What do you do when you realize your son has a future in deception? This week, he got in trouble twice at school. Now, as far as I know, this is a rare occurrence for him. But now, I wonder. He seems to rebound like a superball.
The first time, I heard about it from the mother of one of his friends. That child got in the car after school already in tears because of a bad day. He immediately spilled the beans to his mother. He fell at recess, he had to rewrite a few things, and he got in trouble for giggling with my son….
…who was smiling when he got in our car. How was your day? Great!
Later, when I asked about the giggling, he admitted that yes they had been kept a few minutes after school, but the teacher had said they were not “in trouble”. He claimed that she held them after school because she didn’t want the entire class giggling while she explained that potty words were not worth giggling about.
It was confirmed, however, that my son’s story was correct. They were not “in trouble”.
The very next afternoon, I received a text from the same mother, asking if I had heard anything about why our boys were kept in at recess to write “I will be good” sentences in their notebooks. Again, her son had admitted to trouble, while mine had quickly moved on and felt no need to share.
This time when I asked him what happened, he smiled and shrugged his shoulders, his eyes twinkling.
This is bad, I thought.
Again, it was not real trouble. There were rules written on the whiteboard. He was following them. “No talking” was not up there.
He thought about that for a second.
Well, not talking if no one else was talking was not up there. And, he claimed, no one else was talking.
Very bad. A second grader who is so literal that he thinks he can get away with anything. He also changes the rules to his benefit without other kids realizing he’s done it. Dangerous. See why I worry?
I made sure he understood that to me, staying in at recess and writing “I will be good” sentences was exactly synonymous with getting in trouble. To me, it meant his logic was wrong. He had been bad.
I explained that at the end of the year, if two boys are getting into trouble together, all the teacher will remember when she is deciding what class to put them in next year, is that they are naughty together. I informed him that if he keeps it up, he and his friend will not be in the same class next year.
I also said if he gets in trouble one more time this year, he is in big trouble at home.
His face fell. “Don’t tell Dad.” And that’s how I knew he understood. “He’ll take away my Skylanders.”
“No deal, Ponzi.”