Despite the fact that Robby has been attending the school for a year and a half, yesterday morning he was nervous about returning after break. He woke up with tears in his eyes as he tried to plea with me to stay home. Logic provided little relief from his growing anxiety. He admitted that he liked his school and that his friends and teachers were nice. Yet despite my pointing out all familiar and comfortable parts of his school routine, he felt uneasy about returning.
Since I know that he is happy in his school, I suspect that 16 days was too long for him to be away from his routine. Like me, he thrives on a predictable schedule. Packing him into the car I was hoping that his mood would lighten when he saw his friends and his teachers.
Thankfully I was correct and my scared little Koopa evaporated as soon as he walked into the school. His principal greeted him at the desk, asking about his holiday. As soon as he laid claim to a fantastic Christmas, his teacher approached and inquired about the much anticipated Penguin Plunge. It was then that the morning began to spiral downward.
Without missing a beat Robby casually replied, "Well, I'm glad that I did it because it helped a lot of animals. But I'm not sure that jumping into a freezing cold river and freezing my balls off was the best way to start a New Year." I was mortified!
Let me tell you, there is no good way to steer the conversation after that remark. I quickly told him to watch his language, at which point he launched into an animated monologue defending his use of "ball." He contended that it isn't a bad word like sh*t. It isn't even a private word like penis or fart. Over the snickering of his teacher and Principal, I ended his rant by snapping that it was inappropriate and promising to discuss the validity of the term "ball" at home.
I left the school embarrassed for what I'm sure is not the last time. Robby happily skipped into his classroom, no longer fearful of returning to school. I think I'll be the one battling nerves from now on, unsure of what will come out of my little cherub's mouth.