Fowl Games

I awoke to rain and a toddler who refused to go to school. I knew the latter was crucial since said toddler would not be getting out of the house due to the former, so I started the long process of getting a writhing child out the door in a timely fashion. He’s usually very excited to go to school, so this was a little weird to me. He was adamant that he was not down with school today, not cool with walking to the car, and generally just “vewy angwy!”

And you know me – I started to wonder what awful thing had happened at school that made him so upset about going. Had a classmate been mean to him and the teacher didn’t help? Had he gotten into trouble and no one told me? Had he gotten hurt?

So as we drove there I continued to ask him why he didn’t want to go. I started talking about how they would get to go to the “big room” to play instruments since it was raining outside, and then he yelled, “No! I NOT want to pway Duckduckgoose!”

“Oh, did you play Duck-Duck-Goose at school?”

“Yes. It raining and I NOT want to pway.” Aha, so on rainy days they not only go to the big room for instruments, but also for games. That was a relief.

But then, about four seconds later, I started up again – Wait, why does he hate Duck-Duck-Goose so much? Does nobody pick him as the goose? Is he always the first one “out”? Do they put him in “the pot?” Oh God, they shame him and make him sit in the pot so that all the other kids can sit around him in the circle and stare at him because he was out first. He’s already having sport-related school anxiety! He’s going to hate gym. He’s going to have stomach aches on Field Day. He’s going to be like my brother and run himself into a wall to break his arm so that he can get out of P.E. because a shattered ulna feels better than the shame of being a non-athlete . . .

“You put your hands on the heads and I NOT want them to touch my head.”



“You mean you don’t like Duck-Duck-Goose because they touch your head? It’s not because of the part where you have to run around the circle and get chased and sit in the pot if you are out?”

“No, that a wittle fun. Running part is fun. I just not want them to touch my head.”

” . . . Ohhhhhh.”

When I picked him up two hours later I looked in the window to see Sam happily sitting in a circle with his hand stuck out so that the kid who was the ducker could walk by and tap him high five style – “Gooooooose!” – and Sam running and laughing around and around the whole room as the teachers tried to direct the two boys to at least head in the general direction of the circle, which had really spread out into something more like a line. There was no “out,” no “pot,” and absolutely no shame.

10 Responses

  1. Heh… he knows what he likes and what he does NOT like! Did you give the teacher a “heads” up, or did he come to this solution on his own?

  2. Okay, kids. They are a mystery. For pete’s sake. The weirdest things get under their skin sometimes. I’m glad this problem was quickly resolved. That is great. Good for you, Mama Sleuth!

  3. I am procrastinating and found your blog from your comment on Lessons From Laundry. I’m a fairly new writer and can’t believe all of the awesome mom-writers out there. I love how aware you are of your fears you’re projecting onto your kids — me too! Really enjoyed the visit.

  4. Glad you solved that mystery!

    Isn’t it funny how our imaginations run away with us sometimes? When my Sam told me he got in trouble on his first day of Kindergarten and I had visions of him at 16, tattooed, overly-pierced, and in the back of a police car.

  5. I bought my six year old a Pokemon shirt that he wanted badly and he still hasn’t worn it yet. I kept asking him why he wouldn’t wear it and finally it came out that some kid he didn’t even KNOW from another class made fun of Pokemon.

    I just said Who cares if he doesn’t like Pokemon? None of MY friends like Pokemon but still like them.

    Hopefully he’ll wear the shirt soon. Peer pressure and childhood anxieties sure start early, don’t they??

  6. So funny! You never really know what’s gonna bug a kid.

    Your last couple of posts are great. I’m glad you’re back to blogging again!

  7. I love this post!

  8. Jude would hate that too, I think. He’s the only one allowed to touch his hair! I love that they can at least communicate about what is bothering them now, at least most of the time. It helps so much. It’s almost never what you think it is.

  9. I read this nodding the entire time – it would be exactly like me to think something awful had happened at school. But, I’m with Sam, I hated having my head touched too. :)

  10. Ha ha, Sam is my kind of kid. I always hated hearing the chant of, “duck… duck… duck…” grow nearer and nearer until the hand of the fellow playmate and appointed Ducker came down on top of my head. In my opinion, it was a serious breach of personal space.

    Too bad I wasn’t as clever as your little guy in working out such a great solution.