I paused on the phone. Seriously? He's the sweetest eight-year-old ever. What was his weapon, kindness?!
"Several people were injured," she said.
"Injured? My gosh--what did he bring to school?" I worried momentarily. Had he brought a pocket knife or something. I mean, this sounded pretty serious.
"He brought...a shock pen. And I need to talk with you about this in person. Can you come to the school?"
"Yes. I'll be right there."
#1 Shock pens, will give you a little shock, but I wouldn't call that an injury
#2 Back in the day--when I had to walk two miles in the snow--just to get to school--I'd play bloody knuckles with the boys.... We played mercy until one of us cried! We'd get that shock gum and see who could hold it down the longest. I was a tomboy--and by golly I was a good one! And our school--a bunch of tough people went there! We didn't have pansy contests like they have today--in Utah they have "contests" where everyone gets the same prize. No, when I was a kid, there were three prizes, and if people got their feelings hurt they were free to either try harder next time, or go cry in the corner.
*stepping from my soapbox
As I drove to the school, memories flooded my mind. The Scribe had given me a run for my money when she was in elementary school. One of those stories is HERE.
And look at her now!
Anyway, so I got to the school and sat down with the principal. She really is a sweet woman. And I know she's just trying to do her job.
"Your son," she said, "IS a very nice boy. But today he tricked several students and the teacher."
"What did he do?"
"He brought this pen to the teacher." She set the pen, so carefully, on the desk in front of me--as if it contained the zombie virus. "He asked if she could help him spell one of his spelling words, then he watched her get shocked. She said it injured her entire lower arm, including her elbow."
I didn't say much, other than apologize. He shouldn't have brought it to school--but I doubt his teacher needed a cast or something!
I brought the shock pen home, and that night asked my son what had happened. "I feel so bad," he said. "Good thing I gave it to my teacher when it was running out of power. She should have felt it before--it was like lightning. But now--" he grabbed the shock pen and held it down. "Now," he struggled saying the words, "I can hold it...down...forever!"
I took the pen away and laughed. "All right, Thor. Give that back!"
My kid could have walked two miles in the snow. He wouldn't mind not winning a prize, and then trying harder so he could win next time. He could probably even play MERCY!
"Buddy, why did you bring this to school anyway?"
"The teacher kept saying we should make learning fun! And you wouldn't believe how many people started writing spelling words, just to use the shock pen!"
Raising kids isn't easy, but it sure is entertaining.
Note to self: Don't buy any more gag gifts. Cat poop, shock pens, disappearing ink...they get my family in trouble!