Turns out, my kids aren’t perfect. I received a physical reminder of this fact earlier this week in the form of an official warning of bad behavior letter from a school teacher.
One of my kids (I’ll just randomly say it was a girl and her name is Molly. That way, no one will ever guess which of my gaggle of children this was) brought home said letter and showed it to her father. Now, I don’t know why she showed it to him first, because anyone would agree, I’m the nicer parent. Nonetheless, her father told her that she had to show it to me, thus passing the buck and forcing me to be the heavy.
Here is the letter, in most of its entirety:
It seems as though Molly may be a bit of a chatterbox. And it took the teacher three months to realize this. Or maybe it took him three months of restraint before he finally broke down and was forced to get the parents involved. Because, honestly, we have known she was a chatterbox since she was fourteen months old. We get it. This comes as no surprise. Truly, the biggest surprise is that this warning didn’t come after week two.
However, I must point out that if this letter of warning is to be believed, it clearly wasn’t Molly’s fault. The other children made her talk during reading time. The whole situation was obviously out of her control.
But here’s the thing; I’m no stranger to naughty kids. In fact, very few people know this, but I was a naughty kid myself. In kindergarten, I had a bad pinching habit. If someone crossed me, they were going to get it! And I was particularly vicious on the school bus where there was very little supervision. Apparently too many kids were leaving the bus bruised and bleeding, or some such nonsense. So part way through the year they made me sit at the front of the bus with the two naughtiest boys in my grade. For the rest of the year I had to sit where the bus driver could keep an eye on me.
Back to the warning letter of this week. So as I said, I had to be the heavy because someone else ducked out in a cowardly manner. So I took Molly into my bedroom, shut the door for dramatic effect and in a stern voice and with a look of disappointment I began reading the letter out loud. Unfortunately, by the second sentence, I had to physically turn my head so that Molly wouldn’t see that I could no longer control my laughter.
“Mom, are you crying?”
“No!” muffled giggles. “But I’m pretty close to tears.” (All true, by the way.)
I then buried my face in my hands in a dramatic fashion while I composed myself before issuing the stern punishment which included spending the rest of the evening in her room, thinking about what she had done, grounding for the rest of the week, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I’m sure that none of this will ever happen again.
But here’s the thing: Truth is, it’s the chatterboxes of the world that are most successful in life. Chatterboxes become good communicators. And good communicators rule the world.
If only that were true of the pinchers of the world …