Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SGW: Sent to the Principal's Office

Hi, Kate's sister Bianca here. Before you get all rolley-eyed and think, "oh great, WTF does the perfect sister have to share with ME about mommy’ing?" let me set a few things straight.

Yes, I am tall, but Kate is far from accurate about the perfect thing. Yes, my girls are awesome (aren't yours??) and I do have to assume that part of that awesomeness comes from me. [Editor’s Note: Aren’t you kinda hating her already? Me too… -Kate]

But as far as being perfect and all, well, you should ask Kate about the time I gave her 2nd degree burns while basting the Thanksgiving turkey, or... ummm... well, I'm sure there was something else. [Editor's Note: Hey Bianca...Remember "does it begin with a... 'M'?? That was probably equally as painful. OOH! Or the chile relleno night? You wimp.  -Kate] 

Anyway, my rant today is about my youngest daughter. She’s 12 and has this freakish memory for things that we forget the instant after it happens. Like that chick who was on Taxi and she has this perfect recollection of every day of her. whole. life. I can't even recall her birthday half the time. She can give you the daily forecast, the TV schedule and the exact time she woke up that morning at the drop of a hat. She's like the time and temperature phone number that Kate and I called incessantly when we were kids to find out if it was 80 degrees yet so we could wear shorts. [Editor’s Note: We weren’t allowed to wear shorts until it was 80 degrees outside. EVER. Didn’t matter that we lived just thisside of Hell, if the thermostat said 79, we had to roast all over the house while our mother asked us if we knew where she left her little sweater. Now, we both wear shorts when it’s 14 degrees outside.  Just. Because. We. Can. –Kate]

She can also tell you exactly what everyone had to eat the last time we visited any particular restaurant, and likely what we were wearing, too. She loves, LOVES school, is at least 10 minutes early to everything and her favorite TV channel is the Game Show Network. I think she must get that from Kate, because her favorite show when she was like 2 was The Price is Right, and she will never pass up an opportunity to watch Jeopardy with someone. Especially when she thinks – umm,  KNOWS --  she can kick your ass. [Editor’s Note: Totally true. I have an abundance of useless trivia in my head. Like, didja know that elevators, ALL ELEVATORS, bing once when they’re going up, and twice when they’re going down? It’s so blind people know which way it’s going. Awesome, isn’t it? You’re welcome. –Kate]

So, last week, I get a call from the Vice Principal at her middle school. He tells me that there was an incident at lunch and a bunch of kids were throwing fruit in the courtyard. I stop him mid-sentence and ask him if he's sure he has the right mom. Not that I don't think that my kid would throw fruit, (well, I didn't, but I was trying to avoid getting all Perfect Mommy on him) but there is another child in the 7th grade with the same first and last name as mine. They have been mixed up SEVERAL times and I was hoping that this was again the case.

Vice Principal: "The child who did this is definitely Marilu P."
[silent cursing]
Me:  *sigh* "Yes, she's mine."

He tells me that Marilu, along with the other accomplices, will have lunch detention for the next 5 days. Which mostly involves not going outside after lunch and cleaning up the cafeteria.

Yet again, Marilus kind of a freak and loves to clean, so she's more upset about not going outside than wiping down tables. I get off the phone flabbergasted and proceed to tell the story to my friend who is with me. "Throwing fruit??? At other kids?? Whuck?? Who IS this child?" 

I am home before she gets home from school (Thank Maude for an older sister who drives carpool!) (and STOP rolling your eyes!) Marilu comes running in my room hyperventilating, crying, writhing on the floor saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!!" over and over again. Yes, she can also be a bit dramatic at times. [Editor's Note: Ahhh, finally something from my end of the gene pool. Excellent. -Kate] I finally sit her down and tell her in my best mean mommy voice to stop blubbering and whining and tell me what happened.

Wait for it, here it comes.... 

Marilu: I don't know...
Me: WHAT? What do you mean you don't know? Who else was there?
Marilu: [Rattles off a bunch of names of which I only recognize one and the others are names that could be boys or girls]
Me: Who are they? Are those boys?? 
Marilu: Yes.
Me: What are you doing hanging around boys? Were you eating lunch with them? 
Marilu: Yes, ma'am [A flashback to her karate days. When she knows she's in trouble, the ‘ma'am’ comes out.]
Did they start it? 
Marilu: I guess. I don't know it just happened. Mamma, I'm so sorry!! [starts blubbering again]

In my head, I am fast-forwarding a few years when she comes home from college with a tattoo on her lower back and an "it just happened" look on her face

Me: Oh stop it! Were you throwing at other people???
Marilu: Oh no, just against the wall? 
Me: What kind of fruit was it? Where did it come from?

