The children had gathered around the teacher, impatiently pushing and shoving their little arms forward to grab one of the stormily admired hula-hoops. ‘Say please and thank you.’ the teacher had demanded earlier.
My motherly heart swelled with pride when little L held her hands up high and enthusiastically called ‘Peeease! Peeease!’ – in fact, she was the only kid who (tried to) say please. The shoving and pushing continued around her, and slowly, her hands sank and her voice became smaller. ‘Peeease. Peeease.’ The mop moved further away from her, pushing the teacher into a corner. One after the other, all the children had managed to get hold of a hula-hoop. All but little L.
With hanging shoulders, her gaze fixed on the floor in front of her, she quietly said ‘Peas. Peas.’ It was breaking my heart.
It’s like that no matter where we go. Little L is always the last to get a paintbrush, a rattle, a ribbon or a sticker. She isn’t shy. She is, in fact, a very confident and loud little person. She is just not pushy.
So what do I do now? Do I follow my very first impulse and whack that teacher over the head with that sodded hula-hoop? Or do I teach my little one how to elbow her way through life?