Ethan says he was only yellow bad today. Which according to him translates into a little good... not a little bad.
Like many grade school children, Ethan's behavior is tracked each day. There are rewards and consequences. In his first grade classroom, they track behavior by color: Green is good, yellow is a step in the wrong direction, red is two steps in the wrong direction... and blue? Well... blue is "very very really really super super bad," says Ethan.
Tonight during our "tuck in time" conversation... it was a yellow day. Or was it red? Or blue?
Me: So how was your day?
Ethan: Welllll... I kinda did something a little not good. But just a really really little not good.
Me: Uh oh. What happened?
Ethan: Welllll... I had to write a fix-it plan.
Me: Wow. What did you have to fix?
Ethan: Mom! A fix it plan? You DON'T know what a fix it plan is?
Me: I know what it is... I want to know what you wrote a fix it plan for...
Me: What happened in music.
Ethan: Welll... Oh. I have an itch. Can you scratch it?
Me: Ethan. Tell me about what happened in music.
Ethan: But it itches so bad!
Me: Ethan. I will leave if you don't tell me.
Ethan: Ohhhhh... wellll... I talked and I moved. A lot.
Me: You talked and you moved.
Ethan: ..and so did Matt...
Me: Right but...
Ethan: and Marshall...
Me: Ethan this is about you...
Ethan: And Louis...
Me: I'm not interested in Matt, Marshall or Louis. This is about you. So then what happened?
Ethan: My teacher told me I had to write a fix it plan. But I only got a yellow. I didn't get a blue.
Me: And yellow is okay?
Ethan: Well... yes. A yellow is just a little bad.
Me: So you are okay with getting a yellow?
Me: But wouldn't it be better to stay on green?
Ethan: Well... but yellow is just a little bad.
Me: That's true.
Ethan: Are you mad?
Me: No. But I'm sure your teacher would prefer you stay on green.
Ethan: Oh.. I itch so bad! I am just itchy itchy!
Me: So what is your fix it plan.
Ethan: I am hungry now. Can I eat.
Me: No. It's bedtime. We aren't going to eat again. Tell me your fix it plan.
Ethan: But my stomach is going to starve. I need to eat.
Me: Ethan. It is time for sleep.
Ethan: ...and I itch.
Ethan: I wrote down that I talked and moved and I would say sorry to Mrs. Kuntz.
Me: So you apologized to her?
Ethan: No. Not yet. Tomorrow.
...and then he let it slip...
Ethan: Blue's write fix it plans...
Me: You said you got a yellow.
Ethan: I did.
Me: But you just said blue's write fix it plans...
Ethan: Uhm... owwww... my leg is hurting from itching...
Me: Ethan! Did you get a blue or a yellow?
Ethan: Would you be mad if I got a blue?
Me: I would be mad if I found out you lied to me. I would rather hear from you that you got a blue.
Ethan: I didn't! I got a yellow!
Me: You're sure?
Ethan: You're mad at me.
Me: No, I'm not mad. And even if I was mad.. I love you. Being mad doesn't mean I don't love you.
Ethan: If I got a blue would you yell at me?
Me: No. I'd be disappointed though.
Ethan: Would dad yell?
Ethan: Ohhhhh.... (sigh).
Me: But I would tell him not to yell.
I am still waiting if we are blue or yellow.
Me: Do I need to check with your teacher about whether you are blue or yellow?
Ethan: No! I got yellow! I'm not lying!
Ethan: I think I'm not lying.
Ethan: Am I lying?
Me: How am I supposed to know?
Ethan: Ohhh... I don't know now! I don't know if I am lying!
Me: Ethan. What did your teacher tell you?
Ethan: She told me I got a yellow - but I did a fix it plan.
Me: Then, if she told you yellow - it's yellow.
Ethan: But I don't want you to call her.
Me: Okay. I won't. Now relax and sleep... let's not worry about it okay? It's fine. Thank you for telling me about what happened. I am not angry. I love you.
I stroke his hair.
He starts squirming... and making noises like somethings hurts...
Me: What's wrong?
Ethan: I - I - I... I just can't get it out of my mouth. I just doesn't want to come out! It's stuck!
Me: What are you talking about? What is stuck in your mouth?
Ethan: Oooooohhhh.. ooooooo... It. Is. Stuck....
Then he stops squirming...
Then he whispers....