It started yesterday at 1:30 when I got a phone call from the school principal, Dr. Council. She said Jackson was in the office not feeling well. He had complained of a tummy ache, and they had taken his temperature, which was fine. I said I'd be right there.
When I got there, I frankly was not up for the struggle that is convincing Jackson to stick it out and stay for the remaining two hours of the day. So, we swiftly signed out, and headed upstairs to his classroom to gather up his things. On the way, he mentioned that he had a substitute teacher. I think I asked him, "Do you like her?" or something like that, and I ***thought*** I heard him say, "She's fine."
Then, when we got to his classroom, the rest of the class was away (maybe art or PE? I don't know...), but the substitute teacher was there. Sitting in the dark at the teacher's desk, eating her lunch. She seemed rather... not nice. I stood at the door with Carter, and waited for Jackson, as he entered the room, grabbed his things, and headed back out. I would have expected that she would have acknowledged him, possibly saying something like, "Sorry you're not feeling well. Hope you feel better soon." or even "Goodbye." Not a word. The only words spoken were by me when we got there. I think I said (with a smile! big surprise!!!), "Jackson's not feeling well, so I'm checking him out early." No reply. Maybe just a shrug.
Turns out, she's going to be subbing again today (Friday).
So, all afternoon, he put on a good front; Possibly feeling bad, but I'm actually not sure. He did go without food from breakfast all the way to supper time, when he ate a half a bowl of chicken noodle soup. He's hard to read, and can tend to be a *decent* little liar when he wants to be. At bedtime, I told him that he would be going to school tomorrow, and that I knew that a good night's sleep was just what he needed. Then he spilled it...
He said that she was mean (and that he had never said "she's fine" but rather, "she's mean"). A whole host of other words that very closely relate to "mean" were rattled off: unfriendly, awful, disagreeable, etc. I basically gave him a little talk about how "that's life" and there will be mean people you encounter from time to time. I also told him to feel sorry for her, because she's got to live with herself all day, every day! ;)
So, this morning the dilemma remained. He felt like pouting his way out of it was going to work, but unfortunately, it did not. He did try awfully hard though, making sure I knew that she was, in fact, the "MEANEST person he'd EVER EVER met." Truly it doesn't surprise me. I read her as truly "the meanest person Jackson has ever met." Totally fair. Bless his heart.
(And not make her mad!)