We had another tantrum last night. It started because at 8:45 I told the girls we had to stop reading. Bird proceeded to rant and rave and demand and sass and do everything she could think of to make me mad. She succeeded, though actually I held it together pretty well. Eventually, though, I grabbed the purse out of her hands that she was “organizing” in a painstakingly slow fashion and, in a fit of frustration with her, hit her foot with it. I mean, it was a fabric purse that was empty, I knew it wouldn’t hurt. I had just had enough. Except. Except the vinyl strap hit her as well and probably did actually sting and resulted in the kind of intense rage that only the parents of Bird can know. She screamed and screeched about how I always tell my kids they shouldn’t hit when they are angry and then I go and do it. I felt like crap because she was right. And yet, I was out of options. The kid gave up TV for lent. She doesn’t go on the computer often enough for that to be a punishment. There are no neighborhood friends to play with, so she doesn’t play with friends except on the weekends and that is too far away to be an effective punishment now. I had already reduced the amount of time we would spend reading the next night and didn’t want to say that I wouldn’t read aloud at all because, well, that is just wrong. So I hit her foot with a purse. And the vinyl strap snapped her ankle. And I’m a crappy mom.
After she raged for 10 minutes, keeping the whole house awake, I came back in and we talked and she sobbed. Not about the purse or having to go to bed. She sobbed about the MAP test. Why do they have to do it? Why is it so important? Why can’t they do anything else besides review for it?
So what do I say? I told her it would be fine. You are a good student. You will do a great job. But then I wondered if I was putting more pressure on her. I switched tactics, I told her exactly why the MAP test was important. Because her teacher cares since how her students do is a reflection of her teaching skills. Her principal cares because it is a reflection of his leadership skills. The Superintendent cares because his boss, the tax payers, care. But that it doesn’t matter to her or me and she shouldn’t worry about it.
So. Her teacher just sent an email out talking about the reviews they are doing this week. Lots of sample reading tests! Lots of sample math tests! They are making “offices” to provide a three sided screen around their work area so they can concentrate. Bring in “inspirational” photos to hang in the office! oh.my.freaking.god.
The school calls the MAP test “The Big Show” and has a kick-off assembly/rally next Monday to get the kids psyched up. Um, Dr. Principal? The last thing my daughter needs is any more psyching.
Ahhh – Dr. Principal. The joke might just be on you next year when your oldest is in 3rd grade and has to take the MAP test for the first time. She seems like a typical first born girl. I can only hope that he gets a taste of the stress he causes by playing this up so much. Because the MAP test is just not this important.