So I have had the distinct and beautiful pleasure of working at my son’s preschool as an aide since February of this year. It has been awesome to see in person just how onery my son can be. In fact, it has brought me great pleasure to know that my second son, my sweet, fabulous, brown-eyed, little package of energy and delight and laughter is able to give his teachers a run for their money too. And I sound flippant, but most days when I walk into the front office to see my little boy sitting in time out, I am a little embarrassed. I feel like a failure. I feel like maybe I’m not a failure if they trusted me enough to work in their classrooms.
And there has been a day or two my little wonder has been in time out—in the front office—more than once that day. Those are the days I feel a little more embarrassed, my voice lilts more than usual when I talk to the “other” kids. I find myself trying to appear like this maternal nymph who gives children the gift of love, compassion and learning—and the fact that my son is a young boxer is not my fault in any way. It is just a cruel joke on my sweet, kind, self of a woman.
And today while in the classroom, the director of my son’s preschool came into the classroom I was aiding in. She was quite red in the face, laughing hysterically and looking into my eyes. I sensed she was trying to mouth my son’s name… only she wasn’t sure how to start the story. And I was sifting through my favorite options for her laughter concerning my son— 1) ridiculously adjusting his penis too many times, while explaining that it is bothering him because it is lying down or 2) sitting on another child while he bold-faced lies that he is not sitting on the child underneath him.
But alas, I was wrong on both counts. The director told me they were testing my son in the front office for the end of the school year. He was asked to count from 1-100, to which he replied that his mother usually swings her hips back and forth while he counts, implying this helped his ability to count to 100. The delightful test administrator responded that she would be happy to help. She could swing her hips back and forth to help him count.
But that wasn’t all. He then explained, and I paraphrase only slightly–that his mother takes her shoes off to do the little dance, but she leaves her underwear on. And like most uptight people, the administrator decided that was too much for her. She couldn’t help with that. Whatever.
Of course, when the director told me initially, she said my son told her I took off my clothes and helped him practice counting naked. And wasn’t that cute and funny of her. It was only slightly calming to know that the story had grown.
Like any good story, it’s better when it’s blown up a tiny bit, you know, like my mom gets naked to practice counting rather than, my mom leaves her underwear on. See, I’m a respectable mom. But everyone in the school knew in ten minutes my amazing “nouveau” teaching skills and were asking me to count. Yep, I am now the stripping counter mom. And I will be starting a tutoring curriculum of my own very soon. Clearly, people aren’t used to this type of educational approach, but it works. My son counts like a rock star!
And I, for one, will try not to defend myself. Because like all good legends, this shall live on, and I will pretend not to remember the story fully, the real story, the real counting incident. I will be very mysterious and just enjoy the laughter because it’s damn funny. And between you and I, I have no idea what he is talking about. The hips I remember, but the underwear, I don’t wear that!