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Out of the Mouths of Babes (aka can you get expelled from pre-school?)

December 6, 2010

I think committing yourself to the care of children who aren’t your own is a calling…one that I missed. Obviously I adore my own kids – and I’m very fond of my friends’ children – but I could never be a teacher. Unless it was pre-school, but even then it would only be for one reason: to hear the ridiculous things that come out of a three-year-old’s mouth.

If one of our kids is sick and coming into our bed at night, my husband will sometimes sleep on the futon downstairs, leaving me to fend off spastic limbs whacking me in the face. My daughter reported this to her teacher thusly:  “My daddy seep in da basement.”

I suspect that she is also regaling her class with tales of the various games my husband has made up to play with her and her brother: Oolee Oolee Bumee Bumee and Super Granny are but two of their bedtime classics (don’t ask me the rules or even the intent…all I know is that it involves running so hard that the wineglasses rattle in our cabinet).

My daughter recently moved to a booster seat and the freedom it offers has proved to be too tempting: she can’t resist trying to slide out from underneath the seatbelt, or putting it under her armpit. One day last month I was driving with her on a highway. Glancing back in the rear-view mirror, it looked as though she’d completely unbuckled her seatbelt (it turns out she’d pulled the armpit move).

I lost it for a brief moment, telling her, “If mommy had to stop the car suddenly, or if another car bumped into us, you could go flying through the windshield if you aren’t in a seatbelt!”

She looked at me with a quivery lip and promised to never mess with her seatbelt again. Picking her up from school a week later, she asked me, “Mommy, why you say you throw me out da window in da car when you get mad?”

I looked around to make sure no other mothers or – God forbid – her teacher had heard her. I assured her that I’d never threatened to chuck her out the window and repeated my original seatbelt warning.

Her response? “But mommy, why you gonna throw me out da window?” She’s asked me this a dozen times since then, convinced that she’s one false move away from being tossed out of the car. I made the colossal mistake of asking her if she’d talked to her teacher about this. Her mouth said “no”, but her eyes were screaming, “That is a fantastic conversation-starter for tomorrow, mommy…thank you!”

My only consolation is that her teacher has been doing this for a long time and has likely heard far worse. Also, she has a fondness for fair-trade, organic dark chocolate – a brick of which I will be picking up at Whole Foods on my way home from drop-off tomorrow…

Yo, Chatty Cathy - cut the strings!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. ryoko861 permalink
    December 6, 2010 7:42 am

    LMAO!!! Oh, how we must word everything so carefully! And dark chocolate cures everything!

  2. December 6, 2010 7:55 am

    Uhm, Lori… it’s never okay to throw the kids out the window. No matter how much you may want to. They’ll always tell.

  3. TheIdiotSpeaketh permalink
    December 6, 2010 8:41 am

    Funny stuff! Reminds me of my little ankle grabbers back when they were small. I’m like you, I could never be a teacher. I would be perched on the roof of the school by the end of the first week. My wife was a longtime Teacher. I remind myself of that when she is having meltdowns. She is probably still having PTSD issues just like a War Veteran. Have a great day eh? 🙂

  4. December 6, 2010 11:31 am

    I can relate to your story! It’s funny how a child can twist and turn what you say into something totally different. Just hope that your daughter doesn’t say that in the presence of a “child protection” employee. Then you’ll be in for it! Those people are always eager to take your kids away from you!

    • December 8, 2010 1:16 pm

      Don’t you worry – we keep them away from all social services employees!

  5. December 6, 2010 6:19 pm

    Too funny! 2 yrs ago, during mother day pageant my daughter told everybody that she wishes her mommy love her. Some parents just look at me and give me funny look, I can’t remember exactly what brought that up nor do I remember what she really meant. Ah…short term memory is another side affect of motherhood.

  6. December 6, 2010 9:20 pm

    I could never be a good teacher either… 🙂 Wonder how long it’ll take my students to find this comment I made.

    • December 8, 2010 1:18 pm

      If my kids make it to high school I may just move back to have you teach them 😉

  7. December 11, 2010 10:33 am

    My friend used to teach third grade and had the best rule she always shared at Back To School Night: “I won’t believe everything your kids say about you , if you don’t believe everything your kids say about me!”

    • December 11, 2010 11:05 pm

      Nice one – I’ll tape that to the next bar of chocolate 😉

  8. January 19, 2011 10:33 pm

    Hilarious! I am a social worker in child protection and this means two things for my poor overprotected children: 1. If there’s a bruise or injury of any sort, they must be able to tell me and everyone else EXACTLY how it happened and 2. Mommy is completely and insanely paranoid. I regularly grill them with the questions I use with the kids on my caseload just to test them. The 7 year old is onto me now and will give me a “Oh man, not child protection crap again” but the 3 year old is a huge story teller and often fails my tests, giving me heart palpitations and requiring me to spend an hour clarifying that just because we had no ice cream for dessert does not mean “we got no food”.

    • January 19, 2011 10:46 pm

      Our children must never meet. It will lead to us getting arrested. For sure.

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