Like most kids, Jenna waits until bedtime- just as you are about to turn off the light and close the door- to say, "Wait! I have to tell you something."
Her poor little head is just swimming with things to think about: starting school, making friends, eating in the cafeteria, pleasing her teacher, learning how to read and write, going to art and gym and music, and managing the social stuff on the playground. It's alot for a five year old to process.
Last week we had two Bedtime Confessions.
The first one she got all tucked in, I came downstairs and a few minutes later we head stirring upstairs. Dan and I now make bets about what the statement is going to be: will it be the famous and a bit overused 'I'm not tired'? How about 'There's a spider in my room'? Or 'I can't sleep' or 'My teeth/legs/ankle/stomach hurts' or 'Can I have one more drink before I go to sleep?'
We were quietly placing our bets when Jenna comes downstairs and says, "I have something to tell you."
"Go ahead," I say.
"Weeelllll... in school today during lunch, the lunch lady told us to clean up our area where we were eating, and there was a straw wrapper on the floor, and I picked it up and I didn't know where to put it and then as we were walking back to the classroom I just dropped it in the hall and now I'm afraid the principal is going to know I did that and that I'm going to get in trouble."
"Hmmm.." I said as I glanced at Dan. "I think the janitors who clean the school picked it up and it will be just fine. But next time put it in the garbage, okay?"
An obviously relieved Jenna nodded, smiled and headed back up to bed.
A few days later, I was tucking her in to bed.
"Mommy... I have something to tell you."
"Go ahead," I tell her.
"Weeeeellll, you know GuHong in my class?" (He is a little Chinese boy who sits next to her and she, of course, calls him DoHond.)
"Well... I was playing with my friends on the playground at recess and he came running over and wanted to swing with me. But my friends all ran away and I kinda wanted to go with them so I ran away from him and now I think I hurt his feelings because I didn't play with him."
So I launch into a whole spiel about playing with friends and including other people, and how hard it is to manage all that stuff. I give her a few suggestions about what she can say to GuHong when she sees him the next day. "Why don't you say to him, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings yesterday, GuHong. Let's play on the swings today!"
Jenna looks very seriously at me and says, sort of condescendingly, "Mom. I am very shy. I can't say all THAT to him."