Consequences (and Drama)

These four-year-olds would LOVE for you to know that after (almost) three years in school, they’ve never ‘been on red.’ This is a cause for huge celebration in our car everyday.

Seriously. Dramatic Partying that they have escaped a bad ‘mark’ for one more day.
As the twins climb into the minivan, they scream, “GREEN! GREEN! I GOT GREEN!” as if their teacher punishes RED kids with electrocution.
Which makes me wonder what they’re doing all day that makes them so surprised they haven’t been punished. Lighting fires in the corner? Throwing food? Or (more likely) throwing temper tantrums?
Elisabeth is especially proud of her all-green status. EVERY SINGLE DAY we have to reminice about her short career in Preschool. “In Mrs. Renata’s class? ALWAYS GREEN! Mrs. Harris? GREEN! GREEN! GREEN!”
Sam is also obsessive about his color status, but in a much odder way. Sam has earned the distinction of FUNNIEST KID EVER by his peers with this daily gag: he moves his name to yellow. Four-year-olds can’t get enough of this joke. Sam relishes telling me about his practical joke to end all jokes. The teacher tells me about it every day too. Elisabeth tells me about it (somewhat disgustedly). The other kids do, too. And so do their parents. He is known as the class clown for this single gag. He even stretched the joke far enough to try and color his folder yellow. He claims he “wants to know how yellow feels.”
Catie knows how a folder mark feels. After making it five years in school with only one mark, she’s having a streak of them in Second Grade. To be fair, her current teacher gives marks for mistakes I’m sure Sam and Elisabeth will also make.
No name on her paper.
Talking in class.
Not following directions.
Catie hates to get marks–especially in light of her siblings’ spotless performance. I can usually tell by the look on her face if she’s gotten a mark that day. She hates to face the truth, and the consequences.
On the bright side, she’s so good at the drama.
Sometimes she gets the other kids from the bus to tell me about the mark. Sometimes she runs crying into my arms.
She tells the story the same way every time:
I was JUST TRYING TO BE GOOD. And I was turning in the work I’D TRIED SO HARD ON and I forgot my name.
And the teacher said, “Catie. Go. Move. Your. Folder.”
The last part she always says in this really dramatic voice. She perfectly isolates the moment the teacher has her move her folder into the CONSEQUENCES pile as the absolute pinnacle of her day. There is no discussion about what happens after that moment. It’s assumed that life barely goes on after that.
Elisabeth listens to this drama in horror. NEVER would she want to hear the words Go. Move. Your. Folder.
And Sam, I’m a little sad to report, listens with relish for the drama.
I think we all know which kid is anxious for a teacher who says those words to him.
Just so he knows how it feels.

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