Kiddo#1 said to me, smirking, “If you get in trouble at school, do you think they’d send you to the principal’s office, or to the gym teacher’s office?”
Not being quite as dumb as a potato, I remember being introduced to the gym teacher when I registered my son for middle school. The gym teacher is also the vice principal.
So I replied, “Obviously they’d send you to the gym teacher because he has both the authority and the mojo to kick your butt.”
Son was disappointed that he hadn’t caught me out. I said to him, “How many times have you been sent to his office?”
“None!” He looked offended, but a little cagey.
“So he came to your classroom?”
“No!” By now he looked really worried. “If I’d gotten in trouble, you’d have heard about it because Mrs. Smith would have — er, I mean, one of the teachers would have emailed you.”
My Patient Husband said, “Oh, okay. Now we know that whatever you did, you did it in Mrs. Smith’s class.”
The thing is, I’m pretty sure the kid didn’t actually get in trouble. He’s never gotten in trouble at school, no matter how many meltdowns he was having at home, not even when for three days in a row I considered phoning the police. He held it together fine at school and that was that. He’ll break every rule in the house but at school he’s always on the right side of the line.
But by this point, I was having fun, and I said, “You keep digging the grave a little deeper here. Why don’t you just tell us what you did?”
And then to my surprise, he answered, but it was this strange story about how there’s a third teacher who has an office near Mr. Gym Teacher and Mr. School Counselor, and the third teacher was supposedly very mean but my son since then found out he doesn’t actually eat the heads and hearts of bad students. In fact, my son offered him a cookie one day, and the gentleman accepted it.
The result is, now I’m totally confused. But until I get an email from Mrs. Smith, I have no proof that anything actually went wrong at school, and no understanding whatsoever about why that third gentleman was involved in the tale at all.
But still, even this Alice In Wonderland recitation is better than what happens with the other two:
Me: What did you do at school today?
Me: Nothing at all? You sat and stared into space while your teacher gave herself a manicure?