They Can’t Help It

Okay, Kids, this is about your Mom/Grandma/Great-Grandma, Patricia Ann Lee. It was during World War II, and Pat was living with her Grandma, Maude Lee, in the small town of Eureka, Kansas. Pat’s mom, Melba Lee, was living in Wichita and working at Beech Aircraft as a “Rosie the Riveter” and supervisor.

First grade had been a snap for Pat. She had read her books before school even started, and enjoyed all she learned during that first year.

Pat was really looking forward to second grade. Her school was near home, so on that first day, Grandma Lee walked to school with her and got her settled in. It was only a couple of days before things started going sideways. It turned out that little Miss Pat had become a talker. She talked incessantly from morning to night, and had the rest of the girls talking and giggling all day long. The teacher got tired of trying to shush her, and moved her to a desk that was surrounded by boys. “I’m not sitting with boys!” she yelled. “Boys are dirty, and they stink, and I hate them.”

For the next couple of days, Pat went to school then came home and complained about the dirty, stinking boys. Then, on the way to school, she had a brilliant idea. Between home and the school, there was a lush stand of bushes. Pat ducked into those bushes and found that there was plenty of room for her, and that she was well-hidden. She settled in to enjoy her first day as a truant. At noon, she could hear the kids get out of school, so she, too, went home for lunch.

That first day went well, but was dreadfully boring. Pat took care of this problem the next day by taking books and coloring books to her hideout. Pat enjoyed this subterfuge for a couple of days, but then her teacher walked over from school and knocked on Grandma Lee’s door. After greetings were exchanged, the teacher said, “Pat hasn’t been to school for a couple of days. Is she sick?” That opened the ball, and the two women quickly figured out what was going on. “I’ll take care of it,” said Grandma Lee. “Well, what if she does it again?” asked the teacher. “Don’t worry,” said Grandma Lee. “I’ll take care of it,” she repeated. The teacher left, and Grandma Lee grabbed her yardstick, and went looking for Pat. After a few whacks, Pat decided that attending second grade might be a good idea.

I felt that it was my duty to pass this story along so you would have it for reference. If one of your kids is acting up , and your mind is filled with words like “stubborn,” “bull-headed,” “willful,” and “obstinate,” maintain your calm. You should cut them some slack. It’s in their DNA.

Dave Thomas

9/9/2021

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