Thursday, April 17, 2014

That one-on-one-kid commute is PRODUCTIVE.

I basically moved to kill my commute. Now that it's significantly shorter—and the part with the kid(s) is just as long, it's become one of my favorite parts of my day. Partly because I've been trained as a journalist and, when I have a captive interviewee in the car, I do some of my best work. Like today. Through some skillful investigative journalism, I uncovered two important facts.

Fact #1: My kid got kicked out of gym class. 
Interview transcript
Me: How was school?
Kid (unnamed): Great.
Me: How was gym?
Kid: Good.
Me: So you listened to Mrs. O.? (hint: question asked because the answer isn't always yes)
Kid: Yes.
Me: What'd you play?
Kid: We played relays.
Me: Like running relays?
Kid: Yes.
Me: Did you pass a baton or tag hands?
Kid: What?
Me: How did the next person know when to go?
Now, I will spare you the entire transcript of discovering who was on his team, where he fell in line, some other minor details. I will just jump to the good part. 
Kid: And E and I visited Georgine (if your kid goes to my kids' school, you may know who Georgine is) for the gym class. And we played puzzles after we wrote our apology note to Mrs. O.
Me: What? You went to the Planning Room?  Did this happen at the end of class?
Kid: No.
Me: I thought you did relays in gym class today.
Kid: It was at the second gym class. We just visited Georgine and, after we wrote our apology letter, we played puzzles while the other kids went outside.
Me: What was the apology note for?
Kid: It was for an apology. (Said with absolutely no sarcasm. Completely earnest.)
Me: No, I mean what did it say?
Kid: It just said I apologize; we didn't say for what.
Me: Well why did you go to Georgine's?
Kid: Because we were looking into another gym class.
Me: Through a door?
Kid: No. We were laying on the floor, looking through a crack.
Me: Oh. Could you see anything?
Kid: Yes, we could see feet.
Me: And was this really worth it? To see other people's feet—if it meant you had to go to the Planning Room instead of playing outside?
Kid: We had fun, too. We got to play puzzles.
Note: We did have a conversation about being respectful—but only after my interview yielded all of the information I need for the complete (albeit one-sided) story. Also, if you want to provide an unpleasant consequence for my child, don't offer an excused absence from physical activity.

And speaking of one-sided stories...

Fact #2: Julian's class is covering nutrition.
Opinion: I may need to volunteer my services.

Interview transcript
Jules: Oils are are bad for your body. (This on the heels of him telling me last week that "if you eat fat every day it's bad for your body." Which I corrected.)
Me: Actually, Jules, some oils are healthy. Like the olive oil I use when I cook vegetables is actually good for your body. Are you talking about nutrition at school?
Jules: Yes!
Me (now playing the part of a nutritionist as well as a reporter): Do you know what the healthiest foods are?
Jules: Um...
Me: What about vegetables and fruits?
Jules: Yes! Those are good for your body. What about cheese?
Me: Yes, cheese has some things that are good for your body. Do you know what?
Jules: It's made with milk.
Me: Yes! And milk has calcium. And calcium helps make your bones strong.
Jules: There's good calcium and bad calcium and sometimes the good calcium kills the bad calcium.
Me: I think you might be confused. Who told you that?
Jules: Teachers.

Of course, he's only 5. It's easy to confuse nutrition science. But it seems I have some further reporting to do.

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