Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Essay: Pinching on St. Patrick's Day

Image: The green shirt my son wore today. It's supposed to be 60 degrees Farenheit today, so he left off the hat!

As an elementary school student in the 1980s, I took special care to wear green to school each year St. Patrick's Day so I wouldn't get pinched. (OK, I also liked to celebrate the holiday wearing one of my favorite colors.) I don't remember any warnings about getting in trouble for pinching someone at school on March 17. In fact, I think I remember teachers looking the other way when that happened!

Nowadays, many parents and children alike do not have to worry so much about any pinching going on during the school day because of the fairly new and welcome trend of anti-bullying policies supported by school systems. As a parent of one boy with special needs and another one who is super sensitive, I'm glad that our school system has adopted a no pinching policy. I think that having such a rule in place for March 17 is a good way to avoid a whole lot of trouble. From a child's point of view it might be fun to pinch someone, but it isn't so much fun to be the recipient!

That said, after making sure that both boys wore the green shirts that I brought back from Ireland in November, I had to take special care to explain to my neurotypical Kindergartner that pinching at school would get him in trouble. I told him that if he pinched someone for not wearing green today he might get an uh-oh stick from his teacher. He knows that if he gets an uh-oh stick he won't get a prize from the treasure box for (several days worth of) good behavior.

Fortunately, my child with autism didn't seem to have any interest in the pinching tradition which is good because it takes longer sometimes for those type of explanations to sink in. He also did not need much convincing to celebrate today by wearing green because like me he loves the holidays. My little one does too. So the three of us are all wearing green, while the neutral color loving man of the house is not. My little one threatened to pinch him, but I think that his dad will manage to avoid ten little fingers from an ornery six year old today.

Anyway, in case you are curious, here is a link from Yahoo that gives a likely explanation of how the whole pinching tradition on St. Patrick's Day began. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

1 comment:

Casdok said...

Super photo! Happy Paddy's day!!