Marilu: Apples. I guess from someone's lunch.
Me: So, lunch detention, huh? What does that mean?
Marilu: We can't go on the playground after lunch and have to clean the tables in the cafeteria. It's so stupid because the 8th graders started a food fight after we were throwing the apples and they got the same punishment as we did! 
Me: Yeah, well, I don't care about the 8th graders. 

 I sigh and give her a hug and tell her it's OK, but that getting a call from the VP does not make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and I NEVER want to get another one. Then I tease her about throwing fruit and being as though she loses her Schmidt whenever there is not fruit in the house, I am shocked to hear that she was throwing it. She would be the one out there rescuing the sad apple slices from the torments of war and giving them a proper burial in a baggie in the trash. 

For the next hour or so, she gave me a hug and apologized every time I passed her in the house.  I am far from perfect, and the same goes for my kids. But they are awesome girls and minor incidences like this are good reminders as to how easy it is to take for granted their awesomeness. We all screw up and it's OK. A hug and kiss and an "I still love you even though you cut your sister's hair" is the best medicine for a screw up.

Now I just have to hope Marilu stays away from those boys. Or, at least learns how to decapitate them with an apple. Seems only fair.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. love the I don't know response!! though i watched a show - or listened - recently where they said that the I don't know response is not as stupid as it sounds. the person said something along the lines that the teen brain is making and unmaking so many synapse connections each day - that asking after the fact for them to explain an action - they can't do - because the pathway that led to that decision - no longer exists... or something like that.. i've been through the blur and no longer have working synapse connections at all.

  2. OMG! I can totally relate, since I was eerily similar to Marilu on MANY fronts. I got detention for a food fight when I was 12! We were throwing peas and carrots. We had to sit on THE BENCH OF DOOM outside the principal's office while he decided our fate. The worst part was the fact that my mom wasn't home when he made me call, so we had to call DAD AT WORK to report my detention. I was sh*tting bricks all afternoon until he got home from work. To his credit (and because he really is pretty cool) he didn't beat my arse with a bedroom slipper (his usual weapon of choice). I guess he knew I was freaked out enough already from THE BENCH. I remember it as if it was yesterday, he said "good thing it wasn't spaghetti day." Speaking from personal experience, this ought to keep Marilu in check for a couple more years.

  3. The sudden "i don't know" when you know she remembers every detail would incline me to believe she probably started the apple throwing herself (most likely on a dare) to show off for said boys that she was sitting with.

    That thought "might" stem from the fact that the exact same situation happened to me when I was young, only the food in question in my case was peas. ;)

  4. Hahaha.. this reminds me being a stupid kid throwing stuff at each other.. fruit included! thanks for reminding me. Yeah, I got in trouble at the time, but reflecting on it now I just laugh, of course!

    I'm following this blog now, looking forward to what's next!

    and if your interested, I have this award for parent bloggers: The Torkona Award. Your First Born Birth Story. I reckon you'd have a good chance! IF you are interested of course. Hope you have a go!

    - tork

  5. lol, I got put in In School Suspension for an entire day when I was a fourth grader for standing up on the bus. I had the most horrible bus driver EVER, her son actually stole his dad's semi truck once and the cops had to shoot the tires out to get him to stop. Anyway, after getting home the day of standing up on the bus and my mom stuck my butt in the corner until my dad got home, he paddled me with a board, and THEN the next day I had to go be in ISS for the entire day. That punishment kept me in check until I was almost old enough drive, lol. Kids are awesome, aren't they? Now my parents just laugh at my kids and tell me that paybacks are great.

  6. As a former Marilu (photographic memory included) I'd say you have nothing to worry about.

  7. I bet the Baptista family gatherings are a kick in the ass with Kate and Bianca!
    Smarty-pants-Good-girls only get in trouble once.
    Next time, Marilu will have figured out how to get those boys to do all the fruit throwing for her; thus, keeping her entertained AND innocent!
    Kudos to her on the groveling...it's the time honored method of evading true punishment.

  8. Once, when my (now nearly perfect...then notsomuch) daughter was in 6th grade, she was involved in a food fight. Food fighting was, I thought, even beyond her naughty capability so I (good mom that I am) questioned her about it. Her response? "Stephen No-last-name threw his mashed potatoes at me.....what was I SUPPOSED to do, Mom?!" I had to turn my face away because the obvious answer (to anyone with even a pea brain) is, of course, "throw them back at him!" And she turned out just fine....




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