Saturday, October 2, 2004

Following the Age of Reason...

Immediately after the Age of Reason seems to be the Age of Discontent.

Katherine has put herself in a circle of girls that shift alliances by the minute. It's infuriating and frustrating and, let's face it, annoying. Daily I hear the report of who is friends with who. Who is being mean, who's spying (on what? And why does spying need to go on... what're they doing?) who said this or that, blah blah blah.
I could pull my hair out, and she's only 8 years old.
Katherine came home "sick" from school on Thursday. I put that in quotes because I'm not sure what to believe from her at the moment. She hasn't been feeling well for the past couple weeks. A lot of headaches (see above as to my guess why, and the fact that she has takent to drinking almost nothing throughout the day... I'm remedying the latter as best I can, the former, well, read on), stomach aches and general "I don't feel good". Finally Thursday the nurse called from the clinic and I picked her up.
But then Rebecca came home and the "she saids" started. Katherine is apparently having serious issues with a classmate, but it's not who I expected and honestly what I'm hearing just doesn't jive well with what I thought these two kids were like. Then on Friday, the other girl told her mom that Katherine called her a really bad name and flicked her middle finger at her!
Anyone who knows Katherine up to now would say that's impossible. She's simply not like that. But it concerned the other mom enough to talk to Ian. Ian talked to me, then to Katherine. The mom talked to me today and now we're going to get the girls together tomorrow afternoon to hash this out.
Last year, issues like this would be worked out in the classroom during a teacher-led circle time. Mrs. Bayly worked hard to keep the classroom harmony and it showed. Whenever Katherine had an issue with a classmate she would come home a few days later and said it had been discussed and worked out and everyone was friends again. Mr. Gascon doesn't use that route and Katherine has mentioned several times that she and other girls have asked playground monitors to help them work out the problems and they're generally brushed off. I can see why, playground monitors have a lot to watch over. The homeroom teachers play such a pivotal role in how the class meshes that to have what seems like an oblivious leader isn't working for this age.
So tomorrow afternoon we see what's what by putting the two girls together with us next to them and figure out what's really going on. Last year they were great friends, this year they share a class again and the swim team, along with CCD on Wednesdays. Something is going on and we'll find out what.
Along that note, earlier this week we had a bedtime race and I gave the kids 10 minutes to do what they needed to do (go potty, brush teeth and change into PJs). They were done with three minutes to spare, pretty good! Of course I still asked if they'd all brushed and each assured me they had, but Katherine had a chocolate milk (don't ask) and said her teeth were probably dirty again from drinking that.
I happened to go to the bathroom to check the tap, push the stepstools back, etc. and I noticed the toothbrushes. All were wet... but Katherine's.
Now, the penalty for not having everything done (it was a test of cooperation as well) was that they wouldn't get stories. Everyone would get penalized, so it wasn't worth it, right? She said she was helping her brothers. Well....
She said she thought she would run out of time. I reminded her of the 3 minute warning and when she said she was done. I told her she could count to 30 while brushing her teeth and would know for certain that 30 seconds was less than 3 minutes and she would be done in plenty of time. She didn't have a response to that.
The last thing I pointed out, of course, was that lying was never acceptable. And in addition to that, no matter the lie I would either know or figure it out. Perhaps not immediately, but no lie would survive.
I'm disappointed in her at the moment. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

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