She looked at me critically. "On a scale of 1-10? Probably a 9."
Nine was a whole lot higher than I thought she was going to say, or even behave, but I went with it.
"Alright, Blobfish Lover, if you can be a 10 today-- what does that look like?"
"Following the rules, listening, making my teacher happy," (class rules 3, 2, and 5), "following all the class rules."
"Okay, if you can be a 10, doing all of those things, I will let you read a page from your blobfish book at the end of class."
She looked at me incredulously. Then smiled her dimpled big-face grin. I haven't seen it in a while. "Really?"
"Yep. You have to be a 10."
"Okay," she said, clutching Pink is for Blobfish to her chest.
"You have to do your morning work," I reminded her and she practically ran (except we don't run in class) back to her seat.
"Miss Maddox, how am I doing now?" she asked me almost hourly. Mostly a 9, once an 8, sometimes a 10. Add that all up and it's one hundred times better than she has been.
When I went to pick them up from specialties I didn't think she'd make it. Her hair was undone and much messier than it had been when I dropped them off. All I got out of her was that it was BFF #2's fault.
"Are you still going to read your book at the end of the day?" I asked her.
She nodded sullenly, lifted her nose in the air, and walked to her place in line. By the time we'd reached the drinking fountain down the hall she'd returned to 10.
I still don't know what happened, but at the end of the day, when she asked if she could read it (while pulling it carefully from her stack of books), the answer was yes.