Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Check the freezer.

I was half-drafting this post in my head for the past couple of days, wanting to frame it within a conversation about parenting.  Should I as a parent know exactly what my boys (ages 6 and almost 4) are doing every minute of the day?  Whether I should or should not, I do not.  I do not know exactly what they are doing every minute, but I know they are being kids.  Making messes.  Being curious.  Sneaking snacks.  Having fun.  Figuring things out.

How, specifically, they spent some of their time this past Saturday was not made known until Sunday morning when I was looking for Sweet P's other shoe.  I was only one shoe away from having all three kids ready for church.

I'll let Bub tell you the story.  It was his idea to write about it.

I handwrote the title as dictated by Bub.  I helped with spelling when asked.

As a personal narrative written by a kindergartener, here's a superior piece of writing.  NTB.  Readers can be pretty clear about what happened.  He wrapped his sister's shoe in a wet towel and placed that bundle in the freezer.  Were we to have a writing conference, however, I'd ask some key questions to flesh out the story ...

Why did you wrap your sister's shoe in a wet towel and freeze it?  
According to your story, your mom said "you're kidding," but how did she say it?  Was she laughing at the joke?  Frustrated?  Angry?  Completely surprised that a wet towel had been in her small, overcrowded freezer overnight without her noticing?
How funny did everything seem to you when your mom checked the freezer?
How long did it take for your sister's shoe to thaw?  Was it ruined?  Did she end up having to wear brand new shoes that did not fit her yet to church?
Were you punished or just given a talking to?
What did you learn?

We did not have a writing conference, though I repeated the why question this afternoon.  His answer on Sunday:  "I wanted to see if it would freeze."  His answer today, after finishing his story: "I wanted something to write about."  Someone's trying to play/please his English teacher mom.  Nice spin, Bub.

I was angry and frustrated, but not for long.  Bub started crying and saying, "Kids my age do crazy things, you know."  I do know.  I also know that part of my job as a mom is to give him the freedom to make some decisions and some mistakes.  His dad and I talked to him about thinking through the consequences of his actions.  What if Sweet P's shoe was ruined?  What if it had been her only pair and we did not have the funds to replace them?

What if his mom tried to pry open the folds of the frozen towel and cracked her left thumbnail into the nail bed, ripping skin, causing bleeding, requiring a bandaid, and making it painful even days later to press the home button on her phone or use the car clicker?  

For the record, the shoe was able to be released from the towel in the early afternoon.  It was still damp Monday morning.  It was not ruined.  

My left thumb still hurts a lot.  

All in all, I feel so pleased that he wanted to write the story that I'm over the whole thing.

How would you have reacted?  How much freedom do you give your kids?


Lady Jennie said...

Ouch - wish I didn't know about the cracked nail.

I would have scolded my son, but told him just how very impressed I was at his writing. (I would have secretly been just as impressed that he would even have the idea).

Michelle said...

I love his creativity. Nice one Bub! This is probably the first of many stories like this...boys will be boys :-)

Stacia said...

I think you have a "science experiment" to add to all those going around Pinterest about summer fun/science experiments for kiddos. I also want you to know my thumb nail is throbbing in sympathy.

And just curious, is the shoe still the same color? Or a little gnarly, like avocado or banana when they get cold?

E... said...

I love that you have a writer on your hands. I love his story. I too, would have been tempted to hold a writing conference, even if it was only in my own head. I do not love that you were injured in the process. I am impressed that you were able to rise above the potential loss of shoe, etc. so that this little wonder of a moment could occur -- I wonder how many times my own (over)reactions squelch such things.
I give my kids more freedom than makes me comfortable sometimes, usually largely because I am too distracted, not out of some grand desire that they create their own "stuff."

Jill said...

I love this! (Minus the injured thumb). As a former kindergarten teacher I am very impressed with his piece of writing. It is science experiment meets personal narrative! And I love that he explained that kids his age do crazy things! So cute!

Steph said...

:-) Science and writing combined. Can it get any better?

Heather said...

Had this happened when I was the parent of only one child, I would have been uptight and more angry than if it happened now. Having three kids makes you prioritize a bit more: was anyone hurt (okay, other than your thumb)?; was anything ruined?; was a huge mess made?; were the intentions good (curiosity) or evil?

I love the way you handled it!

Hope the thumb is better by now, and glad the shoe was not ruined :)

Teachinfourth said...

It sounds like this story just might need a sequel.

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