Last night I discovered that my 4th grade daughter has been forging my initials on school documents for almost a month to avoid missing recess. That means that for 3 and a half weeks, I have been harboring a felon. Now, honestly, this is the behavior I expect from my 6th grade son. With all of his mind-boggling tantrums and homicidal threats lately, forgery didn’t seem like something too far off of his grid. However, I generally ruled out this type of behavior because it requires, how do I put this… intelligence… to pull this type of scheme off. And quite honestly, we haven’t had to worry about that particular amount of intelligence as of yet.
But it seems that I have underestimated my daughter’s capabilities, as well as the lengths she will go to avoid sitting out for recess. It’s odd, but there was a certain part of me that felt almost impressed that she was able to pull something like this off for so long. I had been doing what 4th grade parents are instructed to do – start pulling back on being “helicopter mom” and allowing the kids to fail or succeed (to a certain degree) on their own. It’s their time to learn how to organize their papers, be responsible for getting signatures, and miss recess when things are not signed or completed accurately.
That being said, I secretly watch her grades on the new school Skyward program, and since most of them were in the average range, it didn’t occur to me that I was being played… until last night, when I realized that she didn’t want me to see her planner. THEN I knew something was up. She had been hiding behind the distraction of her older brother’s rages and her toddler brother’s Terrible Three’s, and she had been doing so extremely well! My daughter actually banked on the fact that I wouldn’t check up on her because of the other chaos going on. She played me like the fiddle that I am, whispering words of how proud she is of herself for doing so well lately, and saying how she “feels just awful” that her older brother can’t seem to get on track. (Blah, blah, blah.) She blew so much smoke up my rear end that I could’ve passed for a chimney.
Oh my gosh, I seriously just recalled half a dozen times that my daughter massaged my feet or complimented me out of the blue recently… that tricky little monster! I should’ve known something was up when she told me my unwashed hair of 3 days was “stunning”, because seriously? Stunning? You’re NINE. Say “cool” next time you’re trying to cover up your sneakiness!
On top of all the manipulating and the forging and the deception… this child had the audacity to LIE, to my face, 5 times in a row – digging herself deeper into the trench that will now be the burial ground for her social life. Because the Fiddle has regained her rightful spot as the Fiddler, as Fiddlers tend to do. Goodbye gymnastics! Adios birthday parties and play dates! Bon voyage recess! (Because YES I emailed her teachers and informed them of her need to sit and find repentance during the 25 minutes that used to be her school play time.) At the risk of going overboard, I actually thought about cutting out an “F” in red cloth and requiring her to wear it on her clothing until I feel she has securely learned her lesson, but apparently the letter F could cause some confusion that is unnecessary for the 4th graders of our rural community.
Therefore, if you live in the local area and see my child out in public, feel free to point your finger at her while yelling “SHAME!” I would consider this fair and equal punishment.
(PS, before you get all judgy and condescending, my daughter came up to me after school and told me that missing recess is just fine with her because they miss it half the time anyways because the class talks too much. Yeah. She told me my consequence meant nothing.)