Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ninja Revelations

There's nothing quite like parent teacher interviews to bring out the guilt in children. You don't have to even be at the actual interviews for this to happen, you just have to casually mention in conversation that they're coming up. One by one, your children will soon seek you out to preemptively confess their school misdeeds. (But only if you're the Nice Parent. Kids never seek out the Mean Parent for their preemptive confession needs.)

These are some of the teary-eyed confessions that I - as Nice Parent - have heard over the years:

"I talk too much in class sometimes!"
Medium Fry, Grades 1 through - well, most likely her entire life.

"I was kissing girls!"
Small Fry, Preschool through - well, most likely his entire life.

It is really, really hard not to laugh. (But you can't laugh! Laughing would be detrimental to the whole process.) They are just so sweet and honest, and can Mean Parent *pwease* not come to parent teacher interviews, only you?

In the vein of talking too much "sometimes", Medium Fry has always been highly forthcoming about her confessions. Like, endless dramatic narrative about not being allowed to sit beside so-and-so at carpet time... or having to move to a different table from so-and-so... or completely missing a track and field heat and having to run against an older age group because she was too busy chatting with so-and-so to notice they had been called up. The force is pretty strong with this one.

Small Fry's confessions, however, are more varied in nature and tend to require some teasing out in order for the full scope of the confession to become apparent:

He comes into the room slowly. Gives Mean Parent a cagey glance. Edges surreptitiously over toward Nice Parent. Climbs onto Nice Parent's lap. Whispers in Nice Parent's ear, in that sortof damp and not-actually-quiet way that kids whisper, "Mommy, I need to tell you a secret."

I whisper back, in proper non-damp form in hopes he will get the hint one day (he doesn't), "What is the secret?"

* * *
"I had to put my head down on my desk."
"Why did you have to put your head down on your desk?"
"Okay, why did you have to do it twice?"
"For different reasons."
"But what reasons?"
"... I was talking too much with Sachiv when the teacher was talking."
"Okay, what is the other reason?"
"... I don't want to tell you."
"Do you think you should tell me?"
"I was fighting with Tyrel."
"But Tyrel is your friend. Were you real fighting or just play fighting?"
"Real fighting."
"Why were you fighting?"
"Because he asked me to."
"... So you were play fighting?"
"Yes. But for real."
"Were you being ninjas?"
"Did anyone get hurt?"
"Don't tell Dad."

* * *

"The gate is broken."
"What happened to the gate?"
"The lock thingy was a little bit stuck."
"That's okay, sweetie, we can fix a stuck lock."
"But I was fixing it already."
"How were you fixing it?"
"I was hitting it."
"... ?"
"... with a brick."
"Ah. I see."
"Don't tell Dad."

* * *

"It's not fair! They were kissing me first!"
"That again?"
"Don't tell Dad."

* * *

So far, I always tell Dad. I suspect he experiences some secret little flush of filial pride over the kissing girls business. Plus I'm not gonna fix the gate. 

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