A Story to Start the Week: Another Ordinary Day in Momdom #2

February 8, 2010

Just another ordinary day for this Mom. Once again, time to put Baby Bear in the carseat and drive to pick up Bear #2, who was four years old. He’d been doing so well in preschool, adjusting to new teachers and friends. Bear #2 was my stubborner one – I guess you’d say he came by the red hair honestly.

I drive through the pick up line, and wait to be greeted by a smiling teacher with Bear #2 in tow. She has a sweet smile on her face but a knowing, sympathetic look in her eye as she says, “Can you park and come in? We need to talk.”

Uh oh.

So I do. I grab the baby and we go into the building, where Bear #2 and his preschool teacher are sitting. She smiles and says, “I just need to share something with you and ask your help in reinforcing obedience.”

Uh oh.

It seems it was Circle Time. You know, everybody to the circle. Bear #2 was enjoying playing in a big box far too much to head to the circle, so he was reminded with, “Come, please. Remember, we choose to obey.”

His preschool teachers had been reminding the children that obedience is a choice, and even at four, we need to make wise choices. “I choose to obey” was what she wanted to hear.

But Bear #2 looked at her and said sweetly and evenly, “I choose to disobey.”

I was appalled. All I could see in my mind’s eye was Bear #2 in a lineup picture, wearing stripes for the rest of his life.

I mean, it’s one thing to say, “No.” But I choose to disobey? In my mom’s mind, that made my sweet four-year-old sound like a career criminal.

The teacher patted my hand and smiled again. Then she said wisely, “Being stubborn isn’t a bad thing. We just need to teach our children what to be stubborn for. That determination will serve them well when they’re adults, when they stand firm for what is right.”

Wise words, and a balm to this mom! Blessings on that preschool teacher.

As I buckled Bear #2 in, he said, “I love you, Mommy.” Everything glistened as I drove home with motherlove in my heart and wise words tucked away for later.


Victoria said...

Wow, that's one of those situations I hope I don't have to face. I'm not sure I could keep a straight face while explaining why we shouldn't disobey our teachers--mainly because I'd be a little bit proud. Sometimes disobedience is the right thing, when authority figures tell us to do something we know we shouldn't. It's all a matter of knowing when and how it's appropriate.
What is he like now? Does he still have that spunk?

Anonymous said...

And the learning process (for both child and parent) begins! At least, he was honest and said it nicely! He was letting her know that if it had to be her choice that he really didn't get a choice after all. Smart kid, gotta hand it to him!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Victoria, yes, that one is still "his own bear." Knowing when and how it's appropriate is a sophisticated concept, though. I just wanted him to be a good boy!

And Suzicate, it truly was a learning experience for both of us -- as all of childhood is. And yes, he was at least polite in his disobedience...!

Karen said...

How great you still remembered that. I can just see my kids saying something like that. :)

Kindred Heart Writers said...

My daughter would have said that and she would also have stuck with it. And yes being stubborn about some things is a good thing. Praise God for people who stick up for what they believe is right and good. thanks for your story Laura. Your bears are extraordinary bears like their mother. Love to you Clella

Terra said...

oh Laura, my mom shares your misery. I chose to disobey a lot, I chose to crawl under tables and read rather than join in circle time etc. Teachers told my mom to teach me well, pediatricians told her to change schools. Fact was I needed stimulation, more than circle time etc was able to provide - given the correct environment I may have chosen to obey more(or maybe not) but I can tell you that I still am not great at Obeying and yet I am very proud of who I have become!

Hazel said...

Hi Laura,
I read somewhere that sometimes a bit of stubbornness in kids means intelligence, i.e. their minds are working. At least Bear #2 said it nicely, a sign that you've been doing your job well. Hang in there. My five-year old, when things do not go his way, would kick and throw things. God knows how my mind whirls when he does it. Teachers who deal with this kind of situation properly and nicely like the way Bear #2's teacher did, should be commended (pay increase if it were up to me).

I got something for you on my blog. Have a nice day,

Libbie said...

tHta is the hope my husband & I cling too....that we can channel their stubborness & that they will stick to their convictions when they get older -praying they are the right convictions :) Glad to read your story today...I don't feel so alone & that my friend...is a big deal :) I Love your bears!!!

MollyinMinn said...

I love her comment that you have to teach them what to be stubborn for. Great advice that I will remember (as the mom of a stubborn one myself).

AprilMay said...

What a wonderful teacher! Sometimes as a Christian I also "choose" to disobey God. I may rationalize it but it happens, and I am continually learning from it! Thank you for visiting my blog the other day...I am so glad you did because your blog has blessed me! I am off to explore it. :)

Honey Mommy said...

It's funny the things kids choose to be stubborn about, isn't it? Love the kind and wise words from the teacher though!

Tina said...

Oh I have been there and far worse with my kids LOL it's a tough process and learning process for all of uss. I'm afraid I am going to be getting many calls like that one when my Triplets start preschool, escpecially for Jenny and Owen.

I Loved how the teacher handled the situation. I can reme,ber leaving some meeting almost in tears.

Sarah and the Gentlemen said...

That is my philosophy too. Being stubborn can be good if it is for the right things.

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