It's probably in bad parenting form to laugh at your child's pain, but sometimes they're just so dang dramatic that you can't help it!
Biscuit has guided reading at school. It's basically reading comprehension, but you know they have the change the names of everything every few years.
They get either "books," which are photocopies stapled together, or what they call passages, which are just one sheet front and back with a story or non-fiction information. The levels are lettered so they can keep up with where the kids are in their reading. Biscuit is supposed to be at the letter N by the end of the school year. Right now, he's already at R, so he's doing really well. But he puts a lot of pressure on himself.
It's hard because I want to push him and encourage him to do the best he can, but I don't want him getting all stressed out about it. He has this weird mix of being a perfectionist but also wanting to be done with his work more than wanting to be right. So he hurries through things and is then upset when he doesn't do as well as he wanted to do.
So, on to the part where I wanted to laugh ...
When they get their books or passages, they also get sheets with four reading comprehension questions. In addition to the reading and questions, they also have math homework every night. So the idea is for the kids to answer one question each night, making it all more manageable.
Biscuit has piano lessons on Tuesday evenings, so he usually does two questions on Monday or Wednesday. This week was kind of crazy, then Biscuit picked up a nasty cold and had to miss school Wednesday. And somehow, he ended up with three questions to answer Thursday evening.
He does his homework at the kitchen table, and if I sit there with him, he'll ask me a thousand questions and will depend on me too much to help. So I stay in the living room, then when he's done, he brings his answers to me and we go over them.
I was in my rocking chair when Biscuit rounded the corner crying.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
"I ... I ... I'm doomed," Biscuit said with full drama!
"You're doomed?" I asked him. "Why do you say that?"
"Um, because I can't find my guided reading booooook," he said with more tears falling. "It's no use. I'm going to flunk second grade. I just can't flunk second grade, Mom."
It had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I shouldn't admit it because he was so upset, but he was just SO dramatic. But he was completely serious. He was that worried about losing his book. And remember, this so-called book is some photocopies stapled together.
He had the question sheet, so I said, "You've read the passage several times. See if you can remember enough to answer the questions."
I sat with him at the kitchen table, and sure enough, he remembered enough to give decent decent answers to two of the questions.
Once he got those answers down, I could tell he was calming down. So then I lit in with the responsibility / keeping-up-with-your-stuff lecture.
"Your best course of action is to go straight to the teacher and tell her what's going on," I told Biscuit.
"Okay," he said, and I could tell he was dreading it.
I wrote his teacher an email to tell her what was going on and how upset he was about it.
She wrote back later and said that as soon as Biscuit walked in the classroom, he went straight to her desk and stuttered and stumbled all over himself and told her he lost his book.
"Okay, let's problem solve," she told him. "Pick up another book and go do your last question right now."
And that's all he needed to hear. She said he got his last question done in no time.
And it's safe to say that he won't flunk second grade!