Our newly turned 7 year old was saying shit on the playground at school, and by “shit” I don’t mean stuff; I mean, he actually yelled the word “shit” from the top of a snowbank on the playground, prompting me to write my first crazy mom email as a public school teacher in the same district. It went a little like this: “I know you are very busy, but if you haven’t had a chance to speak to Carver in your office, please do so on Monday…as parents, we are totally okay if you make him cry…” But seriously, back in the day, his name would have come over the loud speaker in this super strict voice, “Carver Krill, please report to the office.” And his peers would have turned their heads at breakneck speed, little looks of horror across their faces, whispering, “Dude, what did you do? Oh, my, God (obviously, there was no OMG back in the day) you have to go to the PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE.”
For those of you wondering what I could possibly have been sent to the office for in elementary school–shocking, I realize– we had these reading logs our parents had to sign. I felt like my mom’s signature was too messy, so I erased and signed her name again, thereby making the appearance of a forgery. Nice. Needless to say, one trip to the principal’s was all I needed never to make another one. Of course, I want him to like his principal, which he does, but I also would prefer that he REVERE her and, yes, maybe also be just a tiny bit afraid of having to go to her office for anything beyond a note delivery.
Apparently, the “event” had taken place on Thursday, but as I worked late at school that night for our Poetry Out Loud competition, he held onto these details until Friday after school. The guilt got to him. Or maybe he was worried that I would hear from the principal over the weekend. Either way, I’m glad his conscience felt the need to come clean first. So the weekend didn’t get off to a great start as there were consequences, but I reinforced how he did the right thing by telling us the truth. It would be worse for him if he had lied.
When Carver was two, I dropped an open bag of frozen corn on the kitchen floor. It was a large bag and kernels flew everywhere. I yelled, “Shit” and then I cried because there were just so many pieces of corn. Everywhere. For weeks following, Carver would purposely drop his toys on the kitchen floor and yell, “Shit” and smile, looking right into my soul. He thought he was hilarious. Even then. The books all told me not to make a big deal about it; don’t draw any attention to the language, they told me; he is experiencing with sounds and how they feel. Yes, I understand that. But he is seven now, and those same rules don’t apply. Sort of.
About a month ago, he asked what other letters were in the F word. I told him there were a lot of F words, and I wasn’t sure which one he meant.
“Mom, I think I know it now.”
“I think the F word is Fockly. Fockly sockly dockly. Fockley rocky. Fockly. Does that sound right?”
Sigh. Fockly is fun to say even if it isn’t the F word he seeks. It’s just a matter of time before he learns it from somewhere; he may know it now and just waiting to bust it out in a timely fashion. So I’m apologizing now. I’m sorry our kid is the one obsessed with the words we aren’t supposed to say. Oh, you heard about the language issue in the first grade? Heard it’s the English teacher’s kid. That would be me.
His high energy is clearly inherited from both parents, but defiance? Clearly in the gene pool, but just not directly passed along from his parents. Personally, I blame the genetics of my brother, his Uncle Greg, my mother’s brother Uncle Gordon, and Geoff’s sister, Auntie Allison. Yet, each time he tests my patience, I fast forward to the day when he is 15 and imagine what that is going to look like. Today we argued about whether he was old enough to ride the chair lift without a buddy. I was not skiing with him because I had carved out some hiking time for myself on the other side of the mountain. He only had to wait 7 minutes until his coach came out for ski school, but no, he turned, looked me the eye, and said, “Mom, I’m taking the chair lift up. You can’t stop me. I’ll be back in a minute.”
For a split second, I watched him ski over to the lift line and then I morphed into that crazy lady in public– the one flailing in the snow to yank him physically out of that line. At 70 pounds, he is not easy to yank. But I latched onto the back of his jacket and pulled back with all my might, contemplating about what whether the consequence should be no skiing for him today for flat out ignoring our a safety rule. A lovely, empathetic mom in line, smiled knowingly, and said, “Here are his poles,” which in my mad dash to cause a scene, I did not notice had been abandoned as Carver wondered if this would be his last hour on earth. But it was only a fleeting second because as I’ve previously mentioned, I had carved out time for MYSELF to hike the mountain this morning, and I was not about to give that up. His coach Tim waved over to Carver and it was like a switch clicked, “Sorry, Mom, I’m good now. See you later!”
And well, I’m good now too, after skinning up South Peak by myself, enjoying a little time alone in my woods. Happy Monday…Have a great week everyone…
Also, my goal for the New Year is one True North Event a month. January was Profile School; February will be Lisbon Regional; March is Academy for Science Design in Nashua, and April is Nashua South High School– Whoop Whoop. Who wants May…come on, you know you want May…