The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Flashback Friday!

I know I've been busy this week, but is it really Friday, again? Reeeeally? Don't get me wrong, I'm all ABOUT it being the weekend. It's just that...well...I haven't really thought much about a Flashback Friday! this week. But, I know some of you are expecting to be Flashed! Hmmmmm. Let me think. How about a little something short and sweet from the Mom Vault?

As amazing as it sounds to me, [Kid 1] is about two weeks from having her one year anniversary with her significant other. It's hard to believe that my 17 year old could have been dating anyone that long. Given her history prior to this relationship, one twelfth of that span would have been a record.

Now, as she's making plans and feeling romantic and sentimental, looking back over her relationship, it has me remembering a long ago conversation...

Many years ago, I was a mom to two, two, two daughters, not three. I was working full-time, married to a man who was working full-time, and the girls were in daycare. [Kid 1], who was four at the time, was always (still is) a much more gregarious person. [Kid 2] (18 months her sister's junior) was much more the introspective child.

Generally, speaking, they got along well with others and I never had any of the trouble at the daycare that I know many parents do. No fights. No disrespecting their caretakers. I was lucky, I guess.

There was a day, though, (I guess you saw that coming, didn't you?) when I got a call. The daycare director wanted me to come in for a conference. She didn't want to go into specifics, but indicated that the mother of another child had brought a concern to her about my oldest. She thought it might be appropriate for all of us to sit down together. Of course, I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what my kid could have done. As I agreed to be there later that day, all kinds of options starting playing their way through my mind. None of them in the 'simple misunderstanding' category. I'm far more creative than that.

Now this was back in the day when their dad didn't do meetings or conferences or daycare pick-up/delivery or any of that stuff, or I'd have been very tempted to shirk this off on him. Very tempted. In the end, I did what I always did. I sucked it up and dealt with it. Whether I wanted to or not.

I tried not to think about the impending doom of the situation (and yeah, I was that dramatic about it) all day at work. When I was finally on my way to the daycare, I had decided that my kid was only four. And four year olds make mistakes. We love them. We guide them. We teach them. They make less mistakes next time. The daycare didn't say anything about police involvement, or ask me if I had connections with the governor or anything. How bad could it be?

The children were not invited to the meeting. At least not initially. It was the director, the 'teacher' in the four year old room, me and the other child's mother. The other child was a four year old boy, named Brandon. Brandon was a cute little fella, but I'd honestly never paid all that much attention to him. I hadn't realized [Kid 1] had either. Then again, she was friends with everyone.

The meeting went something like this:

DIRECTOR: I want to thank you both for making the time to come in and talk today. We certainly want to work to make all the children feel comfortable in their surroundings. Brandon's mother has come to us with a concern and we're hoping that parental intervention will resolve the issue. I'm going to let Sally talk to you about the specifics now.

SALLY: Brandon's mother has an issue with [Kid 1] constantly kissing her son. Apparently, this has been going on for weeks. We hadn't noticed it, but everytime the two of them are alone together, they are kissing. We don't believe anything further has occurred, but in an abundance of caution, we feel it best to keep them separate and ask that you speak to your children.

ME: My daughter has been kissing your son? Awww!(see, I'm still thinking that's sweet...crazy me)

BRANDON'S MOM: Yes. And it needs to stop or I'll have to remove my son from this daycare.

ME: Is she doing it against his will or something? Is she threatening him? (I couldn't imagine it, but given the tone, I had to ask.)

SALLY: No. No. She's not doing it 'maliciously'. It appears that she is not aware that kissing is inappropriate.

ME: Kissing is inappropriate?

BRANDON'S MOM: Four year olds kissing is inappropriate and I don't want my son involved in it.

(Now, see, I had gotten myself all worked up thinking that my daughter was poking someone with a stick or saying mean things about them or something like that. But no. She was kissing a little boy. And he liked it. Oh, the humanity!)

DIRECTOR: It's important that the children understand and respect each other's personal space. This sort of thing could lead to other children exhibiting this type of behavior.

(Yeah...ewww! I totally see what you mean.)

ME: Okay, let me say that I'll talk to my daughter. I don't want to create a problem for Brandon here. But we are all aware that two four year old children kissing is not a big thing, right?

BRANDON'S MOM: It's HIGHLY inappropriate.

ME: Okay. Can I talk to [Kid 1] now?

SALLY: Certainly. Let me get her for you.

So, as everyone leaves and [Kid 1] comes in, I'm left with the reality that I have to have a talk with my child about why kissing is wrong. The thought of diminishing the sprite in her made me sad. In fact, I've tried to let my girls hold onto that part of themselves always.

ME: Hi, Sweetie! Did you have fun today?

[KID 1]: Hi, Mommy! Is it time to go home?

ME: In a minute. I need to talk to you about something first, okay?

[KID 1]: Okay.

ME: I had to come and talk to Sally and Brandon's mom today. Do you know why?

[KID 1]: Nope.

ME: Sally and Brandon's mommy said you two have been doing a lot of kissing lately.

[KID 1]: Yeah.

ME: So, what's all this smooching about anyway?

[KID 1]: Well, Brandon said if I kissed him, he'd get me a Barbie car. And I really want a Barbie car.

(Okay, this was going to be a whole different discussion than I thought...)

ME: [Kid 1], I don't want you to think kissing is bad. Because it's not. Kissing is nice. But Brandon's mommy doesn't like you doing it with Brandon. She thinks Brandon is too little to be kissing girls yet. So, you shouldn't do it with him anymore, okay. Because, we don't want to get Brandon in trouble, right? And Sally says that there's no kissing at daycare, okay?

[KID 1]: Okay. ::pause:: But what about the Barbie car?

ME: Yeah, that's the more important issue to me, too. You see, kissing is nice when you're kissing someone you like. You don't kiss someone just because you want something, especially merchandise, from them. That makes kissing wrong. I know that's hard for you to understand right now, and that's okay, because you've got a LONG time until you need to worry much about this stuff, but we don't give boys affection so that we can get something back from them. It makes the whole thing a lot more tawdry. So. Kissing is good, when it's with someone you like, and it's not because they've promised you a Barbie car, but we're not going to kiss Brandon at the daycare anymore. Get it? (I hope)

[KID 1]: Okay. ::pause:: So, do you get a Barbie car?

ME: You save up your allowance and buy your OWN Barbie car. You don't need anyone else for that. Now let's go get your sister and go home. Okay?

Ahhh, motherhood. There is, quite literally, never a dull moment. Especially when your four year old is selling herself for a Barbie car...;)



Blogger AaA said...

Did Brandon's mom ever learn that her son was pimpin'?

Wow. Now that is hilarious. Still, it was good that you nipped that prostitution ring in the bud.

7/24/2006 1:33 PM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

I'm not sure, Nate. I don't think I ever spoke with her again. She never did yank her kid out of daycare, but I'd like to note FOR THE RECORD, that her son's reputation in grade school was the stuff of legends. He was a playground lothario and his conquests (however innocent) numbered in the HIGH double digits (and briefly included my middle daughter as well).

As for my oldest...well...she's gotten all of that boy-kissing stuff out of her system. At least that's what she tells me.

7/24/2006 2:28 PM  

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