Among the graduating kindergarten clan at the small peopleâ€™s school, thereâ€™s a fierce rumor going around about first grade and how the first grade teachers up the discipline game a little. One day after school, my daughter came home brimming with information meticulously gleaned during recess that day.
â€œMommy, if you are naughty and get a card flip in first grade, you have to sit in a timeout chair like this.â€
She demonstrated, sitting upright with her arms and legs ramrod straight, eyes wide and face motionless.Â
She continued, â€œThey make you sit in a chair for a long time and you canâ€™t chalax.â€
Now there was a head-scratcher. â€œYou canâ€™t what?â€ I asked.
â€œYou canâ€™t chalax,â€ she repeated, drawing out the last word.
I had a guess as to what she was really trying to say, but I wanted to hear her explain it, so I requested further clarification. She elaborated with, â€œYou know, you have to sit really straight, and you canâ€™t move or lean back or bend your legs or anything, even if you get really tired.â€
â€œI think you might mean relax, not chalax,â€ I offered.
She regarded me skeptically, and then conceded, â€œWell, maybe.â€
I returned to her concerns about the upgraded discipline policy that awaits her in first grade. â€œWell, honey, have you ever even gotten a card flip before?â€
â€œNo!â€ She looked offended.
â€œSo why are you even worried about it?â€
â€œWell,â€ she paused and assumed the voice of an adult imparting wisdom to a child, â€œNo one can be good forever.â€
You know what they say about the mouths of babes.
Therefore, knowing she was right, I did the thing begging to be done. I gave her a hug and told her to chalax.