Friday, March 26, 2010

Conversations with Daddy - Part One

Yesterday I arrived at the kindergarten to pick up the boys just in time to see Micah's teacher leading him away from the playground by the hand to sit in time-out. As I approached the teacher told Micah that he lucked out because I was there and he would not have to sit and serve his punishment. I asked what he did. Apparently he had shoved another kid, who by the way was quit a bit bigger than Micah. (The teacher and I both chuckled a little at that fact -- not at Micah's actions, but at his lack of fear). I made Micah go apologize to the kid, which he did very reluctantly.

After we got home later that afternoon, (you can read what happened between the time we left kindergarten and arrived home tomorrow in my post tomorrow) I sat Micah on his bed to discuss the situation further. Our conversation went something like this:

Daddy: "Why did you push [this boy]? Did he do something to you?" (I've withheld the boy's name to avoid any embarrassment or animosity).

Micah: "No, he didn't do anything."

Daddy: "Well, why did you push him?"

Micah: "Because I don't like him! He's a lollygagger!"

(Lollygagging is a term that Nathan has obviously picked up from Krista and/or I and has since popularized. He uses it to describe his actions in any situation where he gets in trouble for being rowdy, not listening or not paying attention to what he should be doing. It is actually quite frustrating, because he generally only provides this generic term rather than giving the actual details of what he got in trouble for. But that is for another time. Let's get back to the conversation with Micah!)

Daddy: "Why is he a lollygagger?"

Micah: "That's what they call him!"

Daddy: "That's what who calls him? Nathan, (who is sitting across the room on his bed) do you call him a lollygagge?."

(They are the only two English speakers in the kindergarten. Obviously if anybody is calling someone a lollygagger -- in english -- the source can be traced back to one of them).

Nathan: "No I call him [his name]."

Daddy: (Looking back to Micah) "Who calls him that?"

Micah: "I do!"

Daddy: (Biting his lip to keep from laughing) "Does it make God happy when we call people lollygagger? I want you to be nice to him."

Micah: "But he is a lollygagger. I don't like him."

Daddy: (Trying ever harder not to laugh and ruin a chance for discipline and reconciliation) "How would you feel if he called you a lollygagger? Would you like that?"

Micah: "No"

Daddy: "Okay, I want you to be nice to him."

We discussed it a little longer, but I'm not quite sure I got through to him, because we had a similar conversation this morning on the way to school. Oh the joys and frustrations of parenthood. Even the tough times are worth it though. May God give me the strength to model Christ in my own life before my boys and teach them that God loves us and that we should, because of His love in us, desire to love others, even lollygaggers!


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