Have I mentioned how much Chickadee loves middle school? Because she does, so much. She loves her teachers, she’s made a bunch of new friends, she’s enjoying the challenges, etc. It’s all been great.
Or, it was, until first quarter progress reports came home.
97, 100, 98, 96, 100, 100, 65. Sixty-five. SIXTY FIVE. As in, a big fat F.
But sure that 65 would be in some class she hates or in band or something else non-academic, right, on account of she’s got that big beautiful brain and she’s brilliant and all?
Nope. Her 65 is in… English. Too bad she doesn’t have a parent who’s a writer or anything….
I wish I’d taken a picture of the look on her face when she handed it to me. I thought she was trying to trick me, surely she was feigning fear so she could make a joke about all of her great grades, afterward. But no. She was pretty sure I was going to kill her on the spot with my bare hands.
“What… what is THIS?” I asked, nearly at a loss for words, pointing at the 65.
“I… uhhh… there’s a note,” she replied, handing it to me without looking up from her shoes.
Turns out that Chickadee hasn’t handed in her reading log, like, EVER. It’s due every week. Though somehow she’d missed that, she claims. The teacher is graciously allowing her until Monday to hand in her back work for reduced credit. (The kicker, of course, is that she reads several hours a day. It’s not even like she didn’t do the work, she just couldn’t be bothered to log it and turn the paper in.)
I read the note. I nodded. “You’ll get your logs done for Monday,” I said. She nodded. “You’ll also do the extra credit summaries. For every week you’ve missed.” She nodded again. “And you’re grounded for the weekend, and on dishes for a week.” She nodded. We looked at each other for a few seconds.
“Is that…” her eyes searched my face. “Is that… it?”
“Are you hoping for more punishment?” I asked, trying not to laugh.
“Well… I just… I’m kind of surprised.”
“Okay,” I said, “you know how once a year I’ll bring your forgotten homework to school or run your lunch in or whatever? It’s your one freebie?” She nodded. “This is your one freebie. It’s just a progress report, and you’re going to make the work up, and I trust that we will never, EVER have this conversation again. Correct?” She nodded so vigorously, her hair bounced around her face. “Okay then,” I said.
She exhaled in a giant whoosh. “I thought you were going to yell,” she admitted. “And really freak out on me.”
“Nah,” I said. “No yelling. There won’t be any yelling if it happens again, either. I’ll just kill you in your sleep, quietly.”
“Gee, thanks,” she said, leaving the room.
“Love you, honey!” I called after her.
Somehow, I don’t think it’ll happen again.