Okay, I promised to make you laugh today so I will do my best. After arriving home from school yesterday Baby Bear announces, “They were mean to me at school. Mama, I mean I have been nice to them all year I tell you and that Ms. teacher # ? was just mean to me.” By this time his rarely seen temper is starting to come to the surface. You have to see it to understand but to give you an idea it is eerily similar to Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.
“Calm down, Little Bear. I can’t understand what happened when you are so emotional.”
By this time Big Brother Bear has heard the ruckus and has marched into the bedroom to make sure he hears Baby Bear’s complaints. Remember, Daddy Bear and Brother Bear have kept Mama Bear in the dark, just as good protective bears do for their delicate and emotional Mama Bears. So everyone is a couple of steps ahead of me at this point.
Brother Bear begins to weave the story together so that I can begin to understand the emotion behind Baby Bear’s outburst. I do manage to calm Baby Bear down before he states proudly, “I saw Daddy Bear in the hall at school today and he took care of that problem.” He was actually beaming with pride at the accomplishments of his father. He relays the information in a tone that says, “My Daddy is the boss, he got them women told.”
“Wait a minute, what did Daddy Bear do?” , I ask not wanting Baby Bear to get the wrong impression of Daddy Bear’s visit.
“He came to my school today and he talked to my teachers.” “He took care of it.”
It took a phone call to Daddy Bear to completely understand the entire story that I told you last night but I finally started to see what was going on. I began to tell Little Bear about an incident that I had encountered that very same day at my school. A child had broken a rule and done something that was very dangerous. “They could have gotten hurt very badly,” I say to Little Bear. “What do you think I should have done? Do you think this child should be able to break the rules whenever they want to?”
Baby Bear’s face shows the shock he feels at the thought of another child breaking Mama Bear’s rule. “He should have to sit in time out, Mama Bear! He should listen to what you say.”
“Yes, Baby Bear. That child should listen to Mama Bear, but do you know why he should have listened to Mama Bear?”
By now the look of shock is beginning to change into a more reflective stare as he begins to think about what Mama Bear has said. “No, Mama. Why should he listen to you?”
“Because Mama Bear is his teacher. He broke one of the school rules and didn’t listen to Mama Bear when she tried to talk to him.”
“Yeah,” Baby Bear groans as he begins to understand where Mama Bear’s line of questioning has led him. He sees now that it was a trap but what will Baby Bear do to avoid complete entrapment?
“Didn’t you also break a rule when you didn’t listen to your teachers?”
“Yes.” . . . long pause and then he puts his little paw to his forhead as the wheels in his little brain begin to spin faster and faster. “Mama, I think there might be another way to take care of this problem.”
“But, Baby Bear you just said that when you break the rules you should be punished. And, you broke a rule just like the little boy in my story.”
“Yeah, but, but, I don’t like to sit in time out. They are mean when they put me in time out.” (I don’t think he ever has been put into time out at school.)
“Time out is not given as a punishment, Little Bear. I think that time out is given so that Little Bears can take time to calm down and reflect on their choices so they can decide whether they have been making good choices or bad choices. It is a time for reflection.”
“Oh, well that is good.”
“So you don’t like sitting in time out but you wouldn’t mind being given a time of reflect on the choices you are making?”
“Yes, Mama. That is better than time out.”
“Okay, then maybe we can talk to your teachers and instead of calling it time out they might tell you that you need to have a time of reflection?”
“Yes, I want to have time to reflect.”
I tell you the boy is hilarious!! Never one dull moment at our house.