Monday, April 6, 2009

The list. . . and story number ten

So now you know I have a List of outrageous and grievous offenses that my teenage daughters have committed.

Would you care to hear another item from that very same List?

This one currently clocks in at number 10 and is the one I proudly refer to as The Detention Lie.

Now I know what you're thinking. . . Okay, the kid got detention and didn't want her mother to know and so she lied about it.

Not so.

For haven't you realized yet that nothing is simple in the home of A Mom on Spin? You'll just have to read on to find out. . .


You may think that your darling little daughter will never do anything bad or unruly enough to deserve detention.

You may be right.

But that doesn’t mean that she won’t use a detention lie to spend that after-school time to do something else altogether.

Now, stay with me here. . . .

My daughter came home from school one day and told me that she had been assigned detention the next day because, although she really had completed her homework, she left it in her locker by mistake and that mean Mr. Burke (don’t know what’s wrong with him lately!) gave her detention.

Did I really care? When you look at one small detention compared to the countless other problems in my life, it’s not a big deal. In fact, I was grateful that I wouldn’t have to rush out of work at the usual hour to pick her up.

And so, although she told me she would call me when she was ready to be picked up, I left work early anyway, ran a few errands, and decided to park outside the front of the school and wait . . . for surely detention would be over before long. And so I texted her, telling her I am outside, and risking what I know may be yet another detention assigned for responding to my text while in school, but hey, this relaxed schedule isn’t so bad after all and if I had to do it all again tomorrow, I wouldn’t complain.

I picked up my book and started to read.

I began to have my suspicions a few minutes later when I looked around and noticed for the first time that there were no other parents waiting to pick up other errant children. Strange.

She texted me back. I’m not out yet, but where are you parked?

I answer that I’m parked in front of the school. I can’t tell you why, but a nagging little doubt started to develop. . .

Before long I heard a train’s whistle announcing that the train had pulled into the station adjacent to the school. The nagging feeling got stronger and I began to envision my daughter sneaking back into the school fresh off the train so she could emerge from “detention”.

Five minutes later a text arrived: Can you pick me up in the back, I thought you said you were parked out back and I went out that way and now I’m locked out. And by the way, can you drive Kim home? She had detention too.


The only challenge that remained was to catch them in their lie, and so I tried my hardest to trip them up with tricky detention questions.
So Kim, you didn’t have your homework yesterday either? Oh yes, it seems Mr. Burke was in a really bad mood yesterday!

Who else was in detention with you? They listed names of others without batting an eye. What, exactly, did you do in detention? They told me all about how Mr. Burke made them clean the science lab.

My mothers’ radar must have malfunctioned this time. I dropped my suspicions off along with the best friend, and headed for home.

A couple of days later I spied a train ticket lying amid a pile of clothing on my daughter’s floor. It’s for the very afternoon she spent in “detention”.

Why did I ever doubt my own psychic ability? I haven’t survived as a mother all these years without listening to my inner voice.

But I did slip up in one respect.

I failed to notice that both my daughter and her friend had an unusual “glow” about them–a glow that could only have come from visiting the tanning salon in the next town.

Next time I’ll have to be more observant.