"I had to sit in my cubby," she told me completely out of the blue.
"Yeah? What do you mean, you had to sit in your cubby?" I asked.
"I was naughty."
"When were you naughty? Today at school?"
"Uh huh. I had to sit in my cubby, at school," she informed me with the same lackadaisical attitude that started the conversation.
"Okay. Well. What did you do that was naughty?"
"I was carrying my chair around."
"You had to sit in your cubby cause you were carrying your chair around? Alice, I'm confused. Why where you carrying your chair around? What were you supposed to be doing?"
"Me and Forrest were carrying our chairs around on our back. I had to sit in my cubby and Forrest had to sit in Jude's cubby. Ricki was carrying her chair around too but Miss Sharon didn't see her so she didn't have to sit in her cubby."
I almost laughed at this part. Already, she senses the unfairness of life.
"Alice, why in the world were you carrying your chair around on your back?" I asked still trying to sort the story out.
"I dunno. I didn't want to clean up. It was funny. Forrest was doing it too."
When Alice told me this story last week I felt two completely different emotions, one was worry and the other was relief. Worry for Alice. She has a lot of strong willed, spirited, defiance in her and I think this initial cubby timeout is only the tip of the iceberg. I predict many incidents like this in her future, for it seems she's of the mindset that rules are made to be broken. While I felt worry, I couldn't help but feel relief. Finally I had the confirmation I needed. It wasn't just me. A little piece of me has always thought maybe her and I butt heads and this is the cause of her defiance. Maybe under someone else's leadership she would toe the line. Ha ha, not the case! It's her!
I was not surprised when we had this conversation in the car the following day.
"I didn't have to sit in my cubby today!" she told me with great exuberance.
"That's awesome Alice! I'm so proud of you! Great job following the rules."
"Oh, wait. I forgot. I did have to sit in my cubby a tiny bit."
"Hehehe...I don't even remember, Mama."
Before the questions begin, since the idea of sitting in her cubby seemed to confuse some family members. Their cubbies are not closets or lockers. They don't have to climb inside, there is no door. It's not cruel punishment and nothing like Harry Potter living in the closet under the stairs.