One evening in December as we are getting ready to go to bed, The Wiz (4) comes up to me in the laundry room acting really sad and twirling the side of her hair like she does when she’s upset. The following dialogue takes place:
“Mommy, am I the Christmas loser?”
“What? Who told you that? If Sensei told you that she is going to be in big trouble.”
“Mrs.Y said I was.” (Mrs. Y is her preschool teacher)
I raise my eyebrow, “Mrs. Y did not say you were a loser.
“Yes she did and April even saw it and said it too. It made me sad.”
“Wiz, what are you talking about?”
“I can show you, it is in my bag and then I had to have a time-out.”
By this time I am really confused on what is going on, my kid was supposedly called a loser in preschool by her teacher and a fellow student, it wasn’t adding up and I wasn’t sure which 50% of this story was the truth and which part was fiction.
“What do you mean it is in your bag?”
“It is on my paper.”
“Go get your backpack and let me see.”
She runs off, ready to prove to me that she is dead serious. She returns to me with a worksheet and quickly puts it in my hands. I am fully prepared to seek justice if needed.
“See!” She jabs her finger at an ink stamp impression on the worksheet.
“That?” I point and ask for clarification that we are indeed looking at the same thing.
“Yes, that says loser. April said Mrs. Y said I was a loser and told everyone else too. April is five you know and she can read.”
“Honey, that is not what that says. Mrs. Y would never call you a loser. That stamp says, HO-HO-HO. It is a Christmas stamp, like how Santa Claus says HO-HO-HO. It does not say LOSER. April was not telling you the truth. Baby, I’m sorry she said that. Why did you have to sit in time out? Did you hit her when she said that?”
“No” tears start to fall out of her little blue eyes. “April went and told on me and I had to sit in time-out.”
“Why would you have to sit in time out?”
She shrugs her shoulders.
“I told her I wasn’t going to be her friend anymore and she started to cry and Mrs. Y said I had to apologize.”
“Did you tell Mrs. Y that what April had said?”
“Did you apologize?”
“No.” (How wrong is it of me that I actually felt glad about this?)
“You just sat in time-out?”
Needless to say, lots of esteem building and coddling occurred after this conversation and I did let Mrs. Y know The Wiz’s version. I explained to Wiz about not saying mean things back just because someone says them to you but it was more difficult trying to explain the difference between being a tattletale and standing up to tell the truth. This isn’t my first kid or my first time around the preschool block by any means so I was fully prepared for April’s mom (a newcomer to the preschool world) to come my way expecting an apology from me on Wiz’s part. Thankfully that didn’t happen because as nice as I would have been about explaining the situation, there wouldn’t have been an apology.