Thursday, October 08, 2015

I walked into work this morning feeling pretty damn good, because my son and I--although we usually drive--took that 20 minute walk from our house to school. We talked about behaving, listening to his teachers, garbage trucks, dogs and squirrels. He was unusually cheery and I felt good about our conversation. That's almost enough to make me overlook how much of an ass he was acting last night when he complained about his blankets, the temperature of his room, and how he couldn't sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed. He's in the midst of this weird temper tantrum phase, and it testing my patience big time. But I digress.

I came into work looking forward to punishing the cantaloupe that has been looking so juicy and succulent, but while I'm in the kitchen, my co-worker traps me into having this conversation:

Her: Good morning
Me: Good morning
Her: Do you notice anything different about me?
Me (noticing the ridiculous-looking bouncy curls in her hair): Yes I see you got your hair done
Her: Do you like it?
Me: No
Her: Excuse me?
Me: No I don't like it, but I'm pretty sure you didn't have me in mind when you did it so...
Her: I can't believe you would be so rude

She walked out after her last sentence, and that conversation happened around 8:50am. It is now 9:29, and I have heard her tell that same story to two other women in this office, and they both have given me disapproving looks. I stand by my reaction.

This is why you don't go fishing for compliments especially with co-workers. I saw her hair before she saw me, and I instantly knew I didn't like, but I had planned on keeping that bit of information to myself. I get haircuts, I get new clothes, I grow a beard, then a goatee, or maybe an Artis Gilmore, and I don't expect compliments or ego-stroking. If I get love, I'm appreciative, but it is not a prerequisite from folks I work alongside.

Maybe she doesn't have a man or woman. Maybe she's having a bad day, or maybe she's just feeling supremely confident because of the fresh look. I don't know, but I cannot give out false compliments at age 40. Everyone else has complimented her, so maybe it's me. Or maybe they value keeping the peace and ego-stroking over telling the truth. I don't know, am I wrong here?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The home visit was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. By the time I got home from work and walked in the house, Nyles was hiding behind a wall, while his teachers and my wife sat in the living room. I thought I would be annoyed that I didn't have a chance to change clothes, sip wine, kiss my family and relax, but I was surprisingly pleasant and effusive. I walked in the door, and the teachers said hi, allowed me put my bag down, and then they fired away. His teachers asked my wife and me where we were from, where we went to school, and how long we have lived in the area. That was actually a smart disarming tactic on their part, because when it gets right down to it, who doesn't like to talk about themselves right?

After the introductory salutations, his teachers transitioned to what their expectations were of us as parents and of Nyles as a student, which was useful. Per the website that the teachers maintain, we are supposed to get Nyles so say certain words, discuss certain scenarios, and we basically have to be an extension of the lessons they teach in the classroom. Now, I'm no dummy, I did teach before and I know that parent participation is absolutely crucial to a child's success, but I'm also a sleepy-ass parent who is juggling many things, so this type of reinforcement was helpful. Meanwhile, during this entire conversation, Nyles refused to come out in the living room to join the rest of us. I went back to convince him to come out, but he basically told me to go f**k myself.

The wife and I asked if Nyles was behind at all considering he started two weeks late, and they marveled at how quickly he was able to close the gap, which was comforting. I gently made fun of both teachers are not giving Nyles a star outside of the classroom. All of the other students had stars labeled with their name, but young Nyles had neither a star nor a name. I let this slide for two weeks, but when I had the teachers in my house, I called them out, and they assured me it would be up soon, they had just been swamped. It is worth mentioning that it took them another week to put that damn star up on the wall, but it is there. The irony? This morning I picked Nyles up and showed him the star, and he "accidentally" kicked another star off the wall, which made me laugh.

As the teachers were leaving, they asked Nyles if it was weird for him to see his teachers in the house, and he said yes. They then asked if he was ready for them to go, and he said yes again. Of course, as soon as they left, he ran to the window, waved goodbye, and raved about them both. Typical kid.

The moral of the story? There is none. This visit may not have been as bad as I thought, but that won't stop me being a raging pessimist. That's my business, that's what I do.

This song has nothing to do with my blog, it was just in my head, and I loved it in high school. Little-known fact? The Bomb Squad, mostly known for producing the militant Public Enemy and the menacing Ice Cube, produced this silly song: