Last week I got a call from the Principal. Of course, my immediate response was a sinking feeling in my gut, as I prepared myself for whatever bad news was about to come my way. The first words out of the Principal’s mouth were to reassure me that nothing was wrong. Thank God for that!
She proceeds to tell me that she has Monkey in the office with her and that he wants to talk with me. He gets on the line and says, “Guess what, Mommy?”“What?”
“I just won the spelling bee!”“You did? That’s awesome, kid! Great job! I’m so proud of you!”
“Uh huh.”There was an awkward silence while he tried to think of something else to say to me, and he clearly was not ready to relinquish the phone back to the Principal. So, I started asking him some questions about his experience at the spelling bee and he was able to talk with me a little bit about it.
Monkey does not have a ton of experience on the telephone, so he was not completely certain of how to talk with me beyond sharing his big news. He had some trouble figuring out what to talk about and when he should give back the phone to the Principal. We muddled through the conversation and I ended up instructing him to hang up the phone, and that I would talk with him more about the spelling bee when he got home from school. In our mutual confusion, I ended up hanging up the phone right as the Principal got back on the line. Oops!He had been so excited about the prospect of the spelling bee that he had been chattering for a few days about it. He told me that the winners, starting in 3rd grade and beyond, get their name engraved on the plaque in the Principal’s office. He had made up his mind that he really wanted his name up on the wall forevermore.
The night before the spelling bee, he was up late. I think it was the first time I’d really ever seen him too excited to sleep. He’s had nights where “weird thoughts” kept him from sleeping, but this was something new. He ended up asking for a “nighttime vitamin” (melatonin) to help make his brain slow down so he could sleep, and he fell asleep 30 minutes later.The following morning, instead of his usual wake-up time curled up in a blanket on the couch, he was dressed and ready to go even before I was awake. He told me that he wanted to surprise me and he was clearly excited for the spelling bee. I thought that was awesome. During breakfast I gave him some words of encouragement, reminding him to slow his thoughts down and to think about his answer before he spoke.
Needless to say, he went to school that day and came home a winner. I understand from one of the teachers that he conducted himself very appropriately during the spelling bee, which of course made me very happy to hear. Monkey is an amazing speller and I couldn’t be more proud of him! He is now a 2-year defending champion and he’s already talking about how he can’t wait to get his name on the wall plaque again next year. I hope he does!