We are sitting here doing spelling words that, for all practical purposes, The Not Nice Kid has never seen before tonight. SKIP the fact that we've done them every night this week...she's never heard of them before. We are writing in multiples.
Today was parent-teacher conference day. I was all happy about this since we had ADDRESSED the issues, punished the child, survived the holocaust, and moved on to greener pastures. We have climbed the mountain and we are stronger. The worst is behind us.
Yeah. And there's a bridge in Arizona I need to buy.
The Big Kid was in Birmingham yesterday and bought me coffee. She called about noon to announce she was in town and if we wanted to meet her and my niece for lunch and to pick up my coffee, they were available. (This usually translates into: Mama pays. They got screwed today.) So we meet, we eat, WE DRINK, and I get up and leave TNNK with TBK while I go to parent-teacher conference. All happy and glowy and...oh, yeah...LIT from the pitcher of beer, but hey. We were cool. We had handled things.
Should have seen it coming...the first thing the teacher said was, "Have you seen TNNK this afternoon?". Well, uh, yeah, sort of. In a group. We have company. We move on...me talking too much which is what BEER FOR LUNCH does to me and in a minute she asks again, "Have you seen TNNK this afternoon?". The bells got louder and I shut up and looked at her and...there were issues.
Today? TNNK got caught stealing stickers. FROM THE LIBRARIAN'S DESK. This would be THE SAME LIBRARIAN she wrote about last week. (Not in her memoirs.) Another teacher caught her and when confronted, TNNK lied. More than once.
Y'all. OH, y'all. The only punishment left is to take her sports away from her and that goes against every loyalty thing The Big Boy and I were ever taught. You sign on? You're in. It doesn't work for you or it's not convenient? Too bad. You are part of a team and you will finish what you started.
But in this case, she lives for Thursday practice and Saturday games. As does the team...she singlehandedly carries the team, everyone knows it and they all love her for it. She's not just the best because she's naturally gifted, which she is, but because she works harder than everyone else on the team put together. This is her thing. So...do you take away her thing? If doing so punishes other people more than her? We're in first place. She's scored eight of the ten season goals. She steps down? These kids go down.
I don't have a competitive bone in my body...you want it? Here, honey, let me give it to you. I'll wrap it. I wouldn't fight the dog for my seat at the end of the couch if he wanted it. Not worth it. But TNNK is going to be better than anyone else at any SPORT she attempts...no matter how much work it takes. Which is commendable...to a point. And it looks like we've reached that point.
Week before last, they kicked off (this is soccer) and she scored in the first two seconds. End of the game we're tied, 2-2. Last minute they're playing what we call "cluster soccer," hopping around in little groups kicking aimlessly at a ball that can't move, when TNNK moves in, cuts the ball out and kicks it straight up over everyones' heads. It goes up, up, up and then just when you realize it can't possibly work because it's going over the goal...it makes a sharp dive straight down, AS THE WHISTLE BLOWS, and sinks into the goal. We win. The crowd goes wild. We celebrate.
We get in the car to leave and TNNK says, "You remember that first year I was at Westminster (mother's day out, 18 months old, three hours-two days a week) and that little boy bit me?" And I barely remember but, "Yes."
She says, "That's who that goalie was."
We have met the enemy and the enemy is...us. Me. This family. This situation. This kid. I am at wits end.
I have emailed the teacher and principal to discuss the possibility of having TNNK stand up in front of the class, tell it what she has done, and apologize for not living up to the school standards. Figuring that, because embarrassment is her greatest fear, maybe THIS will work. We'll see.