On honey versus vinegar: A lesson from Jack to take to the classroom

A lesson from my student teaching days whispered to me through the wind and the rain this morning. Sheila, my supervising teacher, taught me to attract bees with honey, not vinegar. Jack taught it to me again a few hours ago.

I am in a bad way this morning. My neck went out Saturday night as I fed Jack in bed every 30 minutes or so. We ended up falling asleep in awkward positions on and off all night. When my neck goes out, my lower back does as well. At the chiropractor’s office yesterday she managed to get the neck – was actually a rib that was out of place – back in order but my lower back was only made worse. The pain progressed with the day and this morning I can hardly move. Let’s add that to yes, another morning of constant feeding (Yippee for the 3 month growth spurt! Love it!). I was actually stuck in the bathroom, couldn’t stand up, Jack was screaming, really screaming, from the bedroom and that is what I felt like doing too. Scream scream scream. Instead, I started to sing.

You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away

I kept repeating that verse and then making up other lyrics with Jack’s name until I could get myself up and make my way to Jack and yes, even bend over to pick him up (at that point the singing got really loud as I did that instead of scream with pain!). The result –> Jack stopped his screaming pretty much as I started to sing. The singing was a release for my pain and frustration, a salve to his frustration and hunger until I managed to get to him.

In the classroom, as in my home, there is always an alternative to a harsh yell of frustration. If I have to sing in the classroom instead of yell, I will. Singing is much sweeter than the acidic vinegar of anger.