I mentioned in my previous post on the journey that is kindergarten that Kate's class uses a traffic light system to control the kids' behavior. End the day on green and you get a green smiley face on your behavior report. If you're kind of awful you get one of these :| in yellow. I've never seen red, I assume it's frowny, which is confusing since Mr Yuck was green. And since I'm easily confused.
Anyway, the system was terrorizing poor Kate, who couldn't figure out what the rules were. Sometimes she is kind of awful, it's true, but she clearly honestly didn't understand what the hell was going on. She got several yellow faces. She'd been doing really well for nearly 2 straight weeks when I picked her up from school on Wednesday. "Another green face!" I exclaimed in the same tone I use with Lola for "good dog!" I can't help it. I've tried. Kate nodded vigorously, grinning from ear to ear. "You really seem to have this thing figured out now, don't you?" I continued.
As she clamored into the car and battled the seat belt she nodded again. "Well," she began, pulling, untwisting, pulling, twisting, pulling and untwisting again the seatbelt, "I didn't want you to be angry with me..." Click.
"Oh Kate!" I said, feeling terrible while thinking of her having nightmares about that stupid traffic light face thing I hate "I wasn't mad at you, I know you didn't really understand the rules. Now that you do you're doing really well and that's great!" We went on with our evening, forgetting all about green, yellow and red faces.
The next day she returned home with a yellow face. "Oh my" I said "what happened?" Kate shrugged it off. "Well, you don't have to be mad it's just a yellow face, it doesn't matter." I realized at once - I'd made a huge mistake. I spent the next 10 minutes attempting to explain all about the difference between doing your best and not trying at all. She seemed to be ignoring me. I kept attempting to catch her eye as I spoke to her, she kept coloring. Finally I stopped. "Listen Kate, if I see this sort of thing again I will be angry, got it?" I am such a jerk. She still didn't look up at me but nodded slowly. Today? Green face. We do what we must.