I was waiting by the door as the bus pulled around our circle drive. I love seeing the their faces as L and B jump off the bottom step and run towards the house.
I opened the storm door and hollered out, "Hey guys! How was your day?!"
They rushed past me in a hurry to get inside, not stopping to fling their shoes and boots off their feet. Both voices started telling me about bits and pieces of their day.
B's voice was the loudest as I heard him say, "I almost got an X out."
You see, in kindergarten, each child is given a slip of paper daily with their name on it, as well as clip art respective to each month. The parent is to sign the slip of paper and return it to the teacher the next day. If the child has misbehaved that day, they get their clip art crossed out or "an X out" so that the parent knows there was an issue and to "encourage" the child to do better.
B had never received "an X out" but had apparently almost gotten one that day.
I asked him what had happened.
He told me that he was talking when he shouldn't have.
(It was at this point I started having flashbacks of my time in grade school and the amount of time spent standing by the wall at recess watching all the other kids play. Doing time for the crime of talking..... So unfair and unjust.)
I asked B how he had avoided the dreaded "X out"? He told me that he had cried all day and that instead of getting "an X out" he had sacrificed 5 minutes of recess.
(Cue more flashbacks...)
I wondered out loud why he would rather miss recess than have "an X out"? I explained that although I would have NEVER gotten in trouble for talking in class, he wasn't going to be in trouble for a one time occurrence. I would have just reminded him to follow the rules and listen to instructions and always be on his best behavior.
(Alright, so I left out the part about having "never" gotten in to trouble.)
(I am pretty sure he already knew.)
After our talk, he went on his way, seemingly unscarred from the days events.
It was Saturday evening before other details were revealed to me........
As we were finishing up our meal at Fazoli's with Aunt Sissy, I was talking to Sarah about B and L and their week. I brought up that he had apparently gotten out of having an "X out".
It was at this time that L filled us on her side of the story revealing that she had found her brother out in the hallway crying, apparently on his way to get a tissue.
She comforted him and sent him back to class.
We laughed at B's distress over an X. Apparently encouraged by our light-heartedness, it was then that he fed us a few, previously forgotten, details:
I am unsure if it was asked, or if the teacher offered it, but he was given the option of losing 5 minutes of recess.....contingent on a class vote.
Yes. A class vote.
Oh, the drama my son creates.
(I don't know where he gets that from either!)
The class unanimously voted that B should be able to trade the "X" for recess time.
Then....and I am using B's words......"comes the dumb part".
The whole class gave B a hug.
I don't know about B, but from my perspective, it seems like it would have been much easier to have received a lecture on "best behavior" and to have heard how his mother NEVER got into trouble, than it would be to cry "all day", lose 5 minutes of recess and endure hugs from each classmate.....
But, then again, what do I know?
I never even had the option of "an X out".