I Know A Lot About Thumbs

Trying to get my children to reveal any details about their day at school is as tough as breaking into a bank vault.

Actually with the use of a stethoscope, the ability to hear the clicks and a look out person I would have a much better chance of cracking that bank vault because there is no stethoscope in the world that would allow me to hear the clicks in my children’s heads after a long day at school.

If I ask how their day was, I get the canned answer of “good.”

I’ve tried different techniques such as asking them what the worst part of their day was. I’ve asked what they wrote about during writing time. I’ve requested what they talked about during sharing circle time.

My children, who CAN remember what they ate for dinner 7 weeks ago on Thursday, CAN NOT remember who they played with at recess two hours ago. They shrug, grunt and go grab a snack.

On my son’s first day of Kindergarten, he came home, gave me the obligatory answer of “good” when I asked how his day went. I was like, “Are you kidding me? This is the first time in your life you’ve ever been away from me and you’re giving me….good? I need details…lots of details.”

My 5 year old, Bency, looked me in the eyes and as serious as you can possibly be, said, “I’m sorry Mom. I can’t tell you anything about my day. My teacher said everything that goes on in Kindergarten is Top Secret.”

I told Bency’s teacher this and she started laughing and said I had a little jokester on my hands. I would have called it a bald-faced liar but I guess jokester sounds nicer.

My 7 year old daughter, Iris, is exactly the same way except I have been able to get some information out of her 30 minutes AFTER she is tucked in for the night. My husband and I will just get settled down to watch a television show and out will come Iris, full of news. One night she told me that a kid had got sick all over the computer lab that day and they just wheeled the kid down to the Health Room in one of those rolling office chairs. This news sent off alert signals in my brain because no one who carries my DNA could possibly wait until bedtime to share this kind of information!

I have now added, “Did anyone throw up at school today?” to my daily line of questioning. I still get shrugs and answers of, “I don’t remember.”

I had a tiny glimmer of hope when I asked Bency the other night at the dinner table if he learned anything new that day. He went into a lengthy explanation about the importance of thumbs on human beings. I sat there, intently listening, picturing 20 Kindergarten children enthralled in their teacher’s lesson on thumbs. After his 10 minute dissertation, I finally got the opportunity to ask in an amazed voice, “You learned this all at school today?” He looked blankly at me and said, “No, I’ve always known a lot of information about thumbs.” I sadly shook my head and asked him to pass the peas.

Parent/teacher conferences are being held in two weeks. I’m hoping to get some answers to fill in the gaps on what I’ve missed the last two months.

I know “good” means absolutely nothing because my husband asked Bency how his day of school was last Thursday. Bency answered “good.”

That’s a very interesting answer considering Bency didn’t even have school last Thursday!

Iris’s first day of Kindergarten and the beginning of me hearing “I don’t remember what I did at school.”

28 responses

  1. I’m under the impression that the kids think I operate on a need-to-know basis. Most days I ask and hear the standard “good day” grunt. When I get details, it usually means someone had a really bad day, bad grade, bad lunch, etc.

  2. This dilemma is a catch 22 because I have learned that once they do start sharing the much craved information on how their day went, IT NEVER ENDS. We start from the moment I pick the kids up, the whole drive home (taking turns telling me things because they want to just talk over each other) and then as we enter the house, sift through the bags, find a snack, etc. I like that mine will tell me about things, but I’m the first to admit that I don’t need to know that someone picked his nose today at 11:32 (especially knowing that I still have 3 more hours of school left to go through before I have heard the ENTIRE day from both kids!) haha!

    • Wow!!! That is so funny!!! You have made me ever grateful that I’m not clued in!! I know about that talking over each other thing and it would be a chaotic mess if they both were trying to fill me in on their day!!! LOL!!

  3. OMG-that Bency kills me! Everything in kindergarten is top secret! Oh that boy! I am so glad he has so much information about thumbs. 😀 I love your kids. I needed that laugh today.

    If it makes you feel any better, my son never knows anything that happened that day either. And my daughter, though not in school yet, would come home from daycare (when I was working) only to tell me that she either was not allowed to eat that day or that she was offered no food. Lies! Lies! 🙂

    • The thing I most worry about is the fact that if he is telling me these kind of lies at home…what is he telling his teacher!!! That is so funny about your daughter; it wouldn’t phase me in the least if Bency came home and told me this same thing!

  4. Too cute that boy of yours! I love his personality.
    After many years of trying to drag school information out of my kids I finally figured out that “good” means just that and if something is bothering them or needs to be addressed they’ll let me know. Every once in a while they’ll throw me a tidbit about something mudane just to keep my mom-curiosity from driving them crazy.

  5. Oh, can I ever relate! The only answer I get is “fine.” I try, try, and try again. Still, I get no details. But like Iris, my daughter does seem to share the specifics about her school day during bedtime. I think it’s because she’s finally had the chance to decompress. One time she told me that a boy was shouting at the teacher so loudly that the principle had to come in to break up the confrontation. Yikes!

  6. OK Bency is too funny! 🙂 “I can’t tell you anything about my day. My teacher said everything that goes on in Kindergarten is Top Secret.” you just made my afternoon! I needed to hear something like this! he’s so funny! 🙂

  7. I understand this challenge very well! I get a lot of “good” replies from L., too–but seeing that some of his early school days brought so much frustration, “good” is good! I always peek in on him after I get A. to sleep (I just sit in her room for 15 or so minutes, nothing fancy), and if he’s awake, that is usually when I’ll get more information if something is on his mind. He has told me how much he likes those little talks, just him and me…I can tell he struggles sometimes with having to share attention with his sister, but most of the time everyone is all right with the distribution of Mommy. Strangely, he was a wealth of chatter about school today, everything from soccer, football, monkey bars, factions of girls, his friends, science, all kinds of things. I guess the trick is to be ready when they are! Just knowing you’re interested and available to listen is a wonderful gift to give as a parent. Keep asking! (And, the thumb portion of the story was pretty darn funny. I love his humor.)

  8. Ahhh Bency sounds like a younger version of my ‘not so little one’….
    But at least ‘good’ is something..some just grunt, some just aren’t fussed on details.
    I’m sure he will ‘come clean’ when he feels the need 🙂
    The thumbs and please pass the peas line was brilliant!

  9. My son told me with great glee that they had ‘Assimbly’ and when I asked him what Assembley was about, I got, ‘Eh I can’t remember’. He starts speaking Irish to me, which they’ve just started learning but if I try to be clever and answer back (in what I can remember) he clams up. I am so not in his league – that’s what he’s telling me. It’s the whole point really, they have their own little worlds now. We’re just there to feed them, clothe them and make lunch interesting.

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