Biscuit got in trouble at day care today. And because of that, he was in trouble at home, too.
When I was growing up, any time I was in trouble at school, my Mama knew about it before I even got home. And I got some kind of punishment at school AND at home.
My Mama was a receptionist at a high school for years, and I was witness a couple of times to parents coming in yelling and swearing about how "my little Johnny would NEVER do something like that." Now, I'm not saying that you always take the teacher's word, no matter what. But really, you should know your kid better than anyone else. Can you really honestly stand there and say that "your little Johnny" is not at all capable of whatever it was that he was accused of?
Biscuit was accused of two things today. One of them, I could totally see him doing. The other one, not so much.
One of the teachers said that Biscuit was throwing books and spitting. Throwing books? Yes. Spitting? I'm not buying that one.
When I got to day care to pick up Biscuit, he was sitting in the office, and as soon as he saw me, his eyes hit the floor! GUILTY!!!
I called him over to sit in my lap, and he was scared. I could see it in his face.
As soon as he crawled up in my lap, he immediately laid his head on my shoulder and wouldn't say anything.
"Can you tell me what happened in class?" I asked him.
"I don't want to," Biscuit said.
I BET you don't want to, Little Man!
He finally mumbled that he threw some books.
"Who was the teacher in the class?" I asked him.
He told me, and I asked him if he apologized to her.
"No, ma'am," he said.
"Well you will tomorrow," I said. And his eyes hit the floor again. I was actually feeling sorry for him because he was feeling way more guilt than he probably needed to.
Biscuit had a piano lesson this evening, and it was pre-paid, so I told him to say goodbye to the teacher in the office, and away we went.
Once we got to the car, I asked him if he could tell me more about what happened.
"Mom, I did throw the books because I thought it was funny when they hit the chair," Biscuit said. "But I promise, I PROMISE, I did not spit. I would tell you, Mom, and I didn't do it. For real. I mean it, Mom. I didn't spit."
Unless Biscuit was making noises with his mouth, and the teacher mistook it for spitting, I believe him. But spitting or no spitting, I let him have it about the books.
"First of all, those books don't belong to you, so you're disrespecting someone else's things," I said. "Secondly, books are important, and you just don't treat them that way. Thirdly, you couldn't slipped and hit someone instead of the chair. And lastly, you absolutely know better than to behave that way in class."
I glanced in my rearview mirror, and he had started crying. It might make me sound terrible, but I was okay with him crying. Don't get me wrong, I never enjoy seeing my baby cry, but at least I know that he realizes that what he did was wrong. And even though throwing books isn't a cardinal sin, it's the disrespect of the books, his teachers and his classmates that bugs me.
So I told Biscuit to take a deep breath and wipe off his tears, then I gave him his pre-piano lesson snack.
And of course, I had to follow up the whole thing with the speech. "You know that sometimes I'm going to be mad at you, but that never ever ever changes the fact that I love you. You know that, right?"
"Yes, Mom," Biscuit said. "I know you love me."
"Do you remember that I told you that if you get in trouble at day care, you'll be in trouble at home?" I asked.
"Yes, ma'am," Biscuit said.
"I'm thinking that you won't get to watch any TV tonight," I said. "What do you think?"
"Okay, Mom," Biscuit said. "I'm okay with that."
It is so incredibly hard to know that the things I'm saying to that child are upsetting him and that he just wants me to hug him and tell him everything is okay. But I also know that if I don't take these opportunities to teach him my values, it'll be a disservice to him in his future.
But of course, after our conversation, I did hug him and tell him everything is okay, and he promised to have a better day tomorrow. And that's what I needed to hear.