Mr. B. informs me that a second-grade pinky promise, made by hooking pinky fingers with a friend and repeating the promise out loud, can be broken. Apparently adults do these, too. But an elbow promise, involving a palm-out high-five, a back of the hand high-five, and a linking of arms while repeating the promise, can’t be broken without retribution. "You get sent to kid jail," he said. A form of ostracism, presumably. I can’t find elbow promise on Google.
Mr. B. came home from school with a big smile today. He said he had some news. He turned it into a joke. He said "Dad, me and two other boys had to go to the principal’s office, today." I thought, uh oh, but I didn’t say anything. He said, "It’s all explained in this note," and he handed me the note. The note said, "These three boys got 105 on their spelling tests this week, including photosynthesis and chlorophyll." He was especially pleased that not a single girl in the class could spell chlorophyll. Let me tell you, among second grade boys, beating out girls is a big deal.
Mr. B.’s school problems are starting early this year. Yesterday, after pickup, he gave me a very pious and unprompted lecture about how he–unlike some of his pals–knows better than to take his Yu-Gi-Oh cards to school to trade on the playground at recess. Teachers, who consider such things a distraction, don’t like to see them except, now and then, at show-and-tell. But behavior, of course, doesn’t always follow from understanding. This morning Mr. B.’s mom caught him trying to take a handful of the cards to school. She insisted that he leave them at home. He did, but he didn’t like it.
Mr. Boy struggled to get up this morning, despite being within ten minutes of the time he will have to leave for school each day next week. The summer vacation lazies are still clinging, and we’re still working on the "early to bed" part of the old Ben Franklin admonition. The "early to rise" part is coming on like a runaway NASACAR, but he has to work at being a "morning lark." This afternoon, we’ll be up at the school checking out the lists to see who his new teacher and classmates are. Mom hopes we lose some of his first grade cronies who helped lead him astray a time or two last year. That would be good, but I’d opt for a little continuity.