Thursday, October 9, 2008

We're Late, We're Losing Letters, and We're Encroaching

This post will serve mainly as an update on previous conditions...

1. I oversee attendance at our school. I am not the Attendance Lady, but I am the Attendance Enforcer. I assign detentions, Saturday Schools, and send late kids to the office for a pass when they try to scuttle off to class under the radar. So imagine my dismay when I received the phone call this morning that my daughter was not in school.

"Yes, she is," I argued with the Attendance Lady from my kindergartener's school. "My husband dropped her off." I spoke with the assurance of a wife who had touched base with her spouse after school started.

"Well," she offered, "we don't know that unless he brings her to the office when SHE'S LATE."

Late? Scandalous!

As an explanation, Husband let me know that he was not going to continue to Freak Out in the mornings when his daughters caused late departures with last-minute wardrobe changes, etc. He was just going to go with the Slow Flow.

Besides wondering aloud if my husband's cover-to-cover reading of the newspaper each morning might contribute to Slow Flow, I kept my mouth shut on this new philosophical approach.

2. But we took the opportunity at dinner to broach the issue of Morning Cooperation, so Mom and Dad won't get busted by the elementary school front office.

"Okay," agreed our daughter. "And I forgot to tell you that I also got part of my name accidentally erased by the teacher today."

"What???" We stared, agape, at our daughter. "For what?"

"Well, I accidentally...okay, not accidentally..." She paused to eat some taco. "I threw my classwork at the teacher."


First, I pictured paper airplanes. And then I imagined Indignation. Outrage. And my little innocent-looking kindergartener exhibiting those emotions outside the safety of her own home, where she lets them fly freely on a regular basis.

"Were you...being naughty? Or mad?"

"I was mad. I was mad, because the work was TOO HARD! It was math, and it was TOO HARD! I couldn't do it!"

"So you threw it at the teacher?" And then I remembered. "Wait...did you throw it at The Substitute?

She nodded.

Fascinating. I pleaded with her to show me just how this went down: "Here [handing her a piece of mail off a pile on the dinner table], show me what you did..."

But she shut down, with vague "I can't remember" statements she learned from CEOs and Politicians on TV.

We reminded her that there's a certain mechanism called "Asking for help" that might be employed in similar frustrating circumstances.

Husband will ask the teacher about the event tomorrow. But it's quite possible that what happens with the Substitute stays with the Substitute, and it won't be till Geometry in 10th grade that she lets another math paper fly.

Stay tuned.

3. In more good news, we received a letter in the mail today from The City about our bougainvillea growing against the fence along the alley. Specifically, it reads: "A recent inspection shows that Vegetation Growth along the rear of the property at [OUR ADDRESS] is encroaching over the alley. This is creating an Encroachment Problem [ed.: a little redundant, wouldn't you say?] and is in violation of...Municipal Code Section...and/or...California Civil Code..."

The dilemma is that Husband only weeks ago trimmed said "Vegetation Growth," so I do not know if he has nipped our Encroachment in the bud (pun intended) or basically accomplished nothing in this endeavor. He plans to call and find out.

I plan to call and direct The City to the alley behind my brother and sister-in-law's house a few blocks away, where a Strong Smell of Marijuana Growing Under Heat Lamps encroaches on my sense of What Constitutes Legal Vegetation Growth.


JJ&K said...

I scribbled all over one of my "too hard" math papers once. But throwing it...accidentally, of course. :-)

bombaygirl said...

Too funny. Love the way you write!