Today when I picked Rollie up from school, I peeked in the room to see him sitting on the floor amid an assortment of foam blocks. He wasn't constructing anything with them, but just sort of rolling around in them like they were a bunch of dollar bills and he was Demi Moore.
His teacher spotted me and called out, "Rollie, your mom's here."
He paused mid-roll and grinned at me. What an angel, I thought. What teacher wouldn't find him to be just a complete joy and delight to have in class?
Then his teacher said, "Rollie, why don't you tell your mommy what happened today?"
I turned to my son, expecting him to start spinning tales of how he won a spelling bee with the word ostentatious, or that he constructed a Moses diorama with a real burning bush. Or that he at least followed the line leader out of the classroom without stopping to pick up and eat a piece of gum from the sidewalk.
But instead Rollie let out an Velociraptor-like screech and buried his head in a pile of brightly-colored bricks.
Confused, I glanced at his teacher. Maybe Rollie was just being modest, and she would regale me with stories of my son's genius.
"We had a little spitting incident," she said.
"Spitting incident?" Surely she must be mistaken. Surely she meant that some little snotty-nosed hooligan was spitting on my darling child out of pure jealousy. Surely you can't be serious. (I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.)
She shook her head, "It really wasn't a big deal, but he did have to go to Time Out, right Rollie?"
"Time Out?" I spoke the words as if Rollie has never ever in his forty-three months on this planet spent one second of it in such a place. As if the very idea of my son in Time Out was as incongruous as ...wait for it....wait for it....a stick figure in a Botticelli painting (sorry folks, it's been a long day. That's the best I could do).
At this point Rollie seemed to know he could no longer hide beneath the blocks, and decided to try a different tactic. He ran up and flung his arms around my legs, planting a big juicy kiss on my hip bone.
"Rollie," I pulled away and looked into his wide-eyed face. "Who were you spitting at?"
He put his finger up to his chin, as if trying to remember if he was even guilty of such a crime. Or perhaps trying to decide how to convince me that the spittee deserved the giant loogey Rollie delivered right on the cheek.
"Richard," his teacher said. "But it's okay. He went to Time Out for a little while, and he apologized to Richard, so it's all good."
All good? All good? Rollie's a spitter. God help me, I have a spitter. The teacher may as well have told me Rollie's been simultaneously eating paste, wetting his pants and playing with his wiener in public.
But it gets worse.
"Usually when I send Rollie to Time Out, he goes there no problem..." the teacher said.
My head started spinning. Usually? Like, is this a daily thing? Do they spit at each other like a class full of camels or is Rollie the only creepy germ-spreader of the lot? Is he a repeat offender? Is he already blazing a trail straight to juvy? First it's spitting at Richard, next it's pulling fire alarms and stealing lunch money? Should we stop saving for college and start saving for a good defense attorney?
"...but today he had a hard time listening..."
Oh. Dear. I no longer possessed the ability to speak. All I could think about were the times when I try to send Rollie to Time Out on the couch and he collapses and flails and sometimes when I come back to check on his I find that he has removed all his clothes and is walking across the back of the couch like Carrie Strug on the balance beam.
I must have been several shades of horrified, because his teacher added, "I can usually count on Rollie to be my good listener, so I guess he's just having one of those days."
Ah, yes. A small glimmer of hope that maybe Rollie isn't quite ready for the Boys Ranch. Maybe he is just having one of those days. Whatever the hell that means.
In the meantime, I'm thinking of investing in one of these:
|Dr. Lector was never put in Time Out for spitting on anyone.|