Saturday, October 29, 2016

Be a Buddy Not a Bully

Momma pulled the car up in line and stopped. "Have a good day. I'll see you after school."

I pushed open my door and grabbed my backpack. "Okay, Momma." I closed the door and hopped onto the sidewalk.

"What kind of super hero are you?" A big boy turned around near the steps. "I don't think they allow babies with tutus to be super heroes."

"Come here, Chloe. Walk with me." Brooklyn, a friend from church, held out her hand.

I grasped her hand and we walked into school together.

Brooklyn stopped inside the gym and looked at me. "Don't pay any attention to that boy."

I nodded and found my section, spotting some friends from Mrs. Taylor's room.

Later after reading time, I asked Mrs. Taylor to go to the bathroom. As soon as I rounded the corner, there was the mean boy again. I walked faster.

"Well, if it isn't little baby wannabe hero."

How did he know I would be here right now? I rushed into the girl's restroom. I took my time, hoping he would be gone before I came out. I eased around to the sinks, washed my hands, and ripped off a paper towel.

"That you? I don't think you're very brave without all of your little friends. I heard about the Fall Festival. How you scared my friend."

I tossed my towel into the garbage can and walked as fast as I could back to Mrs. Taylor's room.

"What's wrong, Chloe?" Amy smiled.

"Well, there's this ... A mean boy bothered me when I came in this morning, and he was just at the bathroom when I was."

Efren walked closer. "What did he say?"

"He was making fun of my super hero shirt. Then at the bathroom just now he said I wasn't very brave without you all and that he heard that we scared his friend at the Fall Festival." My hands felt a little shaky.

"Sounds like he doesn't remember this week is Be a Buddy Not a Bully week," Weston said.

"The first time I ignored him and this time I walked away. That's some of what we have learned. I hope it works."

Our class filed into the cafeteria. I grabbed a tray and slid it along the line, picking up my food. When I arrived at the register, there was the mean boy across from me. He narrowed his eyes at me and gave me a really mean look.

I turned my attention to punching in my lunch number.

He finished his number at the same time and carried his tray right beside of me. "I don't think you understand. I don't like it when people do stuff to my friends. I feel I should get back at you for that."

I stopped and looked him right in the eyes. "Stop bullying me!" I spun around and marched to my table. I plunked my tray down and let out a big breath.

Brooklyn passed by on the way to her assigned table. "Are you okay? Did he pick on you again?"

I nodded. "Two times. But this time I told him to stop bullying me."

Brooklyn smiled. "Good job."

I slowly ate my lunch, but my mind kept thinking about how close that mean boy sat to me in the afternoon while I waited for Momma to come. What would happen then?

All day long my stomach felt funny. Mrs. Taylor kept getting my attention and asking if I felt okay.

The time had come to line up to go home. I followed the others down the hallway, shuffling my feet. Maybe the mean boy went home early. Or maybe he wouldn't be there today.

As I neared the spot where I sat to wait for Momma every day, there he was, sitting on the other side of the hall. he looked at me and suddenly twisted his body in the other direction.

How did that happen? Had I scared him away during lunch?

Brooklyn bent down in front of me. "Hey, don't worry about him anymore." She nodded toward the mean boy. "I told our teacher that he had been bullying you, and she told him if she even saw him look your way, he was in trouble." She patted my back. "So don't worry about him."

"Thanks Brooklyn."

"You're welcome. It's okay to tell a teacher if someone keeps bullying you. Remember that."

"I will."

I told Momma all about it in the car ride on the way home.

"I am certainly glad you have good friends to help you like that." She stopped in the driveway and turned to look at me. "And you always know you can come to me and tell me anything. I don't want you to have to deal with bullies like that."

"I know, Momma. I don't know why someone would want to be a bully. You can have more friends if you're nice."

"You're right about that."

"There's still four more days in the Be a Buddy Not a Bully week. Maybe that mean boy can learn to be a buddy this week."

Momma smiled. "Maybe."

What ways did Chloe deal with her bully?

Brooklyn was an older friend who saw what was happening and didn't just ignore it. She helped. What might you do to help a friend who is being bullied?

If you are being bullied, tell someone - a teacher, your parents.

Chloe is right: You can have more friends if you're nice.

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Backyard Wedding

Momma helped me into my new dark red dress for the wedding. I thought it was neat that Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks were going to get married in her back yard. The one big tree there was changing colors for fall and really pretty. Sara had worked all day yesterday making an arch for them to stand under with Daddy.

