What's That Smell?
Casey is adjusting to the school year, but after a few weeks her teacher calls on a Friday morning and asks her mom if she has smelled anything strange at home lately. Casey’s mom thinks for a moment and says, “Actually, my car has had a weird smell and I can’t seem to track it down. I made an appointment to have my car detailed this weekend.” The teacher responds, “I think I have found the culprit.” Before Casey’s mom has a chance to ask, the teacher continues, “Casey’s backpack has about three weeks of half eaten lunches in it.”
After apologizing profusely, Casey’s mom explains that since Casey knows exactly where her homework is each night, she is no longer emptying her bag daily. She recognizes this as an area that Casey still needs support in. Mom and teacher discuss a plan where every Friday (at least) Casey will empty out her entire school bag to make sure there is nothing hiding where it does not belong.
Teacher is enthusiastic about the plan and comments, “I will make sure that she cleans out her desks as well. She can use the opportunity to find any missing papers or supplies and check in to make sure everything is in its home.”
Mom thanks the teacher profusely for her support and hangs up the phone wondering how she will broach the topic with Casey.
Casey comes in from school, and before her mom can get a word in edgewise, calls out, “Mom!! You’ll never guess what happened today. There was a really gross smell in the classroom and my teacher figured out it was MY backpack. EWWWW! Can we empty the whole thing and wash it fast?”
Mom reassures Casey that they will clean out her bag and wash it right away. She wonders out loud, “I am wondering how we can make sure that this doesn’t happen again?”
Casey jumps in and says, “Yeah! This cannot happen again. EWWW!”
Mom shares her conversation from the morning with Casey. Casey is not thrilled to have an extra job, but agrees that it is better than “that EWWW.”
How would you handle such a phone call?