I got a call the other day while I was sitting at the kitchen table.
"Hello?" I said.
There was a pause with some breathing. "I didn't get my agenda signed."
Another pause. "I didn't get my agenda signed."
"Who is this? Is this Rocky?"
Pause. I was beginning to suspect this was a trans-Atlantic call. "Um, yes."
"And you forgot to get your agenda signed?" Which I knew.
Pause. More pause. "Yes."
"And what am I suppposed to do about this?"
Long pause. "Nothing."
"So why are you calling me?"
Dead air for fifteen seconds. The phone is set down. Then I hear him ask, "Why am I calling her?" I hear the teacher say something in the background. "Because I didn't get my agenda signed."
"Okay, so whose responsibility is it?"
"So why are you calling ME? If it is your responsibility to get your agenda signed, and you don't, why are you calling me? What's next? Detention?"
Immediate reply, "Yes."
"So, you know the rule: you get detention, it is 25 dollars to pay me back for my time and gas money at 25 cents a mile. Your choice."
I hear classroom noises in the background. "Okay. Goodbye."
Two days later, I am out in the yard raking leaves, when I happen upon a smile pile of shredded yellow carbonless copy paper directly under Rocky's bedroom window. "Rocky!" I shriek.
"Uh-oh," the girls say, recognizing that tone of voice.
"What is this?"
"I don't know..."
"Before I spend an hour assembling this, and before I get really crabby when I figure out that I wasted an hour on something which you can identify, do you want to tell me what this is?"
"Oh, now I remember." Remarkable how his memory kicked in. "It's a detention which I got for not having my agenda signed after I called you and I didn't have to have it signed so I threw it away." Right. Out the bedroom window.
So I had him pick up all the pieces, bring it into the house, and put the pieces into a pretty pastel pink envelope. The next day I wrote a note which said:
Dear Ms. R
I found this torn into tiny pieces outside Rocky's bedroom window. Rocky reported it was a demerit which did not need to be signed. However, being a fabulous mom, I don't want to be remiss in any responsibilities which I may have for signing any paperwork. Will you please email me and let me know if I need to sign this form?
I then handed Rocky the embarrassingly pink envelope and said, "This goes to your teacher. There is a note in there asking her to email me back TODAY, to make sure she gets it."
Rocky's teacher emailed back, amused that I sent her the pieces, complete with the dead grass Rocky picked up, and assured me that I didn't need to sign the form. Rocky reported to me at supper that evening, "All my teachers say you are funny." Then after a few seconds, he said, "Are you going to tell them everything I do?"
No, I assured him, just the ones which relate to school.
That will be enough.