Momma, Daddy, and me crossed our back yard into Mrs. Smith’s. I held on to my basket filled with fall leaves to drop.

Mr. Brooks walked down the steps of the porch and waved. “Hey. Let me introduce you to my nephew, Mark.”

Daddy shook hands. “Nice to meet you.”

Mark leaned over. “And you must be Chloe.”

“Yeah, how’d you know?”

“My uncle has told me about you.”

I shook his hand.

“We’re ready to start.” Sara peeked her head out the back door and whispered loudly.

Daddy waved his hand in front of him. “Shall we?”

Daddy, Mr. Brooks, and Mark strolled down toward the arch and stopped, turning around.

Momma gave me a gentle shove. I walked slowly, tossing the leaves from my basket and stopped next to Daddy.

Sara walked slowly down the porch steps in her dark red dress like mine. She looked pretty. Her hair was on top of her head with little white flowers in it. She ended up beside me.

Then Mrs. Smith stepped out onto her porch and smiled.


Momma narrowed her eyes and put her finger to her lips.

“Sorry,” I whispered.

But I had never seen Mrs. Smith look so pretty. She wore a white lacy dress and her hair wasn’t in curlers. No fluffy pink bathrobe today. She joined us under the little arch.

Daddy said all of the words he had to and had them repeat things. Then he said, “Now you may kiss the bride.”

I wrinkled my nose and looked the other way. “Ew.”

Sara and Mark giggled.

I looked up at Sara. “Is it safe to look now?”

Sara nodded.

I turned back around. “Now where’s the cake?”

Mr. Brooks looked at me. “I’m taking my new bride out to dinner at her favorite place.”

“So there’s no cake? That’s the best part of weddings!”

“Didn’t quite have time to do all of that sort of thing with a reception and cake and all,” the new Mrs. Brooks said.

“You didn’t?”

“Not at my age.” She laughed and put her hand through Mr. Brooks’ offered elbow.

Mark poked out his elbow toward Sara. “Shall we? How about we grab some dinner ourselves?”

Sara chuckled and her face turned pink. “Okay.” Her eyelashes fluttered like butterflies.

“Hey, Momma, do you think those two might become boyfriend and girlfriend?”

Momma jammed her fists on her hips. “Chloe Ann Parker.”

“I know. Don’t poke my nose in their business.” I rolled my eyes. But they were cute together.

Why did Chloe say, "Wow," when she saw Mrs. Smith? 

Do you think Chloe has learned her lesson to stay out of other people's business? Why or why not? 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What's Going On?

Now I had a whole week before I would go back to school. Normally Momma and Daddy liked to go away for Fall Break, but this year things just didn’t work out.

I sat up in my bed. Noises like car doors slamming made me curious. I hopped up and trotted down stairs.

“Hey Sweetie, how about some of your favorite chocolate cereal?” Momma said.

“Sure.” I jumped up onto the kitchen stool. “I keep hearing car doors or something outside.” I scratched my head.

“Oh, Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks are having a yard sale.”

“They’re selling their yards?” How in the world did that work?

Momma chuckled. “No, they have things they want to get rid of, so they set them on their lawn and people come by and buy them.”

“Like what kind of things?”

Momma shrugged. “Like furniture and dishes. Stuff like that.”

“Well, why don’t they need them anymore?”

“Um, well, they just don’t.” Momma flipped around to the sink. “When you’re finished, get dressed, and we’ll go see if they need any help.”

“Okay.” I finished the rest of my cereal and drank down the milk that was left.


Momma held my hand as we crossed the side yard into Mrs. Smith’s front lawn. Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks sat at a small table set up on the driveway. Several people milled around.

“Chloe, I haven’t seen you in a while,” Sara, Mrs. Smith’s daughter, hugged me.

“Are you helping your momma?”

“Yep, sure am.” She knelt in front of me. “I hear that you are still making sure Rosy gets her exercise.”
I nodded.

“Well, pretty soon, I’ll be living right across street. It will be fun to see you more often.” Sara pointed toward Mr. Brooks’ house.

“You’re moving in with Mr. Brooks?”

Momma patted my shoulder. “We haven’t told Chloe about all of this yet.”

Sara stood up. “Oops, sorry.”

“That’s all right. It’s time we let her in on it.”

My head was bouncing between Momma and Sara. Finally, I crossed my arms. “What is going on?”

