I don't even know where to begin this post.
Every day when I pick him up from school, and then again around the dinner table, Pooter gets grilled on his day at school.
How was your day, honey?
Did you have to change your card?
Who did you play with?
What was the best part of your day?
Did you learn anything new?
What activity did you do today?
I know kids, and boys especially, are infamous for the monosyllabic answers when confronted with questions About Their Day. But Pooter has always been a super-expressive child, so when he says, "Good," I just can't take it.
I want to know what book he checked out from the library.
I want to know if that little girl he loves still loves him back.
I want to know that he is eating all of the lunch that I send.
I want to know if he is ignoring the mean kid who made fun of him for dancing in line.
I want to know it all.
Rarely, and most often when I am not pushing him, Pooter gives us fantastic glimpses into his day. His eyes wander, and his speech pattern becomes more rhythmic, and he begins to recount some adventure from that day.
We were treated with such a story last week. I wish I'd written it down right then (that is probably #3 on my list if Things I Wish- that I would be better about writing things down immediately), but I don't think I've forgotten much.
As is routine, Pooter's daddy asked him how his day was. Poot danced around the subject for a while, before he firmly placed his palms on the dinner table and began his tale:
Poot: "Well. There is one boy who was mean to me."
Dad: "What? Who is this mean boy?"
Poot: "He's a 7 year old, but he's in Kindergarten, like me."
Mom: "Well, what did he do that was mean?"
Poot: "He punched me. A lot of times."
Mom: "He punched you?!"
Poot (more animated): "Yes! He punched my stomach, and my ear, and my underarms!"
Mom: (chokes on and possibly spews iced tea) (tries so hard not to laugh, and fails)
Dad: "He punches your underarms!!"
Poot: "Yes! Him and his brother!"
Mom: "His brother punches you too?"
Poot: "Yes!! His brother looks just like him! AND he punches me!"
Dad: "How old is his brother? Is it a twin brother?"
Poot: "Um... YES! Yes, it is his twin brother. And he punches me!!"
Mom: "Are there any teachers around during this punching? Like, do they see you being punched?"
Poot: (both exasperated and excited) "Yes! They see these two brothers, and they are punching me, and the teachers don't do anything to stop it!"
Mom: (still really cracking up at the idea of a kid bully punching my son in the armpit)
Dad: "Well, what do you think you can say to these, um, twins to make them not punch you?"
Poot: "Please don't punch me in my ear and armpit. Or step on my feet."
Mom: "They step on your feet too??"
Poot: "Sometimes they do."
Dad: "Well, you just make sure a teacher sees them doing this, and that a teacher makes them stop, because I'd hate to come to your school and beat up some kids."
Poot: "Well, I think I just won't play with them any more."
Mom: "That's a really good idea. Now, go put your pajamas on, please."
Dad: (after Pooter's walked away) "I didn't believe a word of it."
Mom: "Me neither."
Later as we rehashed the scene, I was cracking up all over again. I know my boy. If I had for even one second believed that some kid, let alone two, was beating up on my son, I'd been in momma-bear mode. But, I know my son has an amazing imagination. And I know he is a great storyteller. And I know he has a tendency to insert things he's read/seen/heard into his real life. We could have stopped his story, lectured him (for the gonzillianth, and nowhere near final, time) on telling the truth, we could have reminded him of his school's policy on bullying, we could have ignored it completely, but we just enjoyed it. We let him tell his tale. We will correct him another day.
Jeremy said that the whole time he was expecting Pooter to say, "Yeah... That's the ticket!"