Henry got in trouble yesterday for pushing. I've never known him to be a pusher, but hell, no one's perfect. The teacher took me aside after school. It's not a teacher I know well (they have a few teachers and they sort of rotate, or something, I'll never make sense of the system at work in this place) but I recognized that pinched expression, and I thought, crap.
"Henry was being… not very nice," she said. Which I thought was a less than productive way to express her displeasure, don't you? "He was pushing."
"Oh?" I said, and gave her a little shove. Ha ha!
"Oh?" I said, and kept my hands to myself.
"Then," she added, "when he asked him to apologize, he refused, and when we told him that [INSERT KID'S NAME HERE]'s feelings were hurt, he said, 'That's fine.'" She shook her head. "He said, 'I don't even care about him.'"
She seemed shocked by this. Had she never met a five-year-old before? Do all the other children immediately and sincerely express regret for hurting another's feelings? Do none of them attempt to save face by claiming not to care? Do I have the only full-of-crap preschooler in the universe?
I assured her that I would talk with him, but I didn't have to, because Henry gave me an EARFUL. WELL. That other kid was not following the rules, he was supposed to clean up the blocks when block time was over and he did not clean up the blocks when block time was over and those are the rules, and he wouldn't listen, and Henry was going to get in trouble for not cleaning up the blocks but it wasn't fair because everyone has to follow the rules.
In other words, he had a bad day. I tried to talk to him about pushing but lord, he knows he's not supposed to and he didn't want to talk about it and he kicked at trees the whole way home and called everyone in the universe stupid (sorry, even you). Should I have lectured him until he wept? Being a kid sucks sometimes. I opted to give him a break. I expect he'll stop pushing by the time he's in college.
P.S.: a new Wonderland post is up.