Friday, January 7, 2011

The Power: Believing My Daughter...An "F" Can Actually Disappear

Last year, when I got the dreaded "progress reports" from the high school in the mail, I poured myself a lovely cab and sat down at the kitchen table. Progress reports meant a lot around here. Either I had a house full of dedicated "homework-doers" whose grades would reflect their nightly chants of "it's cool Mom, I did all my homework" or I had a house full of liars.

When they were little, I used to employ my mother's trusty old Dickens-like device to seek out the liars in my family. "Stick your tongue out and let me see if it's black" was a remarkable device and every time they would roll their eyes down to see if their tongue had turned black, I would laugh to myself. This was SO easy!! Too bad it didn't work when I asked my husband if a dress made me look fat or if my drooping jaw line made me look like a marionette. But now that they were older, my teenagers would boldly stick their tongues out just to prove they weren't lying.

So, when I opened up Rainbow Sparkle-Dazzle's second semester senior year progress report, I nearly fell over.
She actually had an F in English!! With three kids with ADHD and my youngest in Special Ed, it seemed miraculous that I had actually never seen an F in all these years so when I called her into the kitchen, I was pretty pissed.

AS much as someone with heavy black Doc Martens could look like they were "strolling"over to the kitchen table, RS-D did just that and casually lowered her pink tipped locks to get a good look at the progress report. When she saw the F she gave a knowing laugh and said that her teacher had told her that the F wasn't really an F and it would disappear the following week.

Nicely done I thought. Calm, cool, confident. REALLY!!!?? She thought I would fall for a disappearing F?

She then sauntered off to the family computer which I valiantly and proudly kept in the kitchen so that I could attempt to monitor all their internet activities like the "Poster Mom" I dreamt I could be. RS-D happily composed an email to her teacher, hit send before I could read it and smiled proudly at me. "Geez Mom, don't be so paranoid. It's all chill."

Chill...?? God, I hate that word, by the way!

Moments later I received an email...

I am reprinting the following email from RS-D's teachers. (I changed all the real names)

Hello Mrs. xxx
I'm just writing to let you know how wonderful RS-D has been in my class.
Please don't worry about her grade at this moment. She just forgot to give her
Hamlet logs before the grading period and that plummeted her grade to an F.
Once she turns them in it will go back up to a B.
RS-D is an fantastic part of class. Smart, respectful and funny. And she has
been very good all year about her grades in English. This is just a momentary
fall that will be restored.
Thank you. And just let me know if I can help with anything.
Sincerely,  English Teacher

I had to laugh. I could tell it really came from the teacher and I was pretty happy to read all the great stuff about her but REALLY??  This might have been the very first nice letter I had ever gotten in my whole life as a mother of three kids so I stopped my self from hiring a skywriter and decided to have some fun with it.

I sent the following email to my daughter and cc'd the english teacher.

"Dear Rainbow Sparkle-Dazzle,
Dad and I can't believe you hijacked Mrs. xxxx's email address and sent us this inconceivable "teacher's pet letter" as a ploy to let you go out this weekend.

RS-D, in all the years that Dad and I have had letters from teachers come to our house, we have never, ever, ever gotten a letter of such high praise about any one of you kids. We have become quite familiar with the "Dear Mrs. xxx, your child (fill in the blank) said (fill in the blank) at nutrition and now will have to do full day Friday."

Dad and I began to feel suspicious with the implausibility of this dubious letter when you included that you are a "fantastic part of class." We really got nervous when you said you have "been very good all year about her grades in English." But, the big "a-ha moment" came when you said you were "smart, respectful and funny"...uh...funny? No one is funny in our family...

You are grounded.

Love MOM"

I wish I could find the actual reply from RS-D's teacher. She defended my daughter and said the first email had actually come from her. RS-D hadn't hijacked anyone's email...she was innocent. When I tried to tell her I was just trying to have some fun with RS-D...she gave a glib reply which basically inferred that poor, quirky, ADHD RS-D had obviously had more significant challenges at home... with her weird parents.

And...the "F" disappeared!

Scepters up!!

Queen Beach


  1. Brilliant! Funny! And a fantastic part of the blogsphere! Laureen you're my kinda writer. Want to do a guest blogger swap sometime?

  2. This had me laughing out loud. Clearly it's not true that no one is funny in your family.

  3. LOL, Laureen. way too funny and so quirky. I LOVE it...
    Kathleen Smith