August 15, 2013

Friday Flashback: Just Ignore It

Daughter 1 had a rough start to her schooling. She went through several Mother's Day Out programs before we found one that didn't forget about her as she played outside. (True Story.) First Friends had great hours, worked with her through nap time (the kid gave up naps at 18 months old), and had great teachers.

Miss Julie was one of those great teachers.

Miss Julie had kids of her own and was a certified early childhood teacher. She adored my kid, therefore I adored Miss Julie.

"Daughter 1 is a smart cookie," she told me as I beamed one day after pick up. I knew she was smart because all the other kids in that class still ate their boogers. Not my girl, though. My girl was a wall wiper.

In retrospect, I realize that Miss Julie could have been her prepping me for the note she would knew was sure to be coming home soon with Daughter 1. Coming soon as in the very next week.

Dear Momma,
Daughter 1 had a rough day. She had to sit in time out on several occasions. She had trouble listening when the teacher was talking. She also had trouble following the classroom rules. Please ask her about this and talk to her about what she's going to do the next time the teacher tells her to sit down and shut up. 

Or something along those lines. It was a long time ago. I don't remember her exact words.

So, Daughter 1 and I sat down at the kitchen table together as I read the note aloud.

"I feel sad when you don't mind the teacher," I said, channeling every single teaching in-service I had ever had on positive discipline.

"I feel sad when Miss Julie won't let me do what I want to do," Daughter 1 countered. Maybe they had preschool in-services on talking to parents.

"Well, let's write her a note back. Let's also think about what should happen the next time you have to sit out at school."

As I got the pen and a piece of teacher-looking stationary so that Miss Julie would know I'm a smart momma and not a loser momma who raises her kids to do what they want to do, Daughter 1 was to sit at the kitchen table, thinking about her day and how it should have been different. She was also to start using a tissue when she was at the kitchen table, but that's another post.

"Okay," I started, "You help me think of the words. I'll start. Dear Miss Julie, I'm sorry that ..."

"I'm sorry that I had to sit in time out."


"Great. I like those words. Okay. I'm sorry that I had to sit in time out. The next time I act that way ... "

"The next time that I act that way, just ignore it and don't get so worked up about it."

I'll probably hear those same words when we see her on a Girls Gone Wild infomercial late one Saturday night.


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