One Day. Two Life Lessons

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in Captain Clumsy’s classroom, helping with bookweek activities. A lovely afternoon it was too, we made a duck and a caterpillar. We read books and ate fruit. And I’m thinking “How nice is this! The sun is shining, my boy is happy, life is good.”
And then the Deputy Principal taps me on the shoulder and says “Before you go, could you pop into my office for 5 minutes?”

She probably just wants to follow up on the situation with Actor yesterday, I tell myself.

As I get to her office I see Deflector sitting there, looking sheepish with his head low.

I stop dead in my tracks. What now? Can I even deal with another ‘incident’ at the moment? Two days in a row! What fresh hell is this?
DP is quite apologetic “I’m so sorry Rachael” she says. “You’re going to hate me”

You’re sorry? No, I’m sorry that you have to deal with my suddenly feral children

As it turns out Deflector and a friend decided not to go to class and spent the afternoon wandering around the school. Long story short, they stole some drinks from the canteen and defiled a bathroom. Unimaginable is not a big enough word for the things that happened in that bathroom. I cannot fathom what was going through their stupid boy brains.

They were obviously caught. As the Principal and the Deputy Principal begin to uncover what happened, it becomes clear that while Deflector assisted in the stealing of the drinks, he sat back and watched the trashing of the bathroom. He didn’t stop it, it he didn’t walk away, he didn’t tell his friend to stop being a dick. He did nothing.

Deflector is learning a valuable lesson today.
Being an accomplice to the crime makes you just as guilty as the offender.

He has acknowledged what he did was wrong. He can recite his poor choices. He is gracefully accepting his punishments and taking responsibility for his actions (shocking I know!) He is being punished just as harshly as his friend. He is spending today in detention doing all manner of awful tasks. Today is an optional day for student attendance too, the teachers are participating in the stop work action, and I was planning on keeping all the kids home. We we’re going out for milkshakes and a walk on the beach. He is so annoyed with himself right now.
He deserves every horrible task they give him, and then I’m going to give him some more horrible tasks of my own. He started last night with The Pile. (hehehe I am a bad bad mother :-))
My child will not be an accomplice or an accessory to another crime ever again.

The really sad thing is that his friend, despite telling the principal the truth, has back peddled and told his parents a bunch of lies. He denies even being there. He is telling his parents that he was in class the whole time and doesn’t have anything to do with it. Deflector did it all by himself.
Nice friend right there.

So, I guess this is lesson number two for Deflector.
You never know who is going to throw you under the bus to save their own ass.

Obviously, when the parents meet with the principal to discuss the discrepancies in his story, it won’t take much for the Principal to shoot holes through his claims. And when that happens, that kid will not be able to sit down for a month.
Still, it is hard for Deflector to understand why his best friend would hang him out like that. This friend has pulled alot of ‘Do It or I won’t be your friend anymore’ crap in the last month and I have a feeling Deflector is coming to a conclusion that we have all had to face at some point in our lives. It might be time to leave this friendship behind.

Two life lessons in one day. My boy is growing up. I just have to hope that we are successful in steering him away from the darkside.

Hubby told me that when I pick the kids up from school on Thursday I should save DP the trouble of a phone call and just stick my head in the office and say “What have you got for me today?”

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4 Responses to One Day. Two Life Lessons

  1. Pat says:

    Rites of passage, please please please don’t take any of it as failure on your part. How you respond and deal with these events will be the reflection of you as a parent. I feel your pain and you be laughing by the weekend.

  2. Irene Hansford says:

    What’s with the “when YOU pick the kids up from school tomorrow,……”, send HIM to do pickup and stick HIS head into the office, must be HIS turn!!!!
    Feeling sad for Deflector though, as you say a few too many life lessons in one day, and to his credit, he fessed up.

  3. What a week! Seems from what you say that the school is working with you on these issues. I would expect some schools just to accuse you of being a bad parent, wipe their hands of it and just suspend him. Instead it seems they are taking the right approach in working with you and using the poor circumstances to teach him a lesson that will stay with him for life and guide him onto the right path. Hang in there, hope the rest of the week is UNEVENTFUL!

  4. leagpage says:

    When we have days when one challenge like this follows hot on the heels of another, my husband always says wryly, “the fun never stops.” Sometimes you just have to laugh at how awful it is. You are responding with clarity and compassion. We don’t always get to choose when our kids learn these lessons, but we can decide how to help them when the lesson is served up. Go, Mom.

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