Monday, October 15, 2007

Kindergarten Aggression

Grace has gotten mostly greens at school at the end of each day, but last Monday she came home with a red for hitting a little girl in the face. Ok, she punched her. In the face while they were standing in line for music class. For no apparent reason. Grace wouldn't explain to her teachers or to us why she hit this girl. All she kept saying was, "Because I did" and something about the girl not wanting to be her friend. (At least she didn't say "The devil made me do it," my brother's response as to why he carved and defaced one of my mom's antique dressers back in the 70's) My first instinct (after getting onto Grace and letting her know that is never ok to hit someone out of frustration) was to contact the parents and apologize and then explain that Grace has some issues and that it was most certainly an unfortunate impulse that led to the hitting, not intended aggression. But, you know? I don't really know what I'm talking about because I have no idea why Grace hit that little girl. Maybe Grace was mad at the girl. One of my biggest challenges as a parent of a child with special needs is teasing out Grace's behaviors as a result of her disorganized neurology and behaviors that are considered typical for her age and development.

I told Kate about it and Kate told her supervisor and her supervisor told Kate to tell me about her Kindergarten daughter getting into a fist fight in line at Chik-fil-a. This experienced mother wanted to assure me that aggressive behavior like that is fairly common in Kindergarten as kids adjust and socialize to the wide world of school. Then Kate reminded me that she bit a little girl in pre-school but that by Kindergarten she had learned not to do that kind of thing. At school that is. For I distinctly remember Kate biting me on my cheek on top of a bruise I got falling off a see-saw when I was in 3rd grade and Kate in Kindergarten. She bit my bruise. Can you imagine how much that hurt? The scars ran deep. The bite made a scar on my right cheek that caused a dimple when I smile, and when I get really worked up, my dimple scar begins to twitch. The psychological scars took much longer to heal. By 4th grade picture time, I was still highly self-conscious of my dimple and I refused to smile for the camera. I was no longer symmetrical and I considered it a physical defect.

People have commented about how cute it is ever since then and when they do I just want to go up and bite their cheeks. The strangest thing is that Johnny was born with a dimple in his right cheek. No joke.

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