"Hi, Mrs. Dibert. It's the school principal. I'm on speaker phone with the special ed coordinator." (Only he used their actual names, which I'll refrain from doing.)
It truly is possible to simultaneously cringe and laugh on the inside, because I do every time I get a phone call like this. And yes, sadly, I've had enough of them to have a history of such emotions.
"There was an incident with Micah at the end of the school day."
So that's always fun to hear. But of course that's why the principal calls. Never to report things like, "Micah held the door open for the veterans who were visiting the school today, and saluted them as they walked by. We just wanted to let you know how proud we are of him." No. Nothing like that is ever reported when we get a phone call from the principal.
Apparently, Micah was being a bit of a stinker in the last class of the day. His aide, bless her heart, has her hands full with him when he acts like this. We, as the parents, have the privilege of things like time-outs and other wonderful bribes like that. She pretty much has nothing in her arsenal other than trying to reason with a boy who has taken on the listening qualities of a brick wall. So in order to help the brick wall morph back into the boy that maybe could be a bit more compliant, Micah's aid grasped his arm to get his attention.
"Mrs. Dibert, the teacher of the class reported that the aide hurt Micah. He said 'ouch' three to four times. We're very concerned about this."
And then I laughed. Because I know my boy.
"Oh, no. When Micah says 'ouch,' he's not hurt at all. That's his way of saying 'get away from me and leave me alone.' He does this all the time."
"Mrs. Dibert, we would feel better if you checked to see if she left marks. It was on his upper right arm."
So I followed the noise through the living room and up the stairs to our bedroom where Micah was watching a movie on his iPad. I pulled his sleeve up so I could see his upper arm.
"Ouch! Ouch!," yelled Micah. Which was opportune, because I was able to have the school hear that, really, Micah does do this all the time.
"No, there are no marks at his arm at all. And I didn't hurt him, either," I reported.
"Thank you, Mrs. Dibert. I'm glad Micah wasn't injured. Would you like us to report this incident?"
I assured them that no, I did not want this incident reported, because there was nothing to report other than the fact that my son is quite an actor. The school may or may not completely believe me, but as I was retelling this story to Sam, he started laughing hilariously before I even got to the point where I said what Micah's aide was reported for. "Let me guess, Micah said, 'ouch!'" Because that's the way Micah rolls.
That boy. Life is never dull with him around.