We have all heard of high school drama. But, have you heard of Kindergarten drama?
Each day when I pick the kids up from school, there is drama. Drama about each other, drama about friends, drama about something that happened at school.
I pull up to school each day, turn off my radio because lord knows I don’t need anymore noise assaulting my ears than what is about to happen. I get off my cell phone. I take a deep yoga break – pranayama – and then I hit that little button on my roof that slides open my side door.
Four kids proceed to run into my car and shout things at me. It is so overwhelming to my senses.
When school first began and I was not privy to the car ride drama. I would get really upset. Sometimes I would get mad and yell at them to stop yelling at me and stop yelling at each other. That was stupid and made no sense so I tried a more peaceful tactic. I implemented the bribe. “If you guys can be quiet and respectful and not fight on the way home from school I will give you chocolate milk.” It worked great for a while.
Then I got tired of bribing and it faded out. But what I realized is that together the kids and I have all learned to have shalom in the car. They take turns telling me about the peaks and pits of the day. I listen patiently.
Recently they have been telling me about a little girl in their class that is “being so mean.” They come prepared with examples. They are sick of it. Violet told me that she talked to this “mean” little girl’s mom yesterday about how “mean” her daughter is. I asked what the mom said back to Violet. “She said work it out yourselves.”
“Talk to her mom for us, mommy. Pleeasseeeeee,” they begged me.
Well I had waited for a long time from a mommy’s love perspective to let the girls try to work it out themselves, but it was obvious that this mommy would need to intervene. I said that I will not be talking to her mom, but I will email the teacher to let her know what is going on so she can conduct a conference between the three girls. Hopefully this would create a better understanding between them and foster an environment where they could get along better. Well today on the way home from school the girls told me that they all talked about it and now they are friends again. Love it.
One day Violet and Preston told me that Elsa was doing something inappropriate behind the shed with a boy at recess. What the f%@#, I thought. Already? Too soon. I asked them to tell me what this inappropriateness was all about, but they would not. I looked over at Elsa and she had a guilty look on her face. I said, “well you have to tell me now Elsa. You just have to.” I thought, what could it be? Were they kissing? Were they showing each other their private parts? Oh my god! Finally Elsa said, “Kurt and I were spitting on a rock.” I’ve never been such a big fan of spitting before that moment. Nevertheless, I got my stern mom face on and told her that it is not OK to spit on rocks and that I would expect more from a lady such as herself.
Last week I got a phone call from the mother of one of Preston’s friends. I thought she was calling about our playdate, but she was not. She said, “I want to talk to you about something. . . “
Oh shit, I thought. This outta be good. “Sure!” I said, perky and filled with hope.
“Well, John (name changed for privacy) told me that Preston and Andy think they are being funny by poking each other inappropriately.” I said, “oh, alright, I will talk to Preston about keeping his hands to himself.” Then I was done talking to her about it.
After I hung up the phone I called Preston in and I asked him if the story John’s mom told me was true. He said yes. He wasn’t concerned. I was grateful that he told me the truth so I rewarded him with my cool and calm demeanor. I reminded him about how we must keep our hands to ourselves. He said he would. I told him where I heard the information and Preston said very matter-of-factly, “well John was doing it too!” Yep, that is what I thought.
I began to wonder, is it really our place as mothers to report on something going on between other people’s children? Or is it our job to let the natural consequences fall where they may, at school. Bullying aside, is it inappropriate behavior for us mom’s to share information that has come to us from a semi-reliable source (a 5-year-old)?
I was ok with this mom sharing the information with me because I used it as a reminder tool for Preston that we need to be appropriate and keep our hands to ourselves.
So on the playdate between John and Preston did I share with that mom that her son was also involved in the shenanigans? But of course I did. Not because I am a vindictive bitch, but because if she feels like it is ok to share that information, then she needs to be prepared to have to deal with that information also. We both just laughed about it.
I feel that this age-appropriate Kindergarten drama is all preparation for me as mom to face what may come my way during the teenage years. Ten years down the road, I as a mom will likely face issues much more serious than playful poking and rock spitting, and the “mean” girls may be posting all of their mean stuff on Instagram instead of being mean to your child’s face. By then I better come up with some better mom arsenal than chocolate milk bribes and brief discussion about keeping our hands to ourselves.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.