Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ask Me About My Day

I dare you.
There is a second tradition when my spouse leaves town for any length of time; for the sake of confusion, I will review the first and explain the third, before addressing the second.
The first tradition is that we all, the left behind, get sick as dogs before the second day she's gone.
The third tradition is that I feel impelled to rearrange the furniture so that my spouse trips over herself, a chair or the sofa that isn't there, when she walks in the door after midnight.
The second tradition, today's special event, is a school crisis.
I believe that we have jumped schools at least three times during business trips: Our oldest changed elementary schools, our middle quit preschool and then our oldest became a homeschooler, all while my wife was away, and any discussion had to happen via e-mail or the phone.
Today's crisis is our youngest. It is his turn, after all. Apparently there have been murmurs of unrest about his behavior, the term "witch hunt" was used to describe the discussion that occurred at a recent meeting, and there have been questions put to the house committee about "what will we do with the boy?"
Yank him the heck out of there.
Sure, he's a wild man. He's three. He's been known to hit, to push, to scream, to get in your face. He wasn't the biter, who recently went for another kid's face. He hasn't really clocked anyone, as he was recently by the aforementioned biter (who is also a great kid, and three).
Part of the problem is he's large, and strong. He seems to have inherited my odd strength to size ratio. I'm not a large human, but my grip is stronger than most men's, and I've never been wimpy. So when he hits, or kicks, you know it. He's like a large Labrador who thinks he's a lapdog.
But he'll grow out of it, and the Labrador won't.
Admittedly, joking aside, this bums me out. The teacher is great, the preschool president is great, I'm sure the other parents are great, but the situation sucks and the set up cannot be reprieved now that he's been signed, sealed and delivered as defective.
So off we go, instead of leaving him there to be stigmatized into god only knows what defensive strategies.
It has been a lousy day, all in all. First I get the news about parent concerns from the teacher, who thought I ought to know there was talk at the water cooler. And then my daughter's school was locked down due to a gun-toting meth addict threatening to kill himself or the kids, then I rushed to catch my oldest child's last race of the cross country season after carpool, and missed it (largely because the youngest child was having a three year old fit in the van), then rushed to a friend's volleyball game, trying to catch up my absent spouse in between via phone, then got called during dinner (takeout Chinese) by the preschool president who thought I should know there had been calls about my child.
Tears. E-mails to the spouse. Putting the little monster to bed (he's no monster!), cruising the humane society website like an addict, made happy by the recent adoption page update, where large black dogs are finally finding homes.
What a frickin' day.
I don't even have the energy to rearrange the furniture.

No painting, no writing, no reading, no drawing, no thinking about anything but my kids, who are good people, all three, and meeting their needs to the best of our ability.

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