Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Long Walk

Last week I wrote about spending time in Happy's preschool class, and the awesome things the kids said, but also how they were all very concerned about have to "take the long walk" to the Principal's Office if they are behaving like little schmidtheads make a bad choice. When the teacher mentioned it, the room would actually hush. It's about a 40 yard stroll between their classroom door and the Principal's, but they can make it take about 27 minutes, what with all the dreading and feet dragging and impassioned pleas to not have to go.

I've seen kids have to make The Long Walk. Over my six years at the preschool, I've also had to take a few. Just not Happy.

Until. Today.

Hi, I'm Kate and my kid -- apparently -- is a biter.


We get him hustled off for school, complete with his Robin toy for Show 'n' Tell. When I get back home, I have three-and-a-half uninterrupted hours of Kate-time to get through e-mails, write something super funny for you guys, chat up Lydia, maybe throw in a load of laundry and generally be by myself for 200 minutes. And, now that McLovin and I have figured out his Stay-at-Home-Dad routine, he's decided that I'm not that interesting and he goes off to the driving range. Win/win.

Forty two minutes in, the phone rings. With a lovely voice on the other end telling me my son has gone off the freakin' reservation and now I have to come get him. Oh, and he can't come to school tomorrow. Policy.

And this is where all those years of Jack McCoy training come into play.

Me: Are you sure he bit someone?
School: Yes.
Me: How do you know?
School: The teacher said so.
Me: [crap, they have a witness] So, maybe they were just playing a game...
School: He has a bite mark on his finger.
Me: [shizzle...that's forensics] Is the kid OK? There's no broken skin, right?
School: He's fine.
Me: So, maybe Happy just allocutes and we all move on?
School: Preschool Penal Code 146.33.Subsection 4.
Me: [furkitty...precedent] Jack McCoy sucks. I'm on my way.

Go ahead and judge me, but I was equally pissed that my morning got blown to smithereens as I was that my kid made an appetizer of another boy's finger. I mean, he'd already had breakfast...not to mention that who knows where that finger had been.

On our way to the school, I get this text from our very kind, but sorta hardcore, Principal:
"So I asked Happy what happened and he very matter-of-factly said, 'he had the car, I wanted it, so I bit his finger. He had it for like a minute and I wasn't waiting.'"

Great. Now they have a confession too.

Happy is now not-so-happy, sitting on the sofa looking like Snoopy-as-a-Vulture. He's pissed at me that he doesn't get to do show-n-tell. He's pissed at me that he's not having snack right now with his friends. He's really pissed that he doesn't get to go back tomorrow, because tomorrow is the day they get to stay late and have lunch with the Teacher. And, he's arguing right now that losing his Wii privileges shouldn't be on the table, because the crime was committed at school and not at home.

Which actually makes me proud. He totally understands jurisdiction.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. Isn't it grand how YOU really end up being the one punished?

  2. off the reservation is a racial slur. i doubt you meant it to be offensive, because i have been reading your blog for a while and i love you guys and you don't seem like assholes, but i just thought i'd pass it on in the hopes that you might remove it from your lexicon.
    great blog!

  3. It's also a political term that's used quite widely. I've never heard it called a racial slur before. Mentally noting.

  4. Bonfire of my Vanity is right, you might be better off using "he went rogue" (although I hate that it invokes *that woman*) or something similar.

    Otherwise hysterical and yeah, I'd be ticked about losing my quiet time too.

  5. Kate, very funny! But I am dreading the time that my child enters pre-school and kindergarten. She has a mind of her own. And, personally, I don't think you should change a thing about the way to guys express yourselves on YOUR OWN BLOG!!! I am tired of everyone finding something offensive in every word that comes out of our mouths. I'm Irish-Scots. And a red-head. There's lots you could do with that, but instead of getting upset, I would put on my big-girl panties and enjoy the blog itself instead of focusing on one phrase or sentence. Anyway, great job and keep 'em coming!

  6. Do they seriously give you two days out for biting at a preschool? Seriously?

  7. My kids blame me for EVERYTHING. Off topic..did you see the news where the mom is suing her kid's preschool because they ruined her 4 year olds chances at an Ivy League School? She wasn't happy the kid was learning shapes and colors and the alphabet. WTF!!!!!!!

  8. Argh -- so funny that this is the topic, as I just got the call from the Vice Principal that my son (4th grade) is in the office for "making bad choices". This is the first time this has happened. Ugh. Who did he attack?? His little sister! On the way from the bus to the school -- she was being "mean" to him during the bus ride. Sigh.

    Even better?? The phone call came through just as the Sheriff's Deputy was pulling away from my house -- someone broke into my garage over night. Hopefully the day can only get better . . .

  9. Make Happy watch this until he cracks.

    Also, while Bonfire is correct, I do want to point out you guys totally get the benefit of the doubt because you don't actually live near a reservation, and wouldn't know that. Also, you are about five shades of awesome, so its cool.

  10. And saying someone doesn't "SEEM" like an asshole isn't offensive? Geesh.

  11. Also, an ammendment--now that I'm an adult and have embraced and controlled my attachment issues, I do enjoy biting one of my friends...the one I married.

