As soon as I picked my daughter up today we had this exchange -:
Daughter: A boy touched me in school today Daddy.
Daughter: In the library. No - in the hall.
Me: Where on you?
Daughter: My back. My teacher yelled at him. He was just poking me but she told him not to poke me. She is sending a letter home to his Mommy.
Now that is zero tolerance. My daughter told me the story again from start to finish and that's it - kids are not allowed to touch each other in any way at any time. But a kid in her class wanted to talk to her and poked her so the teacher wouldn't know they were talking (which is pointless because kids are useless at whispering). Now the kid gets a letter home because he wanted to tell my daughter that he could see a book. I dunno - I get the whole point. And the age spread in the school is pretty big so you don;t want an innocent nearly-four year old being physically touched by a ten year old for various reasons. Let alone evil teachers stepping over the line. And as a general rule it's a good one. But this kid now has a record (of some kind) for doing something most people do every single day.
My daughter ran around the house all morning yelling, "My pumpkiny wumpkiny." I cannot tell you how proud I am. Then again she also blew her bloody wooden train whistle every fifteen seconds for a good two hours. She interjected each blast with, "listen Daddy!!!" as if I had somehow managed to miss the repeated chuffing nuisance. Anyway the point is I think I can program my little girl to repeat well known comedy phrases from classic British sitcoms that Americans have no idea about. I'll have her wailing, "Neil, Neil, Orange Peel" and, "I didn't get where I am today by sleeping with sweaty, Caledonian chefs," soon enough. It's going to be fantastic.
In the meantime I listen to her repeated whistling - but only after a long very powerful crying fit. Today is swimming lesson day. Last week she broke down in the changing room and told me she hated it. This week she was massively excited by the whole thing and couldn;t wait to get in there. And the only thing worse than making a kid do something they don't want to is telling a kid they can't do what they want to do. Yep - we got it wrong. Last week was the last lesson of swim class. Holy crap that girl can cry. She turned crimson red, wailed and screamed and did that weird wibbly voice thing were she couldn't speak because she was just too emotional. She kept asking me why there was no lesson. She wanted me to answer her, but the answer I gave her sucked so she kept asking me over and over again. Every time I answered it was like new information - new painful stunning information. But judging by the powerful explosive reaction she wasn't hearing, "there's no lesson." Instead she must have heard, "Santa has cancer" or, "someone ate all the salami that was left on Earth. It's all gone." I thought about promising that her mother would take her swimming tonight. That's a tough one though - because if she doesn't then I'm a liar. Nope - avoid that one. But she just kept getting worse and worse. Screamed in the changing room. Screamed walking out the building. Screamed in the car. Screamed into the house. Screamed and screamed and screamed. Until I asked if she wanted me to sharpen some pencils. Then she calmed down and stopped in about 90 seconds. She hasn't even instead at crying since. Total turnaround.
That's a very painful switch in behavior sometimes. It's useful when I know I can turn rage or pain off. But they do it themselves with love and compassion too, and that kind of blows. When my wife goes out of town the kids turn their good feelings to me. I can cuddle and comfort each of them to sleep and all that. They want my affection. When we lie awake early in the morning it's nice and calm. When my wife came home last I still wanted - no expected the cuddles for myself. My kids though gave me that, "yeah - beat it loser" look and would grunt if I tried to peel them off their mother. And heaven forbid I cuddle her. My son tried to jab his fingers into my eyes like a bowling ball and growled like a feral hyena this morning. And it;s not calm and nice in the morning. Instead they fight each other to lie next to her whilst simultaneously trying to whack-a-mole me if I so much as peep up. Screw that. You can have her.
Anyhoo - I spoke with my daughter's swimming instructor and she's going to stay in the class. It starts again in something like 3 weeks. Amusingly the reason my daughter didn't want to swim last week is also the reason she is staying in this swimming class. And I learned the name of the girl she races against. So that's good. I think her parents did something different by giving her a normal name but totally mispronouncing it to be cool. Her name is pronounced, "You-lee" but spelled with a J. Bizarre.
My son has been refusing to nap until he just cannot hold on. Yesterday and today he struggled to stay awake until late and then capitulated. Just nap you silly bugger - it seems painful not to. Instead he'll walk around like a drunkard tipping over, tripping and holding on to anything he can. Then he'll take a dive and pass out on the floor for ten seconds. Then he'll rage himself awake, stumble across the room like a bad guy in a horror movie until he crashes immediately asleep onto the wooden floor like a narcoleptic Redwood. It's freakish. I've seen him go down - his eyes are shut. Then when we go pick his sister up he immediately falls asleep in the car and doesn't wake up until quarter after four.
But it's leftovers night. Yay. I might chuck some fish-sauce (you heard me) over the beef and cabbage if we have any left to make it seem different. But probably won't. Can't be arsed today.