Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23: Wrong Side of the Bed, Bribing My Son, Magic 8-Ball

I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  For those of my disciples unfamiliar with that expression, it simply means that I woke up in a foul mood.  I was annoyed when my alarm clock sounded.  It didn't get any better as I was performing my morning grooming.  And I've had a dark cloud hovering above my head for most of the day.

I can't explain the source of my irritation.  It's just there, like the moon or Neil Patrick Harris at an awards show.  I know I didn't get enough sleep last night.  I watched the broadcast of the Emmy Awards until the very last trophy was given away.  I also know I didn't want to be at the medical office this morning.  My heart wasn't in the work.

I'll tell you where my heart is right now, though.  It's with my son.  We sent him off to school today with the same encouragement we give him every day:  "You're going to be a good listener today, right?  Eyes and ears open.  Mouth closed.  We keep our hands to ourselves, right?  No hitting or punching or pushing.  We're going to stay green today."  Green is the color that kindergartners receive if they follow instructions and haven't bitten anyone to the point of drawing blood by day's end.

My wife and I have resorted to bribing our son.  If he stays green every day for the whole week, we will buy him a new toy.  We even obtained green stickers for my son to put on the calendar at home.  I'm not convinced this strategy is going to work.  My son is a stubborn kid.  He doesn't like grownups telling him what to do.  That's why he ended up with two red slips on Friday.  He didn't want to listen to the playground aides.  I believe he even called one of them a not very nice name which I won't repeat here.  Use your imagination.  So I'm not sure a little toy car is going to dissuade my son from calling the principal a "stinky poo-poo head."

In my current state of mind, I'm expecting my son to come home tonight with a folder full of red stickers, red notes, and an invitation to speak with the principal printed on red paper.  My son gets on the bus in about an hour.  About a half hour after that, the phone may ring with the latest report from my son's parole officer.

I want Holden to tell me one thing today:

Will my son start behaving himself in kindergarten?

And Holden says:

...She's very good in spelling.  She's very good in all her subjects, but she's best in spelling...

Well, it's not hard to interpret that answer.  Like Holden's sister, Phoebe, my son is going to be good in all his subjects, especially spelling.

All Saint Marty has to say to that is, "Amen!"

I'm not dead.  Yet.

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