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Friday, January 15, 2010

Dedicated to B.F.

I'm writing this story out for my friend B.F., but truthfully, I think you'll all enjoy it.

When the oldest was in kindergarten, they measured daily behavior with popsicle sticks. A child started the day with three, then earned or lost sticks as he behaved or misbehaved. At the end of each week, those who had some minimum number of cumulative sticks were allowed to go to the treasure box.

Every day the oldest lost sticks. EVERY DAY. He wiggled. He jogged on the downward ramp leading to the lunchroom. He interrupted. He broke his crayons pressing too hard. He wasn't listening at circle time. Every day I had to sign some sheet to show I was aware he'd lost sticks and why.

But he wasn't terribly distressed by these losses, he being a generally jolly kid, so it wasn't too awful ...except on Fridays, because he was never allowed to go to the treasure box. Ever.

One day his friend T., who always got to go to the treasure box, decided to give his treasure box turn to the oldest. (Yes, I agree, it's the kindest act ever.) And so the oldest took his time choosing among all the items he'd never even seen, and he chose a rubbery, sticky-thingie that you threw at walls, then when it unstuck, you threw it again.

I wish I could say The End, but no, there's more.

The oldest being the oldest, he went back to his table, and he decided to throw the stickie-thingie up to the ceiling, where it of course stuck. And stayed, though he looked up hopefully every morning.

I forgot all about it after the year ended. Thankfully, so did he.

Flash forward to this school year, the oldest's last in elementary school. I volunteer in the Media center with two different kindergartens. One class has T.'s baby baby sister. And the very first week she proudly told me that her seat was under the oldest's sticky-thingie, WHICH IS APPARENTLY STILL STUCK TO THE CEILING.

And my point is that while that sticky-thingie is apparently as immortal as Highlander, the oldest is fine now. He wouldn't lose those popsicle sticks today. He's still a jolly kid, but he's learned to save his fidgeting and such for when he's at home. And so long as colleges don't start asking for a kindergarten popsicle stick average on their applications, I think he'll be OK. And so I think we're safe to say

The End.
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