One afternoon this week, I went to pick up Summy and found the entire class watching Cinderella on TV. They were on the floor, snuggled up with their blankies and teddy bears and friends in their darkened classroom. I thought it was going to be hard to get Summy out of that cozy setting, but she jumped up as soon as she saw me.
When it was time to say Bye to her teacher, she frowned. I found out why when her teacher gave a small piece of paper and asked me to sign it. It was a note! A note is sent home to parents when a child has been naughty. I read it over, signed a copy for the teacher, and brought Summy out to the car.
I hadn't said a word to her about the note, but on the way, Summy broke down and started to cry. "I got a note, Mama!" Apparently she prides herself on being a "good girl" and she could not bear the thought of a note being sent home with her. I told her that one note didn't mean that she was naughty, and that it was okay. But she was not happy. She sat in the back of the car, holding her note and staring sadly at it.
We picked up Kiran from his office. When Kiran asked to see what she was holding, she wouldn't give it to him. She crumpled it into a ball and tossed it to the farthest corner in the back seat.
She reminded me of Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, when she rips a teacher's book and almost gets caught. I felt like Tom Sawyer because I was frequently forgetting things and getting reprimanded by teachers in school, and here was this sensitive little Becky upset because of one note.
Summy's crime: She had used the class crayons to color on a toy and a book.
We reminded Summy that coloring was for paper only, but we didn't push it. We just know that she's never going to do it again.