It all started with a harmless comment, but what followed was an Oscar-worthy performance. If it is a sign of things to come, and it most likely is, I may need to take up residence in a place with a padded room and complimentary straight jacket for about 4-6 years in the very near future.
I had the good fortune of having Monday (Presidents’ Day) off this week. One of the perks of my profession, I guess. Since it is a rarity that I get to pick Kaitlyn up from school, I was more-than-happy to be able to pick her up; I also took the opportunity to join her for lunch earlier in the day.
While I was waiting for her, and sometimes I have to wait for quite a while, the mom of one of her friends also showed up to pick up her son. She is a teacher at the nearby middle school, and Amber and I have been forging a relationship with her and her husband during this school year. Their son is a really nice, well-behaved boy, and he and Kaitlyn are becoming really good friends; he came over to trick-or-treat with Kaitlyn and another friend for Halloween. I have heard that they are sometimes inseparable in class, and when the seating arrangements were adjusted earlier this year, it was quite the ordeal in our house because they were being split up. We have also learned that we can sometimes find out what really happens in some situations by having this young man’s dad conduct a routine interrogation to get information (he is a police officer).
As I was talking to mom, she whispered to me that her son had brought up that he thought maybe Kaitlyn did not like him, or something along those lines. She and I both knew that was not the case, and she was kind enough to elaborate for me. Apparently, he feels this way because there was an incident recently where Kaitlyn may have tripped him, either in class or on the playground. She and I both knew that any trip that happened was not done out of malice. We were laughing about it when her son walked up, and then he and Kaitlyn put on an overly dramatic “we are leaving” show for us, and we were on our way.
I told Amber about our conversation before dinner, and I figured that it would be something we could talk about over dinner. I was wrong. As soon as the subject was brought up, Kaitlyn submitted her performance to be considered for Best Actress in a Drama; she immediately began to cry, and she buried her head in the table. I think the topic touched a nerve. Amber and I explained to her that she was not in trouble for anything, and that seemed to smooth things over. For a minute. Then she took a bite of her pork chop, and the drama was being laid on pretty thick. She claimed that they were “way too spicy” for her to eat, but Amber and I were not falling for it. She was hoping to parlay the earlier drama into getting out of eating dinner. Not happening.
It was only after the dramatic events of dinner that Amber and I talked about my lunch experience from earlier in the day. Kaitlyn got to choose a friend to join us on the stage while we ate, and she picked a girl who we know she is not as close to as this boy. We concluded that she probably did not want to draw too much attention to the fact that they are good friends, and he certainly made sure to avoid eye contact with me during my visit (he is usually very open and talkative to me); I compared his reaction to me being there with that of two boys who were in Kaitlyn’s class last year, but in a different class this year, and it was like night and day. Every time they see me at the school, they wave and scream really loud, “Hi Kaitlyn’s dad!”
If the drama of Monday night is any indication, and I think it might be, our house is going to be very drama-filled in the coming years. I think it is time to start saving for my straight jacket, and make sure to get the right size!