Work with me, please.

Mae had drama rehearsal today.  She will be Fairy #3, and she has three lines!  Last year, she was a napkin in Beauty and the Beast and she had one line, “No, pick me!”   She’s moving up in the drama world!

I took her to the school’s gym and then went up to the ground level to look through my newest issue of Cooking Light and make wishes about dishes I’d like to cook one day.  When I returned to the gym to see how things were going, I saw Mae sitting on a little girl’s lap and the girl’s hands around Mae’s waist.  This is Red Circle activity.  Some months ago, Mae and I made green, yellow and red circles from construction paper.  We wrote names and relationships (e.g., friends, neighbors, teachers, strangers)and acceptable and unacceptable types of touch on the appropriate circles.  Sitting on a friend’s lap is unacceptable.

I called Mae to me and reminded her of the Red Circle — no sitting on laps.  She corrected me, “But, it’s ok if it’s Grandma.”  Oh, so she does remember something about the Circles.  I asked if the little girl is her grandmother.

Mae went back, and I decided to finish the magazine in the gym.  The next time I looked up, the little girl, who is playing “Jill”, was holding Mae around the waist.  Gee whiz.  I wondered to myself, should I say something to Jill?  Tell her nicely that she should keep her hands to herself?  I looked around to see if I could spot her mother, but there were no other parents in the gym.  Just then, Jill asked the drama teacher for permission to go to the restroom.  He said yes, and Jill took Mae’s hand and started for the exit along with a third girl.  I stepped in front of them and took Mae’s hand from Jill.

Jill:  “I’m taking her to the bathroom.”

Me to Jill:  “No, you’re not taking her to the bathroom.

Me to Mae:  “Do you need to use the bathroom?”

Mae: “No, but my leg hurts because I fell.”

Me:  “Ok, go have a seat and I’ll check your leg later.”

During the next break, I talked to Mae again about not touching others and not allowing others to touch her.

Perhaps Jill is just an affectionate, friendly kid . . .  but what if she isn’t?  What if she is an abuse victim who victimizes other vulnerable children in school bathrooms?

Ok, now my head hurts.  I’m going to make empanadas.

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