Getting information out of E. about his time at school is like writing a dissertation where all of your evidence is fragmented, anecdotal, or out of context.
Wait. I’m actually good at that!
Yes, readers, I have sunk to using my research skills, honed after years of post-secondary education, to try to piece together what happens in junior kindergarten.
Exhibit A: The fish.
Several weeks ago (mid-September).
E. (hanging out with me after school, eating snack): “The aquarium is in the classroom now!”
Me: “The aquarium?”
E.: “Yes! For the fish!”
Me: “The fish?”
E. *now looking slightly irritated* “Yes! Because we are going to have a class pet! Fish!”
Me: “Ah! The fish!”
A few days later.
E. (on the potty): “The filter was put in the aquarium today.”
Me: “Oh! Does that mean the fish will be in there soon?”
E.: “I don’t know.”
At least a week and a half later.
Me (walking home from school): “So have the fish been put in their aquarium yet, E.? I haven’t heard you mention them in a while.”
E.: “No. The water is there, but the teacher says the fish cannot go in until everybody has had two days of respecting their home.”
Me: “Are some kids having trouble respecting their home?”
E.: “Yes. The aquarium is at the back of the room with the microscopes and kids are having trouble respecting all of the equipment. It can break if they are not careful. And the aquarium is open at the top so kids can put things in. But they are not supposed to.”
Me: “Have you ever put things in, E.?”
E. *brightly*: “Yes! One day I put in a plastic fish. Mr. J. was not happy. But it was a fish!”
Three or four days after that.
E. (at the dinner table): “Fish can’t eat people food!”
Q.: “This is true. They need fish food.”
E.: “If kids put their lunch in the aquarium, Mr. J. gets mad.”
Q. and Me (both realizing we are talking about the class fish, not fish in general): “Ah. Yes, that is not good for the fish.”
E. (at the playground, running around): “The fish are here!”
Me: “That’s great news! Does that mean you all had two days respecting their home?”
E.: “Yes! One of the fish has a big bum. They like to swim around.”
Me: “How many fish are there?”
E.: “I can’t tell. They swim around too much.”
Me (walking home): “How are the fish going, E.?”
E.: “Three of them have died already!”
Me: “Oh no! How many are left?”
Me: “So how many fish were there at the start?”
E.: “Six! But some of them were smaller than the others.”
This evening, at dinner.
E. (out of nowhere): “We all had to guess reasons why the fish died. Maybe the water was too cold or too hot or they did not like their food. Maybe we will get more fish. I hope we get more fish.”