3?” He shrugged.
Clearly an effective learning experience for Kiddo#3.
I said, “And they called it an ‘unexpected behavior’?”
Beside me, my Patient Husband choked.
Yes, when they misbehave at school now, it’s not misbehavior, or even “an unsafe situation.” Thanks to a Self-Esteem Initiative that just doesn’t know when to die, it’s just “an unexpected behavior.”
And the thing is, if you’ve read this blog for even a week, you know by now that no behavior is unexpected from Kiddo#3.
I couldn’t see that he’d really done anything wrong, so I gave up. “Well, now that you’ve done it, I guess it’s no longer unexpected.”
My ever-loyal Patient Husband groaned. Kiddo#3 ran laughing down the hall. “Now they expect it! Now they expect me to pick up rocks at recess!”
Dear Mr. Principal,
I am sorry for my unexpected snark. I wish I could say it won’t happen again, but you guys make it too easy.