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