Thursday, April 19, 2012

Green Days and Yellow Days and The Land of Make Believe

Katie had her first yellow sticker day yesterday. When she first started kindergarten last August she'd greet us after school with, "I had a green day today!"

Will and I, both fans of the band Green Day, would laugh at our inside joke, but poor little perfectionist Katie would ignore her silly parents and hold her head high as she walked home from school. After several weeks she dropped it when she realized announcing green days is like announcing the sky is blue.

Until yesterday. As soon as I entered the house after work, Katie ran up to me and without a hi or a hug blurted out, "I had a yellow day today!"

Katie's school issues colored stickers for behavior. Green for no behavior problems. Yellow for minor behavior problems. Red for major behavior problems. Each day kids are sent home with a sticker. It comes on the calendar they carry back and forth in their backpack to keep parents informed about their child's activities.

Katie has saved all her calendars this year. When she fans through the stack you see a blur of green dots. Until you hit April and see one lonely yellow dot.

Will and I responded the exact same way when we first saw it: "It's about time. All people make mistakes."

But not in the land of make believe.

Turns out that's where she was when she was caught daydreaming in class instead of finishing her work with the rest of her classmates. That's what ended her green day winning streak: pretending she was Zelda in Hyrule.

As I was combing her hair this morning, trying to get a knot out that she had twisted in her hair during self-soothing pre-sleep she cried, "I wish I didn't have knots in my hair. But I can't help it because it's how I fall asleep! I wish I lived in the land of make believe. Then I wouldn't have knots in my hair or yellow days!"