Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The String Cheese Incident

Oh, how I wish I was talking about the jam band...

I was sitting here yesterday, working on a post about cheap crap Dell computers, and how fail-tastic they are when the phone rang.

I answered it, and... it was the vice principal at the Impossible Son's school. And I couldn't help it, the first words out of my mouth were, "Oh, what has Mr. Impossible done now?"

Understand, Mr. Impossible is actually a pretty well-behaved kid at school. He gets in occasional trouble, like the time in kindergarten when he poured glue all over the toilet seat in the kindergarten restroom as a "trap," though we're not quite sure what exactly he was trying to catch. Other than a few blips like that, he's always gotten a lot of praise for his good manners, and how polite he is, and how well he listens, etc, etc, to the point where I want to say, "You are talking about my son... right?"

So, when Mr. Vice Principal called, well... I just knew, and I even told him after he asked why I had said that, "Well, Mr. V.P., it's very rare for me to get a phone call from the school unless Mr. Impossible is sick or hurt, or has done something strange but relatively harmless. And even then, it's either his teacher or the school nurse calling me. If you're calling me, I'm thinking it's probably because he's in trouble."

And I was right.

Apparently, my son took the string cheese I put in his lunch today, held it to his crotch, and started wiggling it at the girls in his class.


Y'all have no idea how hard it was for me not to die laughing right there on the spot. I swear, I nearly broke a rib suppressing it, and it wasn't necessarily because it was so funny, but because it was just so... wildly inappropriate and just... so not like the Impossible Son! What else could I do but laugh?

I didn't, though. I remained calm, and asked what exactly was going on.

Well, a teacher caught him, made him sit in lunch detention, and then sent him to the vice principal for a "talk." According to Mr. V.P., to this teacher, this meant either an in-school suspension, or a three day suspension.

Thank goodness Mr. V.P. seems to be a reasonably sensible person, who decided to talk to the Impossible Son and try to figure out what was exactly going on, and he quickly realized that it was an impulse of the moment thing. Because, Mr. Impossible truly had no idea why he did that.

So, Mr. Vice Principal talked to him, explaining why what he had done was so highly inappropriate, and why it was considered vulgar... and then he had to explain what "vulgar" meant, and said, "I guess y'all don't use the word vulgar much around your house."

I snorted and said, "Well, no, not as such. Mainly because anything that my husband and I would consider vulgar aren't things we would necessarily expose our children to in our home, and when they've been exposed to it outside our home, we tend to use age-appropriate words like rude, inappropriate, and socially unacceptable, which we consider to be more accurate, anyway."

"Oh. Good," was all he said, and then he urged me to talk to the Impossible Son about it and explain why he shouldn't have done it, "because explanations like that really are more appropriate coming from his parents, don't you think?"

Well, not that I'm passin' the buck or anything, but you know, he had the Impossible One right there, in the moment, when an explanation would be most effective, so I said, "Do you want me to come to the school to talk to him?"

"Oh, no, he's fine. Just, you and your husband should talk to him tonight, that's all."

And that was fine. And after I got off the phone, I laughed myself silly. Especially after the Husbandly One emailed me that he'd just gotten a call from Mr. V.P. as well, because our son was, and I quote, "waving his cheese at the girls."


And yes, it was a very interesting conversation, once I got him home. No, I don't think it was a case of "boys being boys." Mostly, I think it was a case of "boy suffering massive brain-fart, and following the lead of other boy-type stinkers in class." Because, you know, this is not behavior that the Husbandly One models in front of his son, or even behind his son's back. Nor do any of the male role models he's been around. So... I'm left with "peers and peers' siblings."


Adventures in Boy-Land. It's a definite trip, and not for the faint of heart!

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