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In which there were picnic tables

I just walked in from the graduation ceremony at Greensboro Day School for the Class of 2011.  Although I didn’t have a graduate, Daniel was a Marshall and my nephew Alex was a graduate.  At any rate, next year will be my 17th and last year to be affiliated with and having a child attend GDS.

 

As I was standing there looking for a seat, I spotted my friend Rachel talking to Linda Walker who was all three of my kids Kindergarten teacher.  As you can imagine, I don’t run in to her very often as we have been out of the lower school for a long time.  Linda looked at Rachel and myself and said to Rachel, “I’ll never forget the first time I met Lynn!”

 

Of course Rachel said, “Why, what did she do?”  (Why is it always ME that they think did something?) Linda said “I was giving my intro speech to all the new kindergartners and their parents and Lynn sat back there with her arms crossed just looking at me.  Then she started asking all these questions and I thought “oh no, one of THOSE parents!  There’s no way I’m going to like this woman!’”

 

I started laughing and Rachel said, “Well, what happened with that?” (I mean, I had Linda Walker the next year for Andie and then 3 years later for Daniel as well)  Linda said, “I quickly grew to love her!”

 

In my own defense, there was a kid in that class who was so damn annoying that I was trying to keep myself from going and beating him up in front of all the other parents and brand new kids.  He just wouldn’t shut up.

 

Funny thing about that kid though; he eventually grew up into an awesome young man and I told him when he was at my house senior year about how I wanted to throttle him on that, and many other occasions, and we just laughed about it.

 

At any rate, I asked Linda and Rachel if they remembered the time with the picnic tables and we started recounting that story and now, lucky readers, I’m going to recount it for you because it’s a wonderful story about resolution.

 

When Keely was little she had two best friends.  Sam (short for Samantha) lived across the street and was two months older than Keely.  They did everything together; played, danced, swam, ate, even took baths together.  The other one was Lauren (Rachel’s daughter) who went to pre-school with Keely and they were inseparable in school.

 

All three of them ended up attending Greensboro Day School and actually, Sam and Lauren were in the same kindergarten class although Keely was in a different class.  The problems arose on the playground.  You see, Sam and Lauren didn’t like each other and each of them considered Keely her best friend.  Lauren had always claimed Keely in school except NOW all three went to school together.

 

There were fights …. and spats … and bitching … and moaning … and drama … all the time.  One day I drove up to school at 12:50 (they got out of school at 1:00 for kindergarten) and as I got into the carpool line I noticed Keely, Sam and Lauren outside BY THEMSELVES sitting on a picnic table.

 

“What’s going on?” I thought and I quickly went inside to inquire.  As it turns out the three had once again been bickering about this stupid “best friend” issue and Mrs. Walker had come up with a very clever solution.

 

All three of them had to go to EVERY single picnic table in the school, and this was a fairly big campus so there were well over 20 picnic tables scattered about, and when they got there they each had to say one nice thing about the other two.  Keely had to say one nice thing about Lauren and Sam.   Sam had to say one nice thing about Lauren and Keely and obviously Lauren had to say one nice thing about Keely and Sam.

 

They had to do this for EVERY PICNIC TABLE ON THE CAMPUS and that’s a LOT of nice things to say.  They were almost done when I arrived at school to pick up my carpool.  It was one of the most interesting resolutions I had ever heard of and to this day, I could ask any of the three about it and they would remember it and laugh.  Indeed, Rachel, Linda Walker and I were laughing about it this morning.

 

Did it stop all the arguing? No, but the threat of having to do that all over again certainly meant that things never got quite as out of hand again.  It’s interesting how little memories like that just pop up every once in a while.  I miss a lot of things about my kids being younger but honestly, I don’t miss all that drama.

 

And to this day?  When Keely starts bitching about some friend or another all I have to say is “remember those picnic tables Keely?”

 

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14 Comments

  1. lindajones
    June 14, 2011

    I love this resolution–

    • Lynn
      June 14, 2011

      it was incredible and we all STILL talk about it and these 3 girls are rising seniors in college now…

  2. Katja Brown
    June 14, 2011

    The world would be a better place if we were all forced to say nice things about people we don’t like!!!

    • Lynn
      June 14, 2011

      yeah…it was a unique solution that still cracks me up

  3. Alison@Mama Wants This
    June 14, 2011

    What a great way to stop bickering & drama!

    I must remember that technique for the future. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lynn
      June 14, 2011

      yeah…it was a very interesting approach

  4. Evil_Cat_Grrl
    June 14, 2011

    My brother-in-law teaches middle school…I will point him to this post.

    • Lynn
      June 14, 2011

      hmmm….middle school kids are so much trickier

  5. Kim
    June 14, 2011

    Sure enjoyed reading this one about our girls………thanks :)

    • Lynn
      June 14, 2011

      KIM! i ran into Linda Walker at graduation and we were talking about it with Rachel. I will never forget that story…so AWESOME!

  6. Where was Linda Walker when I was in school? I remember girls who never uttered a kind word!
    Bitches.

    Love this!

    • Lynn
      June 14, 2011

      I know right? It was a VERY clever thing to do and all the girls and their moms still remember it…plus, it truly did help

  7. Casey Freeland
    June 14, 2011

    Genius! I wish my kids were younger so I could use that.

    Great post.

    Casey

    • Lynn
      June 14, 2011

      It was a long time ago for me too!!! That child is now a rising senior at Duke!

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