Tattling Mama (It Takes A Village – Chapter 2)

If you recall, I said I had a few incidents lately where I had to snitch on my kids.  So let me tell you about Incident #2.  This one happened yesterday with my youngest son Christopher.  I was working Aftercare at my children’s school for my friend (Ann’s teacher).  She had a dentist appointment to go to, so I said I would fill in.  Ann’s teacher has the younger group of kids in Aftercare, which means that my three youngest were in my class.  That is not a big problem, except when your kids don’t want to listen.

I’m not sure why, but Christopher was wild that day.  Actually, they all were.  Most of the things Christopher did were just annoying, but he went too far when he decided to run out of the school building and into the school parking lot, ON HIS OWN!  I saw him do it, Thank God, so I could go after him.  However, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I had a classroom full of kids I was responsible for, that I couldn’t leave alone.  Yet, my son had run out the door and could have been running into traffic as we speak.

There is another teacher that works Aftercare for the Middle School students, so I told Marie to go get her to watch the little kids.  When I noticed Marie walking at a normal pace to the other room, I had to emphasize to go QUICKLY!  One would think that moving quickly would be your automatic reaction, however, my oldest did not.  Oh brother!!!

As soon as the other teacher rounded the corner, I asked her to watch my class and then I was dashing out the door with Patrick right behind me.  We found Christopher in the parking lot, just waiting for us to come after him.  I snatched him up and I gave him a few smacks on his butt.  I scolded him, as I carried him back into the building.  Then I planted him in a chair and told him not to move a muscle.

I was so angry, scared, frustrated, worried, relieved and exhausted from that little incident.  Luckily, I had seen him leave the building.  If he had left the building without me being aware of it, this story would have been a lot worse.  Because, once you leave the school building, the doors lock behind you.  You have to press a button to call for someone to let you in.  However, Christopher is not tall enough to reach the button.  Now, do you see why I was so upset.

The other teacher was gracious enough to let me leave early that day.  I got everyone home and as I was sitting at the kitchen table, I sent my friend (the Aftercare teacher I was filling in for) a text that said I would not be able to fill in for her anymore.  As I was typing it, tears ran down my face.  I cried because of what happened and what could have happened.  I was crying because I was having to let my friend down.  My friend has needed me in the past, because sometimes her life does not cooperate with her work schedule.  I hated to have to tell her that I couldn’t be her backup any more.  I was still angry, frustrated, and embarrassed that I could not control my own kids.

Needless to say, Frank heard all about it when he got home.  Christopher’s punishment was no ice cream and no tablet time for the night.  I know that some of you are saying, “I’d have beat his butt.”  He got another spanking before the night was through, however Marie and Christopher just laugh when you are spanking them. So that does not get the same response as no ice cream and no tablet will produce.  When I told Christopher ‘no ice cream’, he acted like I cut off his left arm.

When I took the kids to school this morning, I had a brilliant idea.  I made sure Christopher was the last one to be dropped off.  After I gave Christopher a hug and kiss goodbye, he went to join his classmates in the center room.  That is when I had a little talk with his teacher.  Their class has been discussing safety and learning what police officers and fire fighters do.  So I asked if she would address the importance of boundaries and how they are there for our own safety.

His teacher was really on board.  She said she would address the class about that, but also pull him aside and have a little chat with him.  She said they have already discussed that they are not to be leaving the building without a teacher.  So yes, I snitched on my son and I’m pretty proud of it.

It takes a village to raise a child.  We all have different roles in that village and we all have different ways that we influence that child.  My son knows that I love him unconditionally.  He is not afraid to push the envelope with me, because I am his mother and I am his safety net, so to speak.  He trusts me enough to push my patience farther than he would push his teacher, because he feels safe with me.

That fact is like a double-edged sword.  It’s great to know that I have his trust and that our relationship makes him feel like I will have his back, no matter what.  But it’s bad when I am trying to instill in him the importance of following rules that are there for his own safety.  I know that he did not realize all the bad things that could have happened to him that day.  He was just trying to get my attention and be funny.

So when things like this happen and I feel like my kids don’t fully understand what I am trying to teach them, that is when I ask for help from one of the villagers.  It’s not that they honor or obey their teachers more than their parents.  It’s the fact that another adult is conveying to them, in a different way, how wrong they were.  That message will hit home with them later, when they think back at what mom said before.  Then they will realize, ‘Oh crap, Mom just told the teacher on me.  I better straighten up.’

You can’t out-fox a fox…unfortunately, my child’s haven’t figured that out yet.


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