Saturday, September 5

The Smack Down


12:35 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, "Hello, Mrs. Hart?"

I had to stop a minute. Hmmm, no Marcella isn't here. Oh wait. That's me.

"Yes. This is Casey."

"Casey, this is Cheri from the elementary school."

And my heart skips a beat. The worry hackles go up. What's wrong? What's happened to my girls??

"We have Alex here in the Principal's office."

I remain silent.

"She's fine. She's here because there was an 'incident' on the playground. She punched a little boy in the chest, so she'll be here until the end of the day. The principal is at a meeting or he would have called you himself. He will 'deal with this' when he gets back." (That last part sounded a little ominous.)

Alex? Seriously? The girl who is "everybody's friend?"

"What? She HIT someone? What happened?" I say.

"Clearly she MUST have been provoked. Alex wouldn't just HIT someone. Not Alex," the protective mom voice echoes in my head. I, wisely, keep these thoughts to myself.

"Apparently they were all playing," Cheri explains, "and one of her friends said, 'Get all the boys out. Get all the boys off of our base!' So, Alex punched one of the boys. A second grader."

OK - is it wrong that a little piece of me was proud of her girl taking on the bigger boys?? OK, yes. Wrong.

I asked to speak with Alex on the phone, and she was sooo upset by the whole thing, I couldn't understand her through her tears.

"OK - babe. I'm coming down to the school so we can talk about it - OK? I'll be there in 10 minutes."

Once I got to the school, she looked at me with those big brown eyes, as sad as I've ever seen them, and began to cry again. I sat and held her until she calmed down enough to tell me what had happened, which was pretty much what Cheri had already told me.

It was one of those tough times in parenting when you really just want to let them off the hook. She was sad, embarrassed and clearly remorseful. She wanted me to take her home.

Sorry, sweetie. These are the lumps and you've got to take them. Consequences for poor choices. This is how we learn. Mommy's heart hurts for you - but it is what it is. Hitting is never OK.

So we sat and talked about why it was wrong, why hitting is never OK, and alternate choices that she can make in the future. Then I helped her write this note:
After school I spoke with her teacher and the principal, and they were as surprised as I that Alex ended up in the principal's office. Apparently there's been a run of "good kids gone bad" in the past week, so "we're not alone."

Hmmm, not sure that makes the situation any better, but it does make me wonder what's going on - as it does the principal apparently. A week of 95 degrees + may have something to do with it. But whatever it is - we don't want to see one of these again

After I told all of this to Dave and commiserated over the fall of our 'perfect child,' he asked, "After all that, did you tell her that sometimes 2nd grade boys are wusses? Especially when they get beat up by a little 1st grade girl?"

Yeah, I think a little piece of him was secretly proud of his tough little girl too.

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