Tuesday, February 26, 2013

here is apple klepto

Frances came home from school one day last week and went directly to her crafts table where she immediately put together a book. 

Here is Apple happy
Here is Apple sad
Here is Apple sleepy
Here is Apple mad
Here is Apple cut in pieces small 
But baked in a pie is best of all. 

It was a book they'd used at school and she'd memorized it, come home and put it together with her own drawings. (Apple mad's face was particularly charming.) It wasn't until the next day when she read it to me again that I noticed the apples themselves; rather than draw them she had taped on apples cut from construction paper. And as I looked at it I realized they were die cut, that she did not cut them, and I wondered where she might have gotten them. 

When I asked, she sucked in her breath and ducked her head into my side.

I asked again.

"What will you DO to me?" she whined.

I promised her I would not be mad.

Turns out she took them from her kindergarten room, had snuck them in her underwear so no one would see. Ha!

"There were so many of them," she said. 

These are the kinds of parenting issues that make folks say it's harder as they get older, not easier. It's all in how you look at it, really. For sure it's not as exhausting now. For instance, I actually sleep. Plus I walk around with two free hands that I can use for things like dishes, or ordering shoes online, or taking a freaking shower rather than carrying babies. But these new issues matter, and that's what makes them so hard. Because the way we deal with them, or don't deal with them, matters. They determine who our kids will become, and how we see ourselves as parents.

I thought of letting it slide. I mean, it was five measly construction paper apples. BUT! It's the principal of the thing, right? So I called my aunt, who has been teaching kindergarten for 35 years, and asked her what to do. In the end I emailed Frances' teacher and asked if we could meet sometime soon. I told her Frances took something from the classroom. Her email in response said, "You can tell her that I am so glad she is going to talk to me about it, and I will not be mad at her." How great is she? 

1 comment:

andrea gardiner freeman said...

Oh boy do I understand what you are talking about. And there is that certain feeling that we learn from our personal mistakes, that someone making us feel worse really doesn't matter... but we, as parents are their role models, teachers, guiders and if we let that go then we have failed too. I struggle with elements of this daily. Sometimes strong and courageous and others with exhaustion. ;)
Love that you are still writing. I am going to try to get back to blogging once a week.
Hope you are well.