Oh the stories I could tell, but most of them I can’t. Most of them are confidential. This one doesn’t break confidentiality and happened several years ago, and is just plain fun. Being the mom of boys, this didn’t phase me at all like it might you parents of sweet girls.
One day after first grade recess a group of boys was escorted to my office for pushing each other in the mud. One of them was wailing because I’m sure he thought he was in trouble. At first I told him to calm down and attempted to get the full story out of the boys. They were reluctant to tell me, and so I finally had to tell the wailing boy to “dry it up” in my mom voice. Slowly, the reason for the wailing emerged. “When I pushed him in the mud, I didn’t mean to tell him it was dog poop,” said the Wailer. I asked, “Was there dog poop on the
playground?” “No, we were
just pretending it was dog
poop,” they all declared. All the boys were calm, even the one with pretend dog doo on his coat, but the Wailer started up again.
You see, we use a visual called ” the 5 point scale” to get students to understand that the size of their reaction doesn’t often match the size of their problem. In this case my wailer was way overreacting. Before I could assess what was coming out of my mouth, which happens to me often, I sternly in my best mom voice stared down the boys and with exaggerated arm movements to make a point declared, “You mean to tell me that you boys are having a #5 reaction over a number 2?” As the words were coming out of my mouth, I realized my blunder. The boys stared back at me in disbelief and were choking back their laughter as not to make me madder. Even the wailer was trying not to laugh. So what’s a mom who raised boys supposed to do in this moment? I said it again with more exaggeration. “You mean your problem is a #2 (size of problem and dog doo for those of you who didn’t get the joke) and you are having a 5 reaction over a #2? Each time I said it, we all laughed a little harder until we were all laughed out. As I escorted my boys back to class, one of them said, “man, I never thought that would happen today.”
Lesson Learned: When life feels like you’ve been tossed in dog doo, look closer it might just be pretend and not a problem at all. So don’t have a 5 reaction over a # 2! Ok. It’s a lame lesson.
Parkinson’s, you are just a #2 in my life. I refuse to give you the satisfaction of having a 5 reaction……. that is for today.