So then…I open an email from Tucker’s 6th grade teacher that says:
“Tucker did not have his homework today; he told me this was because there was a termite infestation at home. I told him he needed to ask you to write a note explaining the situation, but he said that his family did not believe in writing notes.
However, since our homework policy is not to accept late work, I would appreciate a note or an e-mail when unusual situations occur so that Tucker can receive full credit.
Sincerely, Mrs. Gilbert”
What the what?
I love how the teacher writes her email in such a way that she leaves open the slim possibility that indeed, we did have a termite infestation that interfered with homework completion – rather than declare, “Your son flat out lied to me today.”
(Not only did he lie, but he did so, very poorly. Termites? Really, dude? That’s the best you could come up with? And you said your family “didn’t believe” in writing notes? What religious cult forbids the WRITING OF NOTES?)
Of course, I immediately want to write back:
“Dear Mrs. Gilbert:
I was mortified to read your email. We have had no such infestation – and we have no problem writing notes.
In fact, I’m writing this note to you right now. However, I’ll email it to you instead of giving it to Tucker to deliver — since he might claim it was eaten by termites (or boll weevils or alien mutant wombats) before it gets to you.
We are extremely disappointed that Tucker would attempt to excuse his missing homework in this way. We do not have termites. We are a clean and observant family. If there were termites, we would know about it and deal with it expeditiously.
And even if we had termites, that would not preclude Tucker from completing his homework. Termites are tiny. At most, they might buzz through a couple pencils.
It’s not like we were infested by ferocious cougars, lunging alligators, or blood-sucking vampires. I could see how those would be disruptive to concentrating on one’s homework. But termites? Please. We’re made of sturdier stock than that.
As soon as Tucker comes home from school, we’ll impose consequences — and he’ll also write you an apology.
Meanwhile, please keep us posted on any other “allegations” he might make at school. (I should tell you pre-emptively that you should not believe him if he claims his parents drink too much wine, gamble online, or use the F-word carelessly.)
Thank you, Darcy Perdu”
But instead I write:
“Dear Mrs. Gilbert:
I am so sorry that Tucker tried to use an excuse for his missing homework. We don’t have termites and we have no problem writing notes. He’ll give you the homework and a written apology tomorrow. Thank you, Darcy”
However, I WISH I had sent the first note — because then maybe the big vocabulary words like “expeditiously” and “pre-emptively” would make the teacher think that I’m a well-bred, well-educated, well-intentioned mother — and that it’s only my son who is a deceitful heathen.
Maybe I should have mentioned a possible maternity ward mix-up between my real son and a tale-telling gypsy baby. (No offense, gypsy babies.)
— Darcy Perdu
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(What’s a tall tale that YOUR kid has told? Any funny fibs or outrageous lies? Or a teacher’s note that was a bit embarrassing?)