By Diane Ako
The children in Olivia's class are graded on behavior every day. They get a green, yellow, or red light based on how well they behaved. You can guess that green = good and red = bad.
She came home from school and revealed that she got a yellow light. She gets way too many yellow and red lights.
"Why did you get a yellow light today?" we asked.
She knows she did wrong, and she is always contrite - though my adult brain can never understand why it's so hard to just sit there and be good. "I don't want to tell you or you'll be mad," she replied.
"I think you should or we will get mad," we said.
"I was crawling like a dog," came the answer. "I was trying to be funny." She likes to get laughs.
Here is that part where we try not to laugh so that we look really serious. "You have to stop crawling like a dog in class," I lectured. The things that come out of my mommy mouth.
"You have to listen to the teacher when she tells you to do something, or stop doing something," Claus reminded.
The babysitter happened to be over already. We hire a 21-year-old to come two nights a week. She has a wealth of experience because for a few years she's worked as the after-school program staffer.
While I'm still marveling at the silly things kids dream up, the sitter was totally nonplussed. "You'd be amazed at how many kids crawl like dogs. And how many other kids bark to them in dog language. And how they'll carry on a conversation in barking until we tell them to stop," she offered.
This is a bigger zoo than the real zoo. I guess I was the only one surprised because Claus said, "Sure. Just last week, Olivia and Kira spent two hours pretending they were cats."
I guess I will only have to worry when she starts eating the pet food.
No, wait. That's happened already, too.