Saturday, August 11, 2007

Character Flaws

On Friday afternoons, Owen's kindergarten class has "character education," a class about manners, kindness, and, apparently, good hygiene. This week, he brought home a "Character Calendar," a sheet with a grid that contains several deeds of good character for the students to check off as they complete them: "I was kind," "I did not gossip" (do 5 year olds really gossip?), "I did my chores," "I took a bath or shower" etc.

By Friday night, Owen had 75% of the squares checked off after spending Friday afternoon dashing around being full of good character:

"Mommy, you look nice....Wasn't that kind, Mommy?" (Gallops off to mark the "I was kind" square.)

"Mommy, may I please have some milk. That was good manners!" (Scrambles off with pen in hand.)

I finally drew the line with the following exchange:
"I put a cup in the sink, Mom."
"Good! Thanks!"
"Is that kind?"
"Well, actually that's doing a chore."
"But I already have that square marked off...I'll just call it being kind."

So I had to explain to my darling overachiever that it wasn't really in good character to equivocate about your good deeds or do a half-assed job of being kind, or helpful, or polite just so you can be the first one back with your character calendar filled, wildly waving it over your head on Monday morning, calling, "Teacher! Teacher! Do you want our character calendars? I finished mine already" while all the other kids glare at the back of your head.

He of exceedingly good character took the news hard and stalked off in a most impolite and unkind manner, leaving me to wish he'd done his check marks in pencil so I could erase a few of those suckers.

What hasn't occurred to him is that to complete the character calendar, you have to have checked off THREE "I took a bath or shower" spaces, and in this house? With the chaos of our days lately? That could take some time.


MadMad said...

Ohhhhh! Lookie! Even I can figure out THIS! Yay! And I love your new banner! Very, very cool!

Anyway, school charts. (aka Homework for parents, who have enough to do without keeping track of this silly piece of paper....) Yeah. Bad, bad stuff. I think it's a teacher's way of punishing us, maybe? Ah, well.

Mean Mommy said...

I know! I thought you'd be excited about not needing a degree to figure out how to sign the comments! :)