“Honey, this week Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks are getting married. Mr. Brooks will move into Mrs. Smith’s house and Sara is moving into Mr. Brooks’ house. Sara needs a place to live here because she is doing her student teaching.”

I know my face looked shocked because my mouth fell open and I had to cover it with my hand.

Sara winked and smiled. “So what do you think?”

“That sounds amazing.”

“And here’s another thing I’m stoked about. I’m going to be at your school.” Sara’s eyes bulged.


Sara nodded.

“Chloe. Hey Chloe,” Mrs. Smith called. She waved her hand, motioning me over.

I ran beside her and was immediately greeted with a wet tongue lick on my hand. I squatted and petted Rosy’s head.

“Do you think you could take Rosy to the back yard and exercise her a little early today? She is really bored and quite fidgety,” Mrs. Smith said.

“Sure.” I took the leash but stopped. “I’m really happy about you and Mr. Brooks getting married and Sara moving here.”

“Thank you, Chloe.” Mrs. Smith smiled. She actually smiled at me.

“Of course, I tried to show you that you should go together and be boyfriend and girlfriend. I guess you had to figure it out yourself.” I shrugged.

Mr. Brooks chuckled. “That we did. But we do thank you for caring.”

“Any time.” I looked down at Rosy. “Come on, girl. Let’s play.”

Why do you think they didn't tell Chloe sooner about Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks getting married?

What do you think about what Chloe learned about Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks getting married and Sara moving in across the street?  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

It Doesn't Pay to Tease

As me and Momma walked into the school gym, I couldn't believe all of the games and people everywhere. Another mommy stopped Momma and they were talking. I just looked around, deciding what might be fun to try.

"Hey, Chloe!" Jill ran over to me.

"Hi, Jill. Wow, there's a lot to do."

"Jill, Chloe." Emalie joined us. "What have y'all done so far?"

Jill tilted her head. "Well, I've played a few games."

Emalie looked at me.

"Oh, I just got here. I haven't had the chance to check out anything."

"You know there's a haunted house." Emalie's eyes got big.

"I don't really like haunted houses. They scare me." I shivered.

"What a chicken!" A tall boy called out from beside me. "Can't even handle a little haunted house?"

I bit my bottom lip because it felt like it might start to shake. Tears wanted to slide out of my eyes but I blinked hard. I didn't want the big boy to tease me any more.

Jill and Emalie both slammed their fists on their hips. "That's not very nice," Jill said.

"Yeah, don't be a bully," Emalie added.

"Whatever. She should just stay near her mommy since she's such a baby."

As the boy wandered off with one of his friends, McKenzie walked up and put her arm around my shoulders. "Don't let that mean boy bother you. You're not a baby."

"Yeah." Brayden walked up followed by Dylan and Bryson. "You know, we should teach that bully a lesson."

 "How can we do that?" Bryson shrugged.

Brayden held up one finger. "I've got an idea. Let's scare him."

"Yeah, we could wait for him at the end of the haunted house," Dylan added.

"Momma, can I go with my friends?" I asked Momma in a sweet voice.

"Okay, but come right back here."

The six of us scurried off. Brayden knew someone who was working at the haunted house. "Do you think we could borrow a couple of those scary masks?"

"Sure." The older girl handed Brayden three masks.

Brayden motioned. "This way. Follow me." He lowered his voice. In the hallway, he turned around. "Bryson, you and Dylan stand here. When you see those two bullies go into the haunted house, come tell us. Then we can be ready on the other side." His eyebrows wiggled.

The rest of us got into position at the exit of the haunted house. Brayden, Emalie, and Jill pushed the scary masks onto their faces. McKenzie stood next to me.

I quivered. "Ew, you all look creepy."

Suddenly, Bryson and Dylan came around the corner. "They're inside," they said in a loud whisper.

The black plastic curtain was pulled aside and the two boys sauntered out. Brayden, Emalie, and Jill jumped out in front of them and yelled. "Now we've got you."

The two boys' eyes bulged open and they squealed.

Brayden yanked off his mask. "Man, you two squeal like little girls."

"So since you all were scared by these masks, does that mean you're babies?" McKenzie crossed her arms over her chest.

One of the boys grinned. "Well, I have to say, you got us." He elbowed his friend.

"I do believe you owe Chloe an apology." Jill joined McKenzie in crossing her arms.

The boy turned toward me. "Look, kid, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have teased you like that. I'm no bully."

