The Mayor and The Rooster were walking in the back door to our house after school today when suddenly The Mayor started screaming.
There are screams that you are ignore and then there are the ones that turn your blood cold and make you run.
He held his hand up next to his injured ear without actually touching it. Tears streamed down his face and he wailed and wailed.
"What happened?" I asked him.
"She hit my ear with her whole head and it hurts."The Rooster, irritated with her brother about something trivial like who got in the back door first, head-butted her brother in the ear with the stitches.
I sent her to her room and tended to The Mayor.
After a little ice, a lot of TLC and a distracting suggestion that we look in the closet to see if we owned any Junie B. Jones books, The Mayor calmed down.
Once he was calmed, I went in and had one of those stern talks with The Rooster.
She typically shrugs off time-outs and plays happily in her Area of Banishment.
I showed her The Mayor's stitches, gave her a pretty detailed description of his surgery and made sure she was clear that she was to never to touch his ear again.
"I'm sorry, Mayor," she said.But The Mayor seemed pretty shaken up.
He's been really good about following directions related to taking care of his ear and so have his classmates.
At his pre-school, there is a job chart and the children take turns doing things like serving as Line Leader and Door Holder.
To help the class remember to watch out for The Mayor's ear, there's a new job on the chart called "Checker on The Mayor" and each day a different classmate takes a turn keeping an eye on his safety.
[I am indebted to his teacher, she is brilliant.]
After all the time and attention spent on protecting his ear, getting walloped by his sister really threw him.
I'm not sure if it really hurt as much as it scared him.
At any rate, he retreated to my office to read a book by himself.
After apologizing, The Rooster tried hard to get back in his good graces, but he really needed a few moments to himself.
She came to find me with her lip trembling.
Then her tears spilled over and she began to sob.
"What is it, Roo?" I asked.
"I... I... I feel sorry!" she sobbed. "I feel really sorry."We sat together in her favorite rocking chair and, more softly this time, talked it over again.
It was my daughter's first taste of regret.
"The good thing about regrets," I told her, "is that they help you to remember not to make the same mistakes another time."Still, it took a long time to rock The Rooster back down to this planet.
[And by this time I was an hour late starting dinner, K was still not home, my blood sugar had fallen (and could not get up) and The House of Joy had to forsake real nutrition and eat soup from a can because I can only do so much. So there.]