This time my offering is a question, in the end. Thing 1 got caught in a “fib.” Volunteering for lunch, the ladies said to me “Oh, we loved that interview that he did with you about working in the kitchen! Yeah, it was published by the 5th grade.” Uh-oh. He never interviewed me. “Everybody’s talking about his article The Mandatory Carrot!”
If the kids refuse salad, I give them a mandatory carrot slice. After three weeks, I realized grades 1-3 may not know what “mandatory” means. So I defined it, now I also call it required, necessary, the minimum vegetable required. One first-grader has fallen in love with carrots. Mission accomplished. But back to the article about it.
I called Thing 1 into the school kitchen: “You know what (grand)Pa says about a lie, right? You always get caught, right? Well, the ladies told me they loved my interview published in the 5th-grade paper…” Goes white, then red. “We’ll talk later.” And during lunch, I was extra jovial to ensure he’d eat. Talked a bit on drive home, then talked with Running Mate and we told Thing 1: You need to apologize to your teacher.
Hysterical weeping. Can’t we just go with the flow? Move on? I wanted to. It was painful for both of us. How creative to write fiction instead, it’s still writing. (Remember, I am a DOTING parent.) But.
Will is a hardass, but you have to come clean. It wasn’t Will. Tanya? No; it was Dorota. The principal. Yikes.
Running mate suggested actually doing the interview, so he could apologize and hand Dorota the actual assignment. Hysterics, throwing things. Eventually he did the interview. But now what?
Is it too much to ask a 10-year-old to apologize to the school principal? Even at his progressive hippie school where the adults are all called by their first names, the power differential is real, vast, important. Is this humility or humiliation? What would YOU do?