Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Curses Part 2


I realize it's probably not the best idea to start a blog post about cursing with those letters, but WTF?!?

First of all, as soon as I typed WTF, the "Enter" button on my keyboard stopped working, so now I can't start a new paragraph without adding HTML code for spaces and returns. HTML is not my strong point, so this should be interesting.

Ha! So far so good. Take that computer!!

No, wait, I take that back. Now the up, down, left, and right arrows have stopped working, too. Maybe I shouldn't taunt the computer until I finish writing this. After all, this computer is older than Pink P and the equivalent in computer years to a crotchety old man.

Anyway, what I started to say is that today, Pink P came home with a "Red Card Report." I'm sure many of you are familiar with the preschool discipline green, yellow, red card system where kids are supposed to aim for the green, learn from the yellow, and avoid the red. Since she's still in preschool, we try not to put too much emphasis on the school's seemingly hyper focus on the rules. We believe preschool is a time for kids to learn to love school, to play with friends, and to start picking up some pre-kindergarten skills.

Still, from time to time, Pink P finds herself in the red. I'd expect nothing less from a kid who loves to talk, hug, and do whatever she darn well pleases. When she comes home with a red card, I remind her of the "three school promises": 1) follow directions, 2) keep your hands to yourself, and 3) talk to the teacher when there is a situation you don't feel like you can handle on your own. Maybe I should do more, but I can't begin to imagine what that might be.

[Okay, now there's a random black box the size of a pack of Juicy Fruit right in the middle of my screen. Should I be worried?]

Anyway, today Pink came home with a Red Card Report, and it said the following:

"Pink P did not make the right choice today and had to turn his/her card to red. Please talk to your child about appropriate behavior at school and return this signed."

This first part is the standard typed message that comes with every red card. The comments section is what shocked me (Though I guess I shouldn't have been shocked because Pink P had already told me what happened on the way home from school. The shock was that she was telling me the truth because, when I heard it, I couldn't believe it.)

This is what the teacher's comment said: "Pink P gave the middle finger to the older boys in the morning before the 8:00 bell. We discussed that this meant a dirty word and not to do it again."

AYFKM? (Are You F**king Kidding Me?)

Pink P had no idea why she got in trouble. She's five and thinks that "stupid" and "fart" are bad words. Now, thanks to the "vigilance" of the adult on duty in the cafeteria and her teacher, she knows that her middle finger is "bad." And don't even get me started on the teacher's use of the word "dirty" in trying to explain this to her. (How in the heck is she supposed to process that idea?) Aside from the time when Sky accidentally hit upon the words "hell" and "f**k" (which he promptly forgot, thank goodness!--click here for that post), neither kid has a clue about foul language. They really don't. So, when well-meaning teachers point these things out to Sky and Pink, they are teaching them bad words. Seriously, how hard is this to grasp?

When I sat down to talk with Pink about why she got a red card, I simply explained that some people use their middle finger to make people feel bad. Pink promptly held up her index finger and asked, "Is this finger bad?" When I said no, she got an extremely perplexed look on her face. She then worked her way through all the fingers on both hands to make sure she had it straight.

She didn't. Later, when she double checked with me, she thought that only the ring finger on her right hand was "bad," and I had to explain it again.

This is not the first or even the second time that my kids' Catholic school teachers have taught them words or concepts that we purposely avoid at our house. Tomorrow I will talk to Pink P's teacher and ask that they be much more careful about what they introduce to her and that she not be punished for something she can't possibly understand.

Frankly, I'm not sure what else I can do. I mean, seriously, WTF?!?

1 comment:

FMBMC said...

Yeah, that's a tad bit of an overreaction. They would have been much better off to ask her if she knows what that gesture meant, if she'd seen another kid do it, etc. L points with his middle finger quite a bit, but I don't bother to correct him because he still has no idea what it means. In preschool? That teacher was projecting her attitudes way more than what Pink P had intended.

And dirty? THAT'S not a loaded word at all. Rude, yes, offensive, maybe, but dirty? No.