Yesterday we received our first irate call from some other kid’s parent. No, not the parents of one of our kid’s friends (whom are all by some strange global social norm now our friends too). This was just some other kid’s parent.
My wife picked up the call. I could tell immediately that it was someone complaining about our kid. We all have different approaches to dealing with someone who complains about us and my personal approach is to apologise immediately regardless of how culpable I feel. This may seem weak, but it helps ensure I spend as little of the precious time given on this earth listening to strangers whine.
My wife’s approach is somewhat different… She views confrontations like these as an ideal opportunity to indulge in one of her hobbies: “Pennycan”. In some countries Pennycan is played by attempting to throw a penny into a can and calling “Pennycaaaaan” with each successful throw. My wife’s version is the full contact version, whereby you chew off the face of your opponent with sharpened teeth and then spit their partially masticated eyeballs into the can.
Towards the end of the call I heard a laugh. Things were cooling. The gentleman on the other end of the phone had clearly realized he had inadvertently put his eyeballs at risk and changed his tone.
It turns out that our son, after an 8 week hiatus from PE due to a broken arm, had been somewhat exuberant on his first day back in the gym and had flattened a girl. 1 bloody nose.
Apparently (according to our son) he was being chased, stopped suddenly and she ran in to him.
I asked if he was sorry.
He said yes.
I thought that should be the end of it. However the other kid’s parent said he would call us back after we had spoken to our son to “find out how the discussion went and discuss next steps”.
Ummmmm. WTF? Is that really how it works? Don’t you just say your piece and leave the other parents to it?
That was yesterday. He’s ringing now. My wife is picking up the phone.