Friday, October 4, 2019

Eli Got a Good Behavior Slip Today

Yesterday, Eli was asked to leave Grandma's Garden.  He threw dirt.  He wounded someone with a shovel (a very small shovel and a very small wound).  He kicked up dust into his classmates' faces.  By the third infraction, I'd had enough.

You can come back next week, with better behavior I told him as he raced out the Garden gate.

Those injured by his behavior were glad to see him go.  I wondered what had upset him.  His name is called out for reprimands more frequently than most; at 5, that tells me that life is not treating him well. 

Today, on the playground at Kindergarten's lunch recess, I played Monster - I growl and wriggle my outstretched claws and the kids run away.  It's an easy way for me to get fully onto the playground without tripping over little ones ready to hug me.  They run away, they run back, they squeal and run away again over and over until I get to the shady bench and plop myself down.

It's easier to tie shoelaces while sitting on the bench; the kids can raise their feet to my knee more easily than I can bend myself in half to reach their feet.  Invariably, by the time I'm settle in there is a line of untied laces waiting for attention.  Those with slip on shoes and sandals stand close by my side; I can't help them, but they still want to be near.

Is it any wonder I love being there? 

Today, though, I never made it to the bench.  The untied laces surrounded me on the edge of the paved play space; I couldn't get to my bench. Groaning loudly, which makes them laugh while taking the edge off the discomfort I'm inflicting on my hip, I lowered myself to the concrete and began to undo knots and retie Keds and Converse and Nikes and sneakers with glitter and sneakers with light up soles. 

The Shoe Lace Fairy was very busy today wreaking havoc with kindergarten laces.  I sat and I sat and I sat and I sat until there were no straggling laces to be seen. 

Then, I tried to get up. 

I'd been down there a long long long long time.  My body was not interested in moving.  I groaned.  I moaned.  I whined.  How am I going to get up from here?  Do you guys think you can lift me?

They laughed, pointed at me, reminded me that I was large and they were small, and then I felt hands under my armpits.  Two little hands, fingers grasping my t-shirt, fists pressing up into my body. 

It was Eli, who'd been running at the outskirts of the group, who took charge of the mission. When he asked for help, I was hauled to my feet by his minions.  The smile on his face when I asked the school social worker for a Star Scholar Slip to reward him for helping ...... there are no words for it.

She wrote that he Helped Someone.  He took the little green paper and ran off to the applause of his classmates (prompted by Grandma) who were then treated to a mini-lesson on Catching Someone When They Are Appropriate.  After agreeing that it was more fun to compliment a classmate than to watch him be scolded, after recognizing that different kids react to situations in different ways, not all of them helpful, and after laughing at the fact that it took a whole bunch of them to get me up off the ground, the whistle blew and they were off.

Eli carried that slip of paper proudly, receiving kudos from one and all.  It was a good day at Prince.


  1. That is the nicest thing I have read in awhile.

    1. It was delightfully surprising and earned the cockles of my heart all day.

    2. Such a neat outcome. I'm sure that made him feel as good about it as you do!


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