Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Hound Dogs

So I've been worrying a bit about my "big" girl.

Her teacher thinks I'm nuts. She also thinks I'm sweet and nice. She even hugged me. Still, she thinks I'm nuts.

Yes, I've been told by EVERYONE that first grade is a HUGE transition for kids. With the longer hours, three recesses, and more intense work (yes, it can be intense in first grade!), they become tired, weepy, and moody. It's normal to be exhausted when beginning first grade, and my daughter shouldn't be the exception. I don't expect that at all. Believe me, Tired, Weepy, and Moody have all paid a visit to our house this week, and honestly, I wouldn't worry about it that much had we not moved. If she were still going to the old school, any crying, anxiety, nerves, or worries she experienced would be just blown off as part of the normal transition that becoming a big kid requires. I get it. Really, I do, but ...

I just can't get over the move, and I worry that it could be worse for her than I thought. My girl has cried. I've cried. We've both had serious meltdowns, all because she almost missed a bus, thought she did miss a bus, went to school at the wrong time, took longer than anyone else to complete the homework, and wasn't able to sit with the neighbor girl because she did miss the bus! It's been a crazy week. Obviously, since I asked my 18-year-old nephew if he would mind contacting the local crack dealer at his high school to see if he could hook me up with some recreational drugs. I tried to convince my nephew that getting high might make me a better parent, but he wasn't convinced. He also didn't think I was very funny.

In the end, Big Girl's teacher has assured me that she is fine at school. She laughs, talks, does her work well, and even smiles and bats her eyes at a certain boy. The teacher has also told me repeatedly that kids are resilient and have to learn to be tough. She's also reminded me that I can "give her wings, but she has to learn to fly." True. Still, I was worried. Until today.

Apparently, a girl from her class who "acts nice when the teacher is around but is SUPER sassy when the adults leave" was quite mean on the playground. In fact, she allegedly said to my little lady, "Your shirt is green and brown. It's ugly, and I hate it."

When Big Girl told me this, I said, "What did you say?

BG: Nothing.

Me: Why not?

BG: (shrugs, says nothing)

Me: Well, you should have said something like, "If you don't like my shirt, don't look at it." Or maybe something like, "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all." You know what I mean?

BG: (shrugs, says nothing)

Me: I mean, you can't just do nothing. You have to stick up for yourself. Don't just stand there and let someone tell you that your shirt is ugly.

BG: (hesitates, then sighs) Well, I did do something.

Me: Good! What did you do?

BG: I flicked her.

Me: Flicked her? Like, with your finger?

BG: (blushing and smiling simultaneously) Yeah. I just reached out and flicked her on her shoulder. And she scowled at me and walked off.

Well, obviously I had to control myself from laughing and cheering at the same time. I was so proud of her because she doesn't often defend herself from the "sassy" people, yet this time she flicked someone! I did tell her later that she probably shouldn't flick someone because she could get in trouble for "assaulting" another student, but still, I was thrilled after our week of tears and worries, to hear that she might just be capable of sticking up for herself. And the best part of it was: she had comrades right beside her as she flicked away on Miss Clothing Critic! One of them said, "Well, I like your shirt." And the other one, well, he threatened to punch the Clothing Critic! That's all beside the point. The point is, the Big Girl might have a couple of friends!

One little boy (who is fluent in French and Spanish) teaches her Spanish at recess. Another little girl just moved here from Texas and owns horses. And the other one threatened to dethrone the "Monkey Bars Club."

Since you're wondering, the Monkey Bars Club consists of a group of first grade boys who sit on the bars and refuse to let anyone pass. Unless of course, you decide to "hang on them and do it anyway, which is what you just do." Again, this is all beside the point. The point is ... 1) There is a club. 2) They have rules. And 3) Big Girl and her friends have not only found each other (for today anyway), but they stuck together to defend their clothing preferences and rights to use the monkey bars! Yes, they've formed an alliance! They're buds. Chums. Peeps. Bitches. Call them what you want, what's important, is that for today, she had someone at her new school, and I cannot even begin to tell you how happy that makes me!

How did this all end today? Well, Big Girl and her new possible friends have created their own club. Mind you, it is a club that anyone can belong to, unless you are sassy. If you have a sassing problem, you can still be in the club, but you'll be asked not to sass. The name of this club ...the Hound Dogs. Why? "Because we all have dogs." Oh, and they're all bringing them to school on Thursday! That should be fun!

Anyway, the whole point of this post is that even though I had to drag it out of her, she admitted that school could be okay someday and that maybe, just maybe, she might have made a friend. Nothing is set in stone of course, which means we'll both be sobbing about something else next week, but still, the Hound Dogs were at it today, and that thrills me to no end.

Miles to Run: I give up. Perhaps next week?
What I'm reading: The Book Thief
Current Food Addiction: Pop Tarts


Bellatrix said...

Wow. Hound Dogs. That is positively brilliant. I just knew she had it in her! No need to worry about her.

You on the other hand.... maybe Paxil, Prozac, Vodka???

Miss Viola Bookworm said...

It's all good, Bellatrix. It's all good. Now that the Hound Dogs are in effect, I'm cool. For now anyway.

By the way, the Hound Dogs are getting jackets that say something like, "Woof Woof" on the back. How brilliant is that?