Monday, December 8, 2008

Kindergarten Nightmare

When our oldest daughter was in kindergarten, she told me she wanted to kill an old man we knew because it was time for him to die. After the initial freak out over raising a sociopath, I discovered this was a delayed reaction to the death of her beloved 13-year-old dog. Licorice had been in the throws of advanced stage cancer, so we'd put him out of his misery. If the pets we cherish get "put to sleep" when ill, why not people? Her daddy and I explained the difference between animals and people, at least as far as laws and society. It took some time, talking and tears, but our little girl eventually accepted that her black, furry snuggle buddy would never come home, and we can't choose when a human being's "time is up."

Sarai told me that her five-year-old son, normally a mellow boy by nature, started off this kindergarten year by smashing a banana into another boy's back. He ended up in the principal's office the first week of school! An only child, her little one spends most of his time with adults. Please and thank you roll off his tongue, and he gets a kick out of helping with family chores. But other kids can be so frustrating. They sometimes don't answer his questions, or they push their way in front of him in line. His mommy, daddy and the teacher met with him to set some ground rules and teach this little guy elementary school etiquette. Sarai worried she was a terrible parent, so I told her about our kindergarten nightmare - and she laughed.

Share a favorite story, so the rest of us might giggle a bit in remembering that kids do strange things, and it's not the end of the world.