Chris has two jobs on school-day mornings. He fixes the kids breakfast while I get dressed, and he takes Bean to school after Gracie and I leave at an earlier time. Easy peasey. No big deal.
A few weeks ago, Bean randomly throws out at the dinner table, “I was late for school AGAIN.”
“LATE?!” I screeched. “AGAIN?!?”
And Bean, being the five-year-old boy that he is, sneered and pointed his finger at Chris. “It’s his fault, Mom.”
“CHRIS!” I screeched.
“It’s not that big of a deal…” Chris laughed. “One time, and he wasn’t even late. He just got there right as the bell rang.”
“THAT’S LATE!” I screeched.
“Eh…” Chris said, shrugging his shoulders. “It’s late-ish.”
“Miss Betty in the front office said Dad was fired because he gets me to school late so much.”
“SO MUCH?!?!” I screeched.
“Not so much!” Chris defended himself. “ONCE! And he wasn’t even late!!!”
Chris was in that state of humor that bordered on being mad that he was in trouble (Reason #3,581 why husbands are so very similar to five-year-old boys), so I didn’t say anything else. I figured he had been screeched at enough. Besides, he was a grown man. He had a watch. Surely this was an isolated event.
Fast forward to last Friday. Bean brought home his first report card. Honor Roll all the way, of course…
But as I’m scanning through his information, there was a little box down in the bottom right corner that caught my attention:
Absences: 0 Tardies: 5
Surely, this was a mistake. Surely, MY child had not been tardy to school FIVE TIMES in a NINE WEEK PERIOD. Surely, my child’s very responsible, punctual father would not have let this happen FIVE TIMES.
But then I flipped the report card over and read the letter that was attached to the report card. At the very top of the letter, just under his elementary school crest, it read: “TRUANCY VIOLATION.”
And then the letter went on to inform me that five tardies is equivalent to one absence (which I know because I am a SCHOOL TEACHER – a highly mortified school teacher, at the moment). And if this pattern continues, the school’s policy is to contact the DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES to report a TRUANCY VIOLATION!!!!!!!!!!
At this point, the front door opened and the father of my children walked in all dopey and, “How-was-every-one’s-day,” and so I casually handed him Bean’s report card.
“HEY! You made the Honor Roll! High five, buddy!” he said to Bean.
“Yep, I’m really proud of him,” I said in that creepy monotone voice only mothers and angry wives can use. “See anything else that’s interesting on that report card?”
Chris, bless his irresponsible heart, is tapping his feet along to some imaginary song in his head while he and Bean slightly wrestle each other as he scans the rest of the report card.
And then he sees it.
And the wrestling stops.
And the foot tapping stops.
And he stands very still in that way that only five-year-olds and husbands can do when they think no one can see them if they don’t move.
“A TRUANCY VIOLATION!!!!!!!!” I screeched. “TRUANCY, CHRIS! HE’S FIVE!”
For about one full minute, Chris stands there silently, building his defense in his head. And my arms are crossed and now my foot is tapping, but not to imaginary music in my head. And I wait. And I wait. And I wait. And I’m not quite sure what I was waiting for, actually. An admission of guilt, maybe? An apology? I don’t know. But I know I was expecting more than I got.
“I didn’t do it,” he said, handing the report card back to me.
“What are you talking about? It’s right THERE!”
“He wasn’t late,” Chris insisted, now giggling like a scared little girl because he knew he was about to get eaten alive.
“He wasn’t late?!?! You’re just going to deny the whole thing?!?!”
“No. He wasn’t late. He got there right as the bell rang.”
“FIVE TIMES?????” I screeched.
“I didn’t do it.”
“You didn’t do it.”
“I didn’t do it.”
And this, my friends, is why husbands are like five-year-old boys.