small things #62 ... tidbits
Before Ashley's first day as a first grader, Aaron and Norah shared a few helpful tidbits with her. Little nuggets of wisdom that they wish they'd know when started all-day school.
"Be prepared for other kids to ask you, 'What's your name again?', repeatedly." ~ Aaron
"Be sure to take your lunch with you when you leave for recess and you can put it agains the wall." ~ Norah
Listening to them share their pointers with their baby sister brought back to my mind an experience that Aaron had in the first grade. An experience that was 100% avoidable and yet endured 100%.
During the first few days of Aaron's first grade year, he brought home his lunch bag and more often than not, it was filled with used napkins and half-eaten sandwiches. Being a good mom, I carefully picked these yucky bits out and threw them in the trash, rinsed his lunch bag and set it aside for the next day.
The next afternoon rolled around and this time there was a crumpled napkin, a slimy baggie and a partially eaten apple. Yuck.
"Hey, buddy. Can you please throw your trash away? You don't need to bring it home."
The next day I unzipped his lunch bag to find the same miserable mess complete with peanut butter smeared on the inside lid. Ugh.
"Dude. I need you to please throw your trash away. When you are done eating, please throw out all the left-over food and the napkin. Just bring home any silverware I send and plastic dishes. Okay?"
The following day, I opened his bag and stepped back in horror! Not only was there a wadded up napkin, but also a crust of sandwich floating in a sea of warm and slimy yogurt. The foil lid was pinched over the top of the yogurt cup, but that had not stopped the flow of sour creaminess to coat the entire inside of the lunch bag. Gag.
"Aaron! Come here, please!"
I still remember the look on his face while I gruffly told him once more that I needed him to throw away his trash. I used wonderful words like, "disgusting", "nasty", "rotten" and "awfulness." I wrapped up this wonderful mothering moment with my jaw clenched as I growled, "Throw. Out. Your. Trash."
At this precise moment, my Aaron-Boy burst into tears and wailed, "I don't know where the trash can is!"
In light of this teachable moment gone wrong, I turned to my sweet Ashley at the kitchen table and added my two bits, "Please be sure to throw out your trash from your lunch and ask a teacher if you don't know where the trash cans are."
Tidbits ... little bits of instruction that seem so small but in reality they protect us from BIG problems!