I’m hardly ever about violence, but yesterday when Deaglan told me that one of his teachers said he was silly because he had a doll in his backpack I pictured one of those first scenes from Fight Club where Brad Pitt is beating the snot out of Edward Norton. Well I’m not implying I’d be pretty enough to be the female version of Brad Pitt in my scenario – not him in Legends of the Fall anyway. Possibly Kalifornia meets Burn after Reading.
Any-whoo, where was I?
“Mommy it hurt my heart that she said I was silly,” he cried in his froggy little voice.
We’d put Baby in his backpack on Sunday night for the letter B’s Show and Share. Last week we got a schedule of who would bring their toy on what day for the letter A. This week there was no note. Worried that he might not be prepared for his turn – that I’d somehow missed the note, I told him to take Baby out only when it was his turn.
I’ll be honest; I don’t know what went down between him and the teacher. He’s three and a half after all, and as proud as we are of how articulate he is, there are still times when we’re not sure if we understand each other.
It’s the third time though, in the three short weeks of Big Kid School that he’s mentioned something worrisome a teacher has said. In the first week a teacher allegedly told him he wasn’t allowed to eat his whole wheat fusili noodles – that he should eat his ham instead and in the second week he was told not to eat the nut-free chocolate cookie we sent, the reason being it was unhealthy and wouldn’t help him grow.
Each time, I waited for my murderous rage to subside before sending a lovely note, gently asking what the hell was up. The noodle thing is still a mystery but the teacher wrote back that she encouraged the kids to choose healthy snacks for the morning recess - save treats for the afternoon.
Okay fine, but ixnay on ootingshay the parents down-ay for their choice in snacks.
So I chose my words carefully this morning when I wrote an explanation of why my son had a doll in his backpack. I didn’t demand to know why someone had accused him of being silly, didn’t throw around terms like sexist discrimination and gender profiling.
The last thing I need is to inadvertently shine a spotlight on Deaglan or for anyone to think they are dealing with the Nut of all mothers. I fully expect he’ll come to that conclusion on his own right around the time he turns fourteen.
But I will say this: I never knew how deeply each assault to his feelings would wound mine.