When Woodjie gets off the bus, I take his shoes off on the front porch. A zillion grains of sand fly everywhere. I take off his socks. I brush everything down before we go into the house. It doesn't matter if it's 20 degrees below zero; the child will have an entire beach in his shoes. They get removed on the porch.
Next, without fail, it's time to dump the shoes/ coat/ backpack/ everything by the front door and take off all his clothes in the bathroom. Bath time! Get the kid dressed and feed him and his siblings dinner. While they're all eating, I go back to the front door, shake off the coat/ check the backpack for letters and do his school paperwork, pack a snack for the next day and generally tidy the entryway.
But the other day, I saw this horrid mark on Woodjie's neck when I was getting him undressed for the tub.
"OH, NO!" I howled. "What happened?"
"Happened!" Woodjie told me.
"No, no... how did you get hurt?"
"Um... did you fall down?"
"Owwwn?" Woodjie has a big, big smile and is starting to stim with both arms, flappy-style. Now it's a "repeat after Mom" game. Arg.
The teacher has no clue how this happened, but relates that Woodjie has had dooooozie temper tantrums at school. Throwing himself on the floor and making a nuisance of himself, is what he does, though the teacher was very careful to use the educationalese "Woodjie was having trouble making good choices" sort of wording. (Which... is ok by me. Way better than hearing my kid is actin' like a brat, I'd say.) She isn't sure when he got hurt, but she's going to guess it was when he first got off the bus and got angry.
I try not to freak out about stuff like this. I know Woodjie. He can be in my care and sport new bruises that I can't explain. I shouldn't get upset about this! The preschool, I remind myself once again, is my friend. It's in the elementary school that public education can be a horrid place in this district. But it bothers me. Things like this really break my heart. Not so much the scratches (not a biggie), but this idea that my child can be hurt in all kinds of ways and never be able to tell me.