Monday, November 24, 2008

Work of Art

Caroline, as I may have mentioned before, is an interesting creature in our home. She lights up our days and fills our nights with song --- and has provided me with much blogging material.

This fall she began the wondrous journey of Kindergarten. And every day I’m in awe of her teachers who not only instruct with love and patience, but allow her to come back, morning after morning. Never more in awe, however, than I am right now, this Monday morning.

Let me begin by saying that Caroline, at this point, has been publically (and correctly) recognized by her teacher, Mrs. MyHero, as being “not like the others,” relative to our three oldest (and model citizen) children. The distinction came early but has snowballed in recent weeks, starting with her near-sabotage of parent-teacher conferences.

My husband and I had planned to address Caroline’s chronic complaints about a supposed bully in the class. A real monster. The kind of kid who will likely finish high school in juvie, with a rep for teasing, taunting, and terrorizing classmates, according to our daughter. And we were more than ready to call this child out. But just hours before conferences were to take place, we got a call from the principal. Caroline, apparently, had stabbed said “bully” in the hand with a pencil in a fit of vigilante passion.

But just when we feared this would greatly reduce the likelihood of our concerns about a classroom terrorist being taken seriously, Mrs. MyHero forgave her without a second thought. And the “bully” (actually, the entire class) has yet to mess with our Caroline ever since.

I know she’s learning things at school too, though. She comes home eager to share her newfound knowledge nearly every day. Her Catholic school recently presented a lesson to the children on “good touch, bad touch,” and I greatly appreciate their willingness to protect my child from molestation with dignity and a sense of security. Caroline couldn’t wait to let us all know, however, that it’s not really called a “fanny,” but rather, a “ba-gina.”

We always look forward to seeing what Caroline brings home. So I was happy to sit down with her Friday and read the “Alphabet Book” she had been constructing at school for weeks now.

We had flipped nearly halfway through pages of impressive writing and illustrating, all by Caroline, from apples and bears to ice cream and jars.

And then came the letter K.

Caroline had very beautifully copied the sentence, “The man has keys” across the bottom of the page as instructed. Above the sentence she had, very thoroughly, brought the story to life with her own illustration. Standing gingerbread-man-posed above her written piece was, indeed, a man holding keys in his right hand. He also had a bad comb-over atop his head and a great big smile.

And we know without a doubt that this was a man, as opposed to a woman, or even a boy, as he was not only drawn completely and 100% buck-naked, but anatomically correct as well. Yes, indisputably a post-pubescent man with 10 fingers, 10 toes, all other appropriate appendages and hair growth, and a bellybutton.

And keys, of course.

But when others might have greeted me arm-in-arm with SRS upon seeing such art, Mrs. MyHero did not question or judge. She had simply smiled at me after school Friday as she scooted Caroline (and her backpack filled with hand-drawn soft porn) into my arms, knowing quite a surprise awaited me for the weekend.

So my 5-year-old, quite graphic, artist is welcomed back to school each new day. And for that, among many other things, I am extremely thankful.

Enjoy a week filled with gratitude and loaded with laughter.


Tova Darling said...

Hahaha! Oh goodness. How embarassing! Looks like you're little one's going to give you a run for your money!

la_vie_en_shoes said...
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Morgan the (Almost) Muse said...

Oh my goodness! That reminds me of my seventh grade math teacher. She lives on a farm (as everyone around her does) and has a... three sons, I think. Anyone, they did this book about the farm in class one day, and he was doing the normal things you see on the farm... the farmer and his tractor... feeding the chickens.. so on and on. But one of his pages was "The bull gave the cow a piggyback ride" with a relatively correct illustration. His teacher had to show it to her, and she showed it to us, noting that he had the two animals switched around. Oops! But it was too funny.

la_vie_en_shoes said...

I do love Miss Caroline (and the whole fam)!

My favorite Caroline story so far this year is when she was out at recess and was sitting in the middle of a circle of mulch she had packed tightly around her.

"Wow, Caroline! Are you making a nest?" I asked her.

"No, silly." No further explanation given. She just continued to encircle herself with mulch, sublimely happy and oblivious to everything else going on in the playground. Oh, to be that happy with one's own company!

Errant said...

that was fun to read indeed .. :)

i love kids story .. thu i have non of my own .. gotta find a dady first lol