The Major Muppet Meltdown

I was just getting ready for a lunch meeting when my phone buzzed. My first inclination was to ignore it – my preference for most phone calls (email me please folks: tricia@streamoftheconscious.com) – but I saw the number.

I don’t even have the number programmed into my phone so I have those extra few moments of hope that it is not the preschool. Because nothing good ever comes from the preschool calling me in the middle of the day. Nothing.

Today was no exception.

City Christian Preschool was on the phone. (Remember this.) More specifically, it was the preschool principal.

Principal: Hi there! <overly cheerful voice> This is Miss Preschool Principal!

Me: Uhoh.

Principal: The boys are just fine. <ominous background horror music (although this may have just been my overactive imagination)> But Search has bitten someone three times today. <decidedly less cheerful voice> So you’re going to need to come pick him up.

Me: Oh hell…

Principal: <clears throat>

Me: Sorry! <claps hand over mouth> (Now is where you go back up to the third paragraph of this post and re-read the name of the school. Apparently, “hell” is a curse word. Well, shit.)

Principal: It’s in our policy. He’ll be in the classroom waiting for you.

I looked up at my colleague patiently waiting for me to wrap up the phone call – and no doubt curious as to why I was clapping my hand over my mouth and metaphorically banging my head against the desk. “I’ve gotta go.”

I slammed my computer shut, grabbed my keys and hurtled across town to retrieve my suspended juvenile delinquent who had bitten two friends (who probably don’t like him very much anymore) and a teacher (18 months and he’s rebelling against authority…).

I arrived right as naptime commenced. The office assistant didn’t seem to think much of my suggestion that maybe I should join the kids for naptime and instead called the classroom to alert the corrections officers teachers that the convict was ready to be taken into custody Mom was here to pick up the world’s cutest cannibal.

Search toddled around the corner with a giant grin on his face. “HI!” he announced, and reached up toward me. I picked him up, making stern eye contact with the kid who clearly had no clue why his routine was being altered. I informed him we were going home and reinforced that biting is for food – not friends.

“Oh boy!” replied Search.

“Mommmmay!” declared Destroy. “Shoe.”

Clearly logic and rationalization is out at our present developmental stage.

I got them home and upstairs for the postponed nap in time to make my 1 p.m. conference call. I am supermom! (Stop laughing and give me this little victory. I am well aware that Supermom’s kids don’t get suspended for chewing on classmates.)

But by mid-afternoon, all hell broke loose. (Vindication! Curse word or not, I was right in my prior pronouncement predilections.)

Destroy was not thrilled – and more than a little confused about why he was waking up in his Calvin and Hobbes room at home instead of on a mat at Campbell Christian Preschool. As a result (and distinct lack of cheesy goldfish crackers), he had hurled himself to the floor in a full-blown tantrum.

Search was being uber clingy. He plopped himself in my lap and wailed at the mere threat of removal. He grabbed my left arm, wrapped it tightly around his waist, and repeated the maneuver with my right arm, securing himself in a cozy cocoon against me.

Then there was a knock on the door.

Scout, the black lab, took this as his daily signal to hurl himself against the door until he was fed. His furry four-legged yellow lab brother sat behind him, whining in the direction of his doggie door. (Our yellow dog, Cooper, has a few IQ points on Scout.) Scout began bouncing – launching himself upward from all fours until he was eye level with the UPS man hurriedly backing away from the door. The frenetic barking startled the muppets, who jerked upright and began sobbing.

Grandma Nancy walked into the living room amid the cacophony of chaos. “Ah yes, this is how I remember parenthood. This is what I would have expected it to be like all the time for you,” she offered helpfully.

I headed back to resume working, leaving Grandma Nancy to bask in muppet adoration while reassuring Search that the school situation must be a case of mistaken identity because her grandsons were far too adorable and perfect to ever do anything wrong.

Now, we’ve all had a little fun reliving my day as the mother being lambasted at some other preschooler family’s dinner table. And I know I’ve asked this before, but I obviously need more advice.

HOW DO YOU MAKE THE BITING STOP?

I would really very much like my kid to not be expelled. This could go on his permanent record!

9 Comments

Filed under School, Search

9 Responses to The Major Muppet Meltdown

  1. Nancy Welker

    Tricia,
    Being the book-hound that you are….*(Neighbor) found a great book that we read all the time to the ones and twos at our school. It’s called Teeth are not for Biting. I got it at an Applebaum Institute training and you can buy it one their web site as well as Words are not for hurting and Hands are not for Hitting.

  2. Joanne Hamann

    Great ideas Nancy! I had absolutely nothing to offer!

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  5. Kelly

    Hi there,
    Just stumbled on your blog; I used to teach preschool/toddlers. A “bite book” has worked for many of my kiddos. I had no idea that you could buy them- we always made them. One page would be things that “we can bite”- pictures of foods (especially ones that the kids really like). The next would be things “we don’t bite”- magazine pictures of people, and an extra page with pictures of classmates. We would laminate the pages (which we put on tagboard), which kept the book together for longer.
    Also, as a teacher, at circle time, we would go over the classroom rules- which included “keep your body to yourself”- and we would go over what body parts that included- hands, feet, teeth, etc.

    Good luck!!!

  6. Alex

    If they’re teething, giving them a cold teething ring to bite sometimes helps (they have ones that you can put in the freezer that are great!).

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