• A Naughty Boy

    We have been able to obtain a recording of a telephone call recently made by an early childhood educator (we’ll call her Miss X) to the parent of a newly enrolled small boy who was just completing his first day at his new pre-school.  The following is a transcript.

    Miss X:  Is that Mrs Trump?

    Mrs T: Yes

    Miss X:  This is (Miss X) from the NATO/G7 pre-school.  We met briefly when you dropped Donald off this morning.

    Mrs T:  Oh yes (pause).  Is everything all right?  I hope he hasn’t been any trouble.

    Miss X: No, no.  He’s fine.  But I thought you might like to know about some of his behaviours that might cause you – and us – some concern if they continue.

    Mrs T: Oh dear. I thought that might be the case.

    Miss X:  Don’t worry – it’s nothing too serious.  The problems – such as they are – will probably resolve themselves as he becomes more familiar with sharing and thinking of others.  He’s an only child, I assume?

    Mrs T: Yes – I’m afraid he’s used to getting his own way.  What’s he been up to?

    Miss X: Well, he’s quite big boy for his age – so there’s been a bit of pushing and shoving which has upset some of the smaller children.  And he seems to think that everything is there for him and him alone.  He tends just to grab what he wants.  Oh! (speaking past the telephone) Donald, don’t do that please.

    Mrs T:  Is that Donald?  What’s he done?

    Miss X:  He’s sitting on Charlie.  Donald, let him go, there’s a good boy.

    Mrs T:  Oh dear.

    Miss X:  Donald, give it back.

    Mrs T:  What’s he taken?

    Miss X:  He’s eating Billy’s sandwich.  Donald, that’s Billy’s.  You wouldn’t like it if someone took your sandwich, would you?

    Mrs T:  Oh dear.  I thought he’d learn to socialise quite quickly.  He promised me he’d behave.  Should I come and get him?

    Miss X:  No, no need.  He’s just a bit aggressive.  If he doesn’t get his own way, he tends to lash out.  And I’m sorry to say that he has a tendency to tell tales on the other children, not always truthfully – probably at times to shift the blame.  I’m sure he’ll – Donald, why did you hit James?  He was only trying to play with Jane.  Donald – oh dear!  (Sound of a child crying).

    Mrs T:  What’s he done?  Is he getting violent?

    Miss X:  No, not really.  Donald, Jane is a little girl.  You must treat her gently.  No! Donald!  You can’t put your hand there!  I’ll have to put you in the naughty corner.

    Mrs T:  He doesn’t have much experience of girls.  He seems to think that they are a different species and are just there for him to play with. It’s not his fault really.

    Miss X:  Donald – ouch! (Sound of a scuffle).

    Mrs T:  What’s he done?

    Miss X:  He’s bitten me on the leg.  Donald, naughty boy.  I think, Mrs Trump, that perhaps you had better come and get him.  Some of the other children are in tears – and I’m not far off tears myself.  I’m a bit concerned about possible complaints from other parents.  Perhaps he can start again when he’s a little more able to conduct himself properly.  He’s a bit too disruptive at present.  No Donald!  (Her voice sounds more distant).  Give it back. (The line goes dead).

    Bryan Gould

    29 May 2017