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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Taste of Poverty

Oh, the titles I could have come up with for this post:

How to Ruin Your Teenage Daughter's Day.


Things Your Daughter Can Tell Her Therapist When She's Older.

Or perhaps

How Middle-Aged Memory Loss Caused Your Daughter to Become Uncultured.

Yesterday Kate gets into the car after school with a decidedly peeved look on her face.

Given that I have three children, two of whom are teenagers, this is not an unusual occurrence by any means
and my own day dictates my response.
If my day has been calm and well managed, I will ask what is wrong and be prepared with a listening ear.
If, however, my own day has been steeped in suckage, I will pointedly ignore it and drive a bit faster than usual for good measure.

Yesterday had been a good day for me, though, so I asked (kindly, sweetly) what was bothering her so.

"I have this worksheet to do for class (AP? Humanities? I can't remember) and it is going to take HOURS! Because I was like the only kid who didn't go on the field trip, I have to do this worksheet instead."

"Why didn't you go on the field trip? Where was it?" I asked, surprised.
My kids always go on field trips.

Kate looked at me, a bit scathingly.
"It was to the Art Museum. You said I couldn't go."

I looked back at her, dumbfounded.
"What do you mean, I said you couldn't go? I always let you guys go on field trips!"

Kate stares at me steadily as she replied:
"It was right around the time I gave you the permission slip for Medieval Times and you said it was ridiculous to have two at once and too expensive and I should just pick one. So I did!"

My heart sinks as a tiny little glimmer of memory sparks in my head.
The field trip to Medieval Times had been expensive, about forty bucks, and so when she brought the other slip over, I did say that.
Thing is, I was JOKING.

Problem is, I got distracted and never TOLD her I was joking.
She had taken me literally and had assumed she couldn't go.

It gets better.

Her teacher (bless her heart) came to her and asked Kate if things were difficult at home financially,
and offered to pay for her to go!
Fortunately (or not?!) Kate told her teacher that no, it wasn't the money, her mom just thought it was ridiculous that there were two field trips so close together and so she wasn't allowed to go.


As Kate is relating all this to me, I looked at her and wailed "Well why didn't you ask me AGAIN? I always let you go on field trips! I was just JOKING!"
to which she replied, "But MOM! You always tell me that NO MEANS NO! And you said NO!"

My eyes widened. "And you picked THIS TIME to listen to me?!"

So, the poor dear had a three hour assignment to do, all about art, because I forgot to say I was joking.
I feel somewhat guilty about this.

Ah well, add it to the list.


Shelli said...


(no, not the major mom, that's bad, hahah....but the story and the writing! Just fabulous writing!!!)

STEEPED IN SUCKAGE!!!!! I am sooooo gonna steal this one! Driving faster for good measure...GULITY! The teacher offering to pay...OMG!!!! Picking THIS time to listen...hahahaha!!!

I LOVED it, and I love you!

...oh, and poor Kate!!!! :)))

Gina said...

Oh no! That's a story she will be telling your grandchildren. (fortunately they won't believe her)