When I arrived at the door of Hank's preschool classroom on Thursday, the teacher said, "We had an incident today."
An incident? To me this word is reserved for two situations: there was a radiation leak at a nuclear power plant or somebody pooped in his pants. I stood there praying it wasn't the second thing.
I steeled myself and asked, "Oh, what was that?"
In hushed tones, she told me that during lunch, Hank had figured out that he could blow on his blueberries and make them roll all over the table. I'm thinking, okay, so this incident involves fruit, good. Nobody is missing an earlobe or anything.
So he was blowing his blueberries around all over the table, into the other children's food and onto the floor. Miss Chris asked him to stop. Apparently he ignored her and kept working on the blueberry dispersal project. She asked him to stop again, at least once. I'm not sure how he responded to her, but he didn't quit with the blueberries.
Now, I would have gathered up those berries and taken them away. End of problem. But she escalated in a different direction. She couldn't put him in time out because Hank broke time out last week. I gather that the teachers wanted him to leave the kitchen center and come to the writing center to do table work, and he didn't want to, and they threatened time out, and he eagerly took them up on it, preferring to relax in the armchair than to practice writing his letters.
So she didn't think time out was an option, I suppose. Faced with his recalcitrance over the blueberry issue, she said, "Let's go down to the office and see what they have to say about this." Whoa.
Yet Hank, as she described to me, bounced up happily and went with her, showing no shamefacedness, so she told him, "Hank, this isn't something to be happy about." And do you know what that child said?
He shrugged and said, "I don't care, my mama loves me no matter what."
I had such a hard time not laughing when she told me that. I was of two minds. One mind thought, "Oh you priceless child! If you want to rumble with these teachers, we will go in together, buddy." The other mind thought, hmm, since I can't expect anyone else to find him as charming as I do, we better fix that little 'tude.
I am so, so glad that he has gotten the message that we will love him no matter what, but I think he thinks he's discovered a loophole.
This was coming on the heels of a teacher conference I had last week, where I found out that Hank is the youngest boy in the class, and one of the youngest kids. He won't be five 'til June, but several of the kids are turning six this spring. I was surprised, it's supposed to be a fours' class. I think he has little interest in the writing and table work they want them to do--a lot of it is not age-appropriate for four year-olds. He just wants to do the fun parts. Still, it is not like him to be defiant, so Matt and I jerked a knot in that, figuratively speaking.
It still makes me want to laugh and high-five him, though.