Okay here’s the deal, Loft buddies.
I wrote this story about six years ago. Humor actually helped me survive this situation and many others and this piece was written to bring out the humorous elements in a very stressful situation.
This was written before I blogged here at arabahjoy.com. I did change the intro and ending to make it current.
So in case you are wondering how to get your kid expelled from Kindergarten, well, here goes…
My kid starts Kindergarten Monday. For the third time.
Not that it’s a big deal or anything.
It’s no biggie that he was expelled… from Kindergarten… six weeks into the school year the first time around.
No really, mom, it’s No Big Deal.
We all know Kindergarten is a great way to socialize children, right? So after moving to our new country, my husband and I jumped at the chance Kindergarten provided to get involved in our new community, make relationships, and help our child acquire the language.
We were looking on the bright side of things.
We hadn’t considered that our child was the first and only white face to ever appear inside the school gates.
During the first week of school, I was getting daily updates from the teacher when I picked him up at lunchtime. “We’re taking it slow,” the teacher would tell me. “We’re giving everyone time to adjust.”
“Everyone,” I found out later, included parents, teachers, students, visitors, and the school animals. Translation: Even the overgrown rats scuttering around the garbage cans stared at the white boy.
So I waited. But by the second week when our talkative little boy wasn’t bringing home any new words, I knew something was amiss.
“Well he plays great!” The teacher informed me. “He has a friend he plays outside in the hall with during school.” That explains it, I thought. The only language he’s getting are grunts and those other unidentifiable noises that serve as communication among males.
So I explained to the teacher that our desire for putting him in school was for him to actually attend.
At which point she said, “You mean you want him to sit in class?”
Brain child that I am, I figured some parental involvement was in order. I was given permission to sit in the classroom to help keep my child indoors. I quickly saw that success in this classroom of 1 teacher and 40 four year olds was keeping the children alive and in one piece.
The first day I somehow managed to teach my child that it was NOT acceptable to lead the kids in ring-around-the-rosies on top of the student desks while the teacher was trying to dispense water to the children. I managed to do this in spite of the other 39 children running wildly about the room like the fury of the oppressor mentioned in Isaiah the prophet.
It worked because I communicated this to him in ENGLISH, which of course no one else understood, therefore did not know I was threatening him with his life—otherwise, I would have been arrested.
But I wasn’t arrested, and we all survived to go back the next day.
So on the second morning, while at morning exercise in the courtyard, our little angel decided he had to pee and broke free from the loco-line to water the only tree in the courtyard. At which point every other boy in the loco-line decided they too had to go, and a tree sprinkling ensued.
The male species were so thick around the tree, I didn’t even try to retrieve my son. My parental involvement does not include busting into the middle of 4 year old sharp shooter practice. Apparently, teacher involvement didn’t either because the teachers and I just looked at each other and shrugged.
By the end of the week, I had discovered why the children enjoyed sneaking into the foyer of the classroom, away from the teacher’s eyes and ears.
While retrieving Johnnie’s water bottle from his backpack, I discovered a horde of children going through all the backpacks digging out these little yellow packets. Upon further investigation, I found these packets to be candy flavored amoxicillin granules the parents packed in the backpacks to ward off colds.
AMOXICILLIN, people. As in drugs. As in “KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN.” As in “don’t-abuse-so-we-don’t-get-more-drug-resistant-superbugs, please.”
These packets were being devoured, like candy, on a daily basis.
I saw it with my own eyes.
Well by the end of the week, my involvement was no longer welcomed. The grandmothers of the local kids didn’t like the fact that I, the foreigner, could come to class to help control my son, but they could not come to class to boss the teacher. Okay, maybe they wouldn’t have bossed, but I have my doubts. Bottom line, I was told I couldn’t come anymore, that it wasn’t fair to everyone else.
No surprise then that before long, “the incident” happened. The one that resulted in the meeting of the minds, the wing-ding school conference of the year, probably century.
Little Johnnie was chosen to help pass out scissors. Yes, you know where this is going. They were sharp tipped scissors no doubt, and the room of 39 children descended on them. It was an accident, the teacher said. But still, a poor little girl got skewered.
The school decided a statement had to be made. I was called into the office on the spot where all parties remotely involved were gathered. “We think it best your son take some time off,” they said. The message was “Don’t come back.”
They were very gracious. They didn’t say half of what they wanted to, I’m sure. And neither did I, which was an even greater demonstration of grace. We all left civilly and I apologized to all parties involved with the promise to make anything right that needed to be made right.
Including therapy for the mother of the expelled child.
This year, we are in yet another location.
And see our chance to once again make relationships, learn the culture, and socialize our children.
We are positive people.
Kindergarten, here we come.
Have a funny story, video, or joke to tell? Need more laughter? We are linking up funnies this week at The Loft and we’d love to have you join in :)