phone calls from kindergarten

We made it one whole day in the new school year before getting a phone call from the principal’s office. Monkey Boy got into a fist fight in school. It took a while to get the whole story from him, but as it turns out, he was the aggressor not because this other little boy took Spider Man’s name in vain, as he originally told us, but because he wanted to fight, sorta. He met a classmate in the boy’s room after music class and said he wanted to fight him. When Ren said, “fight,” he meant “wrestle,” but the other boy did not know that. So the other boy pushed Monkey Boy and monkey Boy pushed back, and suddenly he ends up on the floor in the boy’s room. This turn of events signaled that male-testosterone--fight mechanism, and he jumped up and went after the other boy. By the time a teacher got to the boy’s room, it took the teacher and two older boys to restrain him. We had a very long talk that night and exacted an appropriate discipline, hoping to send the message that fighting is not allowed.

We made it another whole day before getting another call from the principal. Monkey Boy punched a little girl’s foot because he felt she pointed her foot at him mockingly. The next day, a note came home from school because there was yet another incident where he pushed a kid for pushing in front of him in line. The next week, there was one phone call and another note. At this point the principal put our number on speed dial. I assured the principal that we were doing everything possible to instill in our darling son that fighting was not an appropriate behavior.

Just when we thought were settling into the routine, I received a phone call that Monkey Bpy raised his middle finger at some kids on the school bus. It turns out those kids were bullying him, and he was responding in a language they knew. Not long after that we received another note telling us that he spit in a little girl’s face—in social skills class—but only after she spit in his face first. We are confident that spitting was not the lesson plan. And just when we thought he might be settling down, adjusting to all-day kindergarten, my phone rang. When I saw it was the school, I braced myself. It was the principal. She began, “I was teaching a lesson in Ren’s class today,” and instead of telling me how he misbehaved, she said, “out of all the children, he was the most attentive, the most responsive, and most respectful.”

"Are you sure it was Ren?"