  12. Although this may be a little strange coming from an "uber-liberal" (according to my approaching right-wing friends), I'm agreeing with SPratt and falling on the side of the First Amendment. It is your blog, and while I may not agree with every turn of phrase you use, I will defend your right to say it. Blogs are like TV -- if you don't like the programming, you have the right to not view it. ;)

    And more on topic, The Big One and The Little One are, right now, sitting in my office staring at me. Because on their unsupervised day at home yesterday (this week is Spring Break), they decided that shooting Nerf Targets IN MY DINING ROOM was a bright idea. So much for the idea that The Big One was old enough to babysit for more than an hour at a time... *sigh*

  13. Yes, he definitely needs more Yo Gabba Gabba in his life. 'Bite bite bite? No no no! Don't, don't, don't bite your friends!"

    And aren't you glad you don't 'seem' like much of an asshole?

  14. Oh good Lord! People, you need to lighten up. The world is too damn PC as it is. And Kate and Lydia are too damn funny and talented for the rest of you to think you need to censure them. If they say something you don't like, then don't read!

    Hilarious post! I'd be pissed about giving up my "me-time" too. Seriously, it's not like you're going to get that time back!

  15. We're cool with being told we don't seem like assholes. SERIOUSLY. It's sort of awesome. And for the record, we had no idea there was any issue with that phrase.
    xo, Lydia

  16. Too funny, my oldest would have missed most of preschool if they had that policy. He was the biter. I get pissed if they invade on "my time" too. My mom says it is because I am not flexible. Whatever!

  17. I absolutely love love love this blog! And this blog post in particular! :)

    Oh and you PC people need to get a grip! Really now... *sighs* As Cindy said, if you don't like it, don't read it! <3

  18. Oh man there needs to be a "like" button on blogs...

  19. I haven't gotten the call about biting yet, but I did get a call about my daughter clawing another girls face because she said they weren't friends.... ironically they get along great now. I can't believe the 2 day rule though, my daughter drew blood and they didn't even ask me to pick her up because it was the first offense, I was just handed a not when I got her that day and told if it happened again we would have a problem. My daughter is usually very docile, but kinda looses it when she gets upset, I live in fear of the "biting" phone call :)
    Oh and most turns of phrase don't have the most polite beginnings. No matter what you do or say, someone somewhere will get offended. I think you guys do a great job and wouldn't change a thing :)

  20. Two days for biting? No blood? Did he at least leave little tooth impressions?
    What's the second day for? Lab results on the rabies check?
    If he could articulate an argument wherein his immediate requirement of the car was sufficiently expressed, he would.
    Alas, he cannot.
    So he expressed his desire in the most obvious way possible: he bit the kid...I'll bet he got the car, too.

    Oh, and, don't EVEN get me started on all the PC crapola. Suffice it to say @Cindy: AMEN sister! This is a forum for speaking our minds WITHOUT editing. Sometimes, it's okay to be an asshole.

  21. HA! I once witnessed my nephew (about 3 or 4 at the time) sitting on the floor in front of his GREAT AUNT, who (wearing sandals) had crossed her legs. Her toe was just at his teeth-level.

    He sized up the toe, decided that yes, it looked appetizing, and opened up his mouth and poised his sharp little chompers when JUST then, my mom snatched him up in her arms.

    I totally wish he had bitten her.
    ---kate in michigan

  22. My 18 month old was kicked out of daycare for biting. He was biting the kid that would slap his face and shove his hand in my kid's mouth. I asked if the other kid was being punished and they told me they "don't have a policy against slapping." Dumb kid should stop slapping and shoving his hand in my kid's mouth! (Happy ending is we found a much better daycare, and he never bit again!)

  23. How about this Maude face?

  24. 1. I hate those calls. And the walk of shame. Sigh. Had a bit of one today, so thanks for the laugh. I so feel you, but not in a creepy way :P

    2. My daughter is too old for YoGabbaGabba, so I've never seen it before-- why, oh why, does the biter look like a one eyed angry cucumber?

  25. I love, love, love that you tried to argue Happy's way out of it! I think it's better to have the biter than the kid who asks to see everyone's private parts during potty time...

  26. I'm so glad I'm not the only one this has happened to! My 2.5 year old has started biting and is the first to confess the crime. Make it stop!! Your preschool seems hard core! My kiddo gets a time out and I get the look of shame from the teachers.

  27. Kathy T - "What's the second day for? Lab results on the rabies check?" - THAT IS HILARIOUS!
    I've never heard of a first offense biting resulting in a 2 day suspension. That's one tough school ya got there.
    Y'all say whatever you want. It's your party, we're just the guests - and free to leave when we're ready. :) I've never heard of the phrase before, but what do I know.

  28. As the mother of a 2.5 yr old that was bit.... two days is a bit extreme...

    Great blog. Love you guys!!!

  29. Love how people assume a phrase means something it does not mean, without looking it up. It has nothing to do with that kind of reservation and assuming it does only makes YOU seem like jackholes... It's more meaning without reservation, which has a few meanings also....




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