So we had this Big Important Meeting at school this week. The nice thing about completely obsessing and worrying over such an event is that it rarely turns out to be as bad as you’ve imagined. Really, the worst thing about these meetings (so far) is that no matter how much notice we give about the kids’ dad wanting to be teleconferenced in, the school seems to be chock-full of conference rooms without phones. And as much as I like Monkey’s classroom, spending a Big Important Meeting sitting in a child-sized chair isn’t really my idea of a good time.
Anyway, part of what we did was go over Monkey’s test results and review the Giant Report of Monkey-Related Information. [Side note: I like how such reports generally start out with something like “Monkey Lastname is a fourth grader at Local School. He is outgoing and eager to please.” Like perhaps we’re planning to list him on Petfinder and want people to know that he’s a very good puppy.] The test results include all sorts of background and family information, too.
So Otto and I are flipping through the report, scanning it, as we’re waiting for things to start, and we simultaneously reach the part that says, “Monkey lives with his mother, Mir Kamin, his stepfather, Otto Lastname, and his older sister, Chickadee.”
Otto and I looked at each other in horror.
See, the report actually SAID “Otto.” Now, I’m sure this is a HUGE SHOCK to regular readers, but, um, I have a confession. Otto’s name isn’t actually Otto. I KNOW! SHOCKING! But Otto is a pseudonym.
And there, in black and white, on the report, he was listed as “Otto.”
Which means that the person who wrote the report has read my blog. Which means… ummm, I’m not sure what that really means. But it’s weird.
We looked at each other. We looked at her. I cleared my throat. “Um, where did you get Otto?” I said. “Because his name isn’t Otto, his name is NotOtto
Otto and I waited and turned two sets of VERY CURIOUS eyeballs onto the school psychologist, who I should mention (and not even because she’s apparently reading my blog) is quite lovely.
Then, to break the tension, Otto stuck out his hand to shake. “Hi there!” he said. “Nice to meet you! I’m NotOtto Lastname.” We all laughed.
“Oh, that’s… that’s right,” she stammered. “I, uh… I have no idea where I got that! How strange! Of course his name is NotOtto. Let me change that.”
Otto and I exchanged another glance. “That’s just so… ODD,” I finally said. “Because the name Otto… well… that’s kind of an inside joke. But I’m SURE I never used it in talking with you. It’s just such an ODD COINCIDENCE.” I waited. For her to come clean. And she continued wavering between embarrassment and confusion.
Finally the meeting began and I forgot about it. For about ten minutes.
Look; it’s not that my blog is a SECRET. But when you live in Podunk Town, USA (I do) and you don’t get out much (I don’t), and you favor separation of both Church and State and Serious School Matters and That Thing I Do Online (world without end, amen), it was a little jarring to think that that folks at the school have been reading my blog. And then the whole “Oh I have no idea where I got that, hahaha how weird!” response was just… unsettling.
Well, the next day I had to talk to this woman on the phone about something, and during a lull in the conversation she said, “Oh! I remember what I wanted to tell you! I figured out where I got Otto!”
“Oh really?” I said, trying to sound only slightly interested.
“Yes!” she said. “Do you have… a website… or something? One time when I was working with Monkey he told me a funny story about Licorice eating… was it a pear? I think so. And Monkey told me you put a video on your site and I should go look. And then he gave me the URL. And did it say something about Otto, there? I can’t remember.”
Uh huh. Let’s see… ratted out by my own kid, someone who first couldn’t remember WHERE Otto came from and then thought that maybe it had something to do with a silly video of my dog, she wasn’t sure, hmmm. Yeah. That all added up.
Added up to AWKWARD, that is.
If you think I didn’t immediately go back through to make sure I hadn’t said anything bad about the school (I haven’t! love the school! they’re all so pretty there!), you obviously haven’t been here for very long. Meanwhile, Otto is wondering if maybe he should change his name. To Otto. Or possibly NotOtto.
And apparently it’s time to have The Talk. Oh, not THAT talk (remember, we’ve already had that one). The one where I explain that we don’t just walk around giving out Mama’s URL. A lady’s gotta have some secrets, after all.