Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We Reap What We Sew

Several years ago when my oldest daughter was just beginning the 3rd grade, the time came for parents to visit the school. This is a visit done in the evening where parents get to meet the teacher and discuss the curriculum for the upcoming year. Proudly I’ll tell you that all of my children are in gifted classes and have tested with genius IQ’s. To prove that point, read on.

As my wife and I were getting ready our daughter was apprehensive about us visiting. Were we invading her territory? Was there some dark secret she didn’t want revealed? Given her anxiety we definitely had to go visit the school! We left her with friends next door and went to the meeting. The teacher took the time to discuss the yearly curriculum as well as explain the grading rubrics. Before we left we were asked to write our child a note and leave it in their desk for the next morning. It was an informative visit; my only complaint was that we had to sit in those tiny chairs – I’m not built for those chairs anymore.

When we got home and picked up our daughter she was eerily quiet. Once inside our house she opened up and began asking questions.

Daughter: “Did you meet my teacher?”
Me: “Yes, she was very nice.”

Daughter: “What did you do, you were gone a long time.”
Me: “Oh, we had to install the security cameras.” (wife shoots me an evil glare)

Daughter: “Cameras? What cameras? For what?”
Me: “The parents installed cameras so when we are all at work we can check in on you and make sure you are being good and learning.”

Daughter: “Did you really put in cameras?”
Me: “You can ask your teacher if you want, I’m sure she’ll tell you.”
Me: “Anything else? If not it’s time for bed.”

Daughter: “No. I’ll go brush my teeth and climb in bed.”
Me: “Mommy and I will be in to kiss you good night.”

As soon as my daughter was gone my wife was ‘in my face’ wanting an explanation.

Wife: “Why did you tell her that we put in cameras? Her teacher is going to rat you out!”
Me: “Never in a million years, this plan is fool proof.”

Wife: “How? Did you tell the teacher what you were going to say?”
Me: “No, but I didn’t have to. Imagine it is tomorrow morning, the kids are all together talking about the night before. Our daughter tells all the kids that the parents put in cameras to make sure they are being good. Now, class begins and the teacher will naturally have a Q&A session with the kids after they read their parents notes. Our daughter will raise her hand and say something like, “our parents said they put in cameras to watch us and make sure we’re being good, is that true?”

Wife: “Exactly, the teacher isn’t going to lie to the kids.”
Me: “She doesn’t have to. Look, she teaches bright children, therefore she is bright. If the 19 kids you teach are under the impression that their parents are watching them, isn’t that in your favor? Why would she say “no, your parent’s can’t see you.”

Wife: “Well have to see what the teacher says when our daughter gets home.”
Me: “Yes, we will.”

Later that evening as we sit around the dinner table and have the usual family discussions I ask our daughter about her day at school. Specifically I ask her if she asked the teacher about the cameras. “Yes” she said, “I did ask our teacher about the cameras.” “And what did your teacher say” I ask. “She said ‘If that’s what your parents told you then it must be true’”. I was now grinning from ear-to-ear at my wife. The teacher did NOT let me down, she avoided lying to the students AND she reinforced the notion that we could see what was happening. My experiment in predictive human behavior had worked.

Several days go by and we again are at dinner and I have all but forgotten about the camera incident. After my wife shares her day with us and I share mine, I innocently ask our daughter what she did today at school. Without skipping a beat my daughter says, “You have the cameras daddy, you tell me.” About this time it was my wife’s turn to shoot me an evil ear-to-ear grin as my experiment blew up in my face. I deserved it. When I didn't have an answer but instead was choking on my food she quickly figured out there were no cameras and my credibility was shot. I can only imagine how happy the rest of the kids were to learn this news the next day!


David Anderson said...

i dont like how no one leaves comments for you, every story is seriously awesome and whenever there's a new one, it makes my day hah. keep it up. i'm from the e46 fanatics forum, seriously u have a rad family it sounds, feel blessed.

Adam Ball said...

yeah, these are awesome stories mr. klangford! When is a new one coming out? you know you want to entertain us all some more with your crazy antics!