The search for a bathroom is not always going to produce the most glamorous results, as I learned Saturday whilst waiting in line with an older woman. Her frustration at the very act of having to wait for a toilet was nearly enough to make me want to find facilities elsewhere, mostly out of fear of what type of bathroom emergency called for such aggressive behavior and do I really want to follow it? Fortunately she was under 3 minutes (nothing big can happen in 3 minutes), but as she left the restroom she scowled at me and said "it's better than an outhouse." And it was. It's fortunate that sometimes negative moods are not contagious but somewhat humorous. Her misfortune at having to wait to empty her bladder made my day, is that horrible? I hope someday my bad mood puts a smile on someones face!
Along the negative line, my mom hat has been pretty snug this week as Marty's been in Trouble (note the capital t). Marty went to the principals office. Crap. Let me give you the full details: Marty had a substitute teacher on Friday, he loved Mr. Little. He even told me stories about how great Mr. Little (who he says is not little) was, is, and Marty hopes will be, as he wants him to sub in the future. On Monday Marty returned to school to his current teacher's disappointment. The sub had left a note. The dreaded note. Apparently the class had been disrespectful and a handful of the students were sent to the principal, lost recess for the week (heartbreaking for Mo), and wrote a letter home to their parents. When Marty got in the car Monday evening I could see something was off. I only had to ask the simplest mom words "hey, what's up?" You could hear Marty's soul shattering as he claimed that the sub had written a note. I reacted with confusion and asked wasn't the sub great? Marty agreed he had been great but that was before he knew he wrote a note. Then he let me know how he'd been sent to the principals office. He exclaimed "I just hate being in trouble!" Who doesn't?
I must admit though as much as I hate Marty being in trouble as well, I am always impressed with the way he works things out in his mind. I need to add more to this story to explain: two weeks ago Marty was playing with a friend who decided to trace his middle finger, ugh, but my lovely child chose to be a co artist to this piece by adding the "F YOU." He didn't need to write out the word it was oh so clear. He was scolded by his teacher, dad, and me, grounded at both homes and lost the privlidge of late bedtime. That's it. A very stern warning at school. I believe this to be a serious offense, he got off easy! But I ask you what kind of child asks the adults in his life to be consistent? My type of child. As he was going on and on about how he used to like the sub but now he didn't he exclaimed "and mom when I wrote the f you on the playground I didn't have to go to the principal but for goofing off with the sub I do? F you was way worse." Yes Marty I know. And I can't explain either.
Kids get it. It's scary and it's more work for parents teachers and caregivers, but they know what's going on. I'm working on my consistency with Marty. I'm starting to notice he doesn't tell on himself the way he used to, he's learning a little bit about manipulation. That's healthy, but I'm trying to be more aware in this mother son dance we're doing. He's bright so I no doubt will have my hands full. But even with trips to the principal, f you on the playground, I'm certain he knows right from wrong so I guess I have to look on the bright side of things at least it's better than an outhouse!