We were driving to preschool a week or so ago with one of Mr G’s classmates. Her mom and I have been taking turns picking up the other’s child for the ride to school, because the 1pm drop-off time tends to interfere with our little people’s nap schedules.
I rather enjoy our talks on the way to preschool, because G’s little friend can be a chatterbox, coming up with completely random topics of conversation, often involving a recent viewing of Star Wars (or is it Star Trek…) On one occasion, the two kids were discussing possible names for their future siblings – they’ll both have a new brother or sister at the end of summer. ‘What about Chewbacca’ she suggested, ‘or Leia’. G wasn’t enthused, he was knee-deep in his Mats or Pierce phase at that point. (We’ve since moved on to Yogurt or John. Because John Johnson would be a great name.)
During one of our previous drives she had talked about Jesus. ‘Do you believe in Jesus?’ she asked my oldest. He was silent on the matter, possibly nodding his head in affirmation, but refusing to speak. ‘Not everyone believes in Jesus,’ she informed us, ‘I don’t know why they don’t,’ she solemnly shook her head. Like a puzzled grandmother.
But on this particular day she decided it would be a good idea to confront her classmate on some issues of concern.
‘How come you always play at the sand table and the block corner at school,’ she inquired innocently enough. But, call it women’s intuition, I sensed there was more to her line of questioning than mere curiosity about his recreational preferences.
As males everywhere have done for centuries, he didn’t really answer her question. She was persistent, though. ‘How come you’re mean to your friends?’ Ah hah, I knew it. Mr G was doing his utmost to ignore her, so she asked the question again. He stalled with an ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.’ Is there some kind of textbook boys receive at birth regarding communication with girls?
Undeterred, she reiterated her question to which he replied: ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’
Shameless, really. She continued by pointing out his failure to share sand with his classmates at the sand table. But his conscience wasn’t pierced as she might have hoped. ‘Well you need sand at the sand table,’ he explained his point of view. Common sense, really.
‘But the sand is for everybody,’ she pointed out in exasperation to her silent audience.
The intervention ended abruptly when we pulled into the preschool parking lot and both kids jumped out of the car and ran inside. Their differences forgotten. During my most recent volunteer opportunity at the school I noted that Mr. G was still helping himself to all of the sand at the sand table.
Perhaps she should enlist the help of another classmate, or teacher, for the second round of confrontation.