"Thanks. I'm glad you're not a bully."

The boy patted my shoulder. "But you don't have to be afraid. It's all just pretend. And you have some good friends here to go with." He and his friend walked back toward the gym.

Emalie looked at me. "So, what do ya say? Want to go through?"

"Naw, if it's okay, I'll just wait for y'all here. But don't worry. I won't be waiting to scare you at the end."

We laughed together.

I really have made some good friends. The kind that stick up for me and care about me. I smiled and waited for them at the end of the haunted house.


Has anyone ever teased you? What did the person tease you about?

Chloe said that her friends stick up for her and care about her. What does she mean that they stick up for her?

Have you ever had to stick up for your friends? Explain what happened.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Learning a Lesson

That afternoon, I rushed through my snack and worked on my homework. If my homework wasn’t finished, there was no way I could go over to Mrs. Smith’s house at five.

“Chloe, dear, are you going to walk Rosy now?” Momma said.

“I think I’ll walk her a little later. Five o’clock isn’t too late, is it?”

Momma crinkled her forehead. “That’s a little bit later than you normally play with Rosy. Why so late?”

“Well, I figured I should do my homework while I still remember what Mrs. Taylor said.”

“Is it going to take you that long?”

“Maybe.” I shrugged.

My homework did take me a long time, not because it was hard but I kept thinking about poor Mrs. Smith. Sure, she hadn’t been the nicest person to me, but she needed Rosy. She would be lonely and grumpy for sure if she didn’t have her dog.

Finally the clock ticked close to five. “Momma, I’m going to go exercise Rosy for a few minutes.”

“Don’t be too long. Your father will be home and we’ll be eating supper ourselves soon.”

“Okay, Momma.”

I walked out onto the deck and glanced over at Mrs. Smith’s house. Mr. Brooks was just going into the back door. I jumped down the steps and sprinted to Mrs. Smith’s door, knocking hard.

Mrs. Smith slid the door open. “Oh, hello Chloe. Are you here for Rosy? I was wondering if you had forgotten today.”

I breathed in and out to catch my breath from my run across the yard. “Well, you see, Mrs. Smith, I need to warn you about Mr. Brooks.”

“Oh? Whatever do you mean?”

“Mr. Brooks plans to trick you.”

“Now, Chloe, Mr. Brooks is the kindest man I know. I have a note from him to prove it.” She moved toward her counter.

“Wait. That love note isn’t from Mr. Brooks.”

“It isn’t? It has his name on it.”

“I … well, you see … I sent you that note and one to Mr. Brooks.”

Mrs. Smith folded her arms. “Is that so?”

“I’m so sorry. I just thought that you weren’t so grumpy when he was around, so I …”

All of the sudden, Momma and Daddy walked into Mrs. Smith’s kitchen from the other side. Both Momma and Daddy’s arms were folded across their chests.

Daddy stepped forward. “Young lady, we’ve talked about poking around in other people’s business. It can get you in trouble.”

Mr. Brooks put up a hand to stop Daddy. “Mr. Parker, I did agree that we needed to teach Chloe a lesson, but she did mean well.” Mr. Brooks knelt in front of me.

“You mean you’re really not a bad guy?”

“Nope, I don’t think so.” Mr. Brooks grinned and grabbed my hand. “You were sweet to help Louise and I like that. But be careful meddling where you shouldn’t. It might backfire on you.” He chuckled.

I let out a heavy sigh. “I’m so glad you’re really not mean like that. And I guess you’re right. Some things just need to happen on their own.” I looked at Momma. “Isn’t that what you say, Momma?”

“Yep, I sure do.”

“So, I have one question.”

“What’s that?” Mr. Brooks said.

“Are you going with Mrs. Smith? Like are you boyfriend and girlfriend?” I shivered. “Kinda yucky to me but I just wondered.”

“Chloe Ann Parker!” Momma said.

“That’s okay, Mrs. Parker.” Mr. Brooks smiled. “Let’s just say that I will check the I like you box when it comes to Mrs. Smith and leave it at that.”

“Fair enough.” I nodded one big nod. “Can I play with Rosy now?”

Mrs. Smith grinned. Her cheeks looked pink. “Please do.” She fanned her face with her hand.

What did Mr. Brooks mean when he said that Chloe meant well? 

Do you think what Mr. Brooks, Mrs. Smith, Momma, and Daddy did taught Chloe a lesson? Explain your answer.