On Thursday I got a phone call at work. As soon as I saw it was The Boys school, I felt my breath slow, that first feeling of panic. What’s happened? Is he ill? Hurt? Do I need to be there?
No. he’d bit someone. They didn’t really say much over the phone, but still managed to make me feel beyond embarrassed. They weren’t in any way nasty, just asked me if I could have a chat with him at home about what was “appropriate”, but they did make it sound like some vicious one-sided attack, that he was a terrible child, and that was completely my fault. Even now as an adult, school always makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong. If ever I have to actually go in, even if it’s just to see a play, I get weirdly nervous.
I arranged to leave work a little early, so I could be there to pick him up, even though it was his dads day, and prepared myself to be angry. He’s a good boy generally, but does have a temper, and when he loses it, he can go too far, he has trouble controlling his feelings, but to be fair, I’ve only ever seen him get really angry with me, and he’s never been in trouble at school before.
He came out crying his eyes out, ashamed to tell me what had happened, but when I did get it out of him, he told me the other boy had pinned him up a wall, and wouldn’t let him go, so he couldn’t tell the teacher, and he didn’t know what else to do. He’d panicked, it was motivated by fear, more than anger. While I’m obviously aware there is no excuse for biting, and have told him as much, and I’m of course not happy to hear my child has been pinned up a wall, I can’t lie, it was something of a relief to find out he wasn’t just running around on an unprovoked biting rampage like the school had led me to believe.
The teacher said they’d speak to them both, but by Friday, The Boy came home telling me he’d been playing with the pinner all day and they were friends again. Oh to be 5.
The rest of our school week was pretty uneventful, his reading has been wonderful, and his writing seems to be getting better, without me having to say “take your time, be careful, remember, the line is the bottom, concentrate” after every other word. He’s learnt how to do a forward roll in PE, so now wants to travel in forward roll around the flat. Which was very cute for the first 10 minutes.
Homework now seems to be getting ridiculous. While I was, thankfully able to do it all this week (well…he chose to draw a Marine Iguana for science, which I didn’t know a great deal about. But really, who does!) there’s just so much of it. He has to learn to spell all the days of the week, months of the year, and numbers 1-20 in words, some other spellings, handwriting practise, re-write a story they’ve been learning, with different animals, and draw the animals. Write down 1 more and 1 less than a list of numbers (about 30 different numbers) and draw and label a reptile, and write a paragraph about it. I know a 10-year-old could do all that easily in an hour or so, but he’s only 5. If he’s getting this much now, what will it be like when he’s 10?