The Neon Pony of Self-Righteousness

My last post was written in anger and in sadness. I stand by what I wrote. Jed did talk to the principal, and he also took her a print-out of the blog, to which she responded, “But there’s profanity in this.” Her next concern was the “bad publicity” the blog might bring to the school. Long story short: she warmed up after confirming that Jed was not recording the conversation and she said she’d like to consider her next actions. I can dig that. Still, that her first concern was the school’s public image — I understand it, but I don’t like it.

That’s not the bigger point, but I did want to follow up on the situation. The bigger point is that Cole had a really poor day yesterday and came home with a “red card.” They flip cards to reflect behavior. If you’re not the parent of an elementary-school-aged kid, you most likely have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s ok — the system is ridiculous. But he came home with a red, which is just one step from a trip to the principal’s office.

I figured that, as usual, this was just an issue of talking and rambunctiousness. There was some of that; he apparently stood on a chair in the cafeteria, after smearing cupcake all over his face. This makes me laugh, and I know that it shouldn’t. I know. But picture it: a kiddie version of Dead Poets Society, little boys with cupcake-smeared faces climbing upon chairs and yawping above the roar of disapproving teachers.

Barbaric yawp

Yawp, but yawp when it's appropriate?

I realize that it’s probably not the norm and that you probably think I’m encouraging disobedience. I only discourage disobedience occasionally, so you can breathe easy. Sorta.

But the comment section in Cole’s behavior folder also mentioned this, and this is the kicker: Teased another child.

Just two days ago, I went on and on (and on and on and on) about my compassionate, inclusive, thoughtful Kaiser. He just served me a much-needed reminder that he is not exceptional. He gets mad. He gets mean. He gets jealous. He gets selfish. And while I don’t think my kid is perfect (hahahaha God), I was riding high on my neon pony of self righteousness for a day or two.

Point taken.

What now? I don’t know. Cole has a notoriously poor memory in regards to mundane, day-to-day activity. And he has no clue what the “teased another child,” note is in reference to. No clue. We talked about the day. I asked him to spend ten minutes in his room to consider it. We went through his actions. No damn clue. I emailed his teacher, because it would be nice to get a bit more clarification on that. And until I do have clarification, it’s very difficult to determine consequences. Is it possible they overreacted? Sure. Is it possible he acted meanly? Sure.

In the end, I took away his new DS for the day. And I talked at him for a while. Not sure that’s very effective, but I needed to say a few things. And I told him this: “I can deal with talking. I can deal with sometimes not listening. I can deal with those things. What I can’t deal with is you being intentionally unkind to anyone.”

All I got for now.


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