The Principal’s Office

So I wrote and emailed this letter a few days ago:

Dear [Principal],
 
We are writing to you regarding a situation with our younger daughter Kate [redacted] and a classmate of hers [redacted]. Although most of the time Classmate and Kate purport to befriends, even in the terminology of the day “BFFs”, they have conflicts that are natural to children. However, some of Classmate’s actions toward Kate have been physically aggressive and are crossing the line.
 
Last year, Classmate pulled Kate’s jumper up over her head at recess, embarrassing our daughter. For awhile afterward, Kate “played sick” for several mornings, not wanting to go to school. (I wrote about that here.)
 
We spoke with [Kate’s awesome teacher] about that situation, and she has been very responsive. She said she had noticed conflict with the two girls, and worked to keep them separate from each other to avoid the drama that little girls can provoke. So far, we have been happy with the school’s response. Kate and Classmate seem to have been doing well sofar.
 
Two days ago, Classmate slapped Kate across the face at extended day. As far as we can tell, this was unprovoked or, at the least, an aggressive reaction to normal play. Kate didn’t tell on Classmate, but our older daughter Flora did inform the extended day caretaker [name redacted], about the incident. We do not know what action was taken at that time.
 
We have asked Kate to report any aggressive action of Classmate’s to the nearest adult immediately. We have also asked Kate to not play with Classmate, or to avoid Classmate if the girl seems to be in a bad mood or troublesome.
 
We are worried about Kate being the target of Classmate’s aggression. We would like to speak with you about further actions we can take to protect our child. For the record, we don’t think Classmate is a bad child. However, her behavior is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If Classmate’s parents and step-parents need to be brought into the conversation, we are willing to meet with them also.
 
Thank you so much for your prompt attention to this matter. 
 
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The principal wrote back to Dan and me, saying she was going to speak with the extended day caretaker, Classmate, and Classmate’s parents. I thanked her, and I’m not going to pursue this further with the school unless I have to.

The Whole Tooth

Flora lost her first tooth on Tuesday. I did actually record the event in pictures. Excuse the delay.

Note that Kate could not be left out of the picture-taking. She also threw these poses at me.

She’s a devil.

Anyhoo, the going rate in our house is $5 for the first tooth. The Tooth Fairy came through — Daddy even talked to her!

My little girl is growing up!

Other Bun Stuff

I was over at Jayesel’s place reading about her daughter, and I realize Bun and Maggie are doing the same stuff. Although Jayesel doesn’t mention if her daughter hits/bites/pushes. Bun is pretty aggressive; I think it comes with younger-child territory.

When Bun counted to 10 with me a couple of days ago, I was so surprised! One of the downsides of being a working-outside-the-home-mom is asking yourself often, “Where did she learn that?” Obviously, Bun picked it up at Day Care Lady’s. And, let’s face it, she probably hears me counting enough at home — to 3 or 5 before Monkey’s action will have a consequence, to 10 to keep my patience. That kind of thing.

The other adorable thing that Bun does is say “You’re welcome.” Whenever she asks for something and is given it, I say, “Say ‘thank you’, Bun.” She promptly responds, “Wel-bum” instead. Sometimes, “A-bum.” When she gets it right, after I tell her thank you for handing me something for example, she is very satisfied. “A-bum,” she’ll say smugly before darting off to her next adventure.

Cracks me up every time.

Finally, she has learned the word ‘monster’ and she knows what it means. I have, actually, been calling her a menace for awhile now — the way Bun cuts a swath of destruction through any room she occupies is quite impressive. After she bolts her dinner, she will happily declaim from her booster chair (we are retiring the high chair!), “I a mosster, mommy. RAHR!”

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A Monkey note: Lately, Monkey has been putting letters together, and asking me what word they make. I am trying to explain to her that any bunch of letters together doesn’t necessarily make a word (especially if there are no vowels). And I’ve been trying to show her how the letters she has picked, with the addition of a vowel or two, do spell out words.

For example, Bun picked out a set of bathtub letters at the toy store recently. Monkey lined up ‘F’ ‘S’ ‘U’ ‘T’ and ‘N’ during last night’s bath. “What’s that spell, Mommy?” she asked.

“Well,” I said. “That’s not a word. But we can make words with those letters.”

We spelled FUN and SUN. I spelled STUN, which was kind of dumb — how do you explain ‘stun’ to a 4-year-old? But I’m excited that she is interested in doing this, building words. It’s just so magical to me, the acquiring of language, of deciphering parts of the world around you. I don’t remember doing it myself — it just seemed that one day I was suddenly reading (I haven’t stopped!).

It’s so much fun to experience learning with my children, see the little lights go on when they figure something out. Stepping back and letting them figure it out for themselves can be a little more challenging, especially when Bun insists on putting on her own pants.

Frustration, like learning to read, is part of the growing-up process. I just wish it weren’t accompanied by so much screaming.