Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nathan's OBGYN Appointment

Yep, you read that title correctly.

For those of you who don't know, Mormon boys are encouraged to go on missions for the LDS church.

It's actually a pretty cool experience that not only helps the little 19-year-old twerp grow up a little, but it also allows them to share something with others that has brought them a great deal of joy and peace.

Before any of them can go, they have to have physical with a doctor to sign off that they are capable of the rigorous physical activity often required.

I was one of those 19-year-old twerps once. And I had to get a physical just like everyone else.

For the life of me, I can't remember the situation, but for some reason, I had to make a last minute appointment with my brother-in-law's father.

He was an OBGYN.

Needless to say, it was a little awkward going to his house for what could potentially be an unpleasant experience from someone who knows me and my family.

We sat down across from each other in his office, and all he asked was: "So, do you feel healthy?"

I said "Yes," and he checked off the paperwork. He had to take a blood sample or something (I honestly can't remember), which had to be analyzed by a lab, so he asked that I pick up the completed paperwork a few days later at his work.

That day, I wandered into a surprisingly large waiting room filled with women in various states of pregnancy. I told the nurse why I was there, and she asked that I have a seat.

I figured they would do the logical thing and bring the papers to the front desk for me to pick up. That is why I was so flabbergasted when a sweet nurse opened the door to the back and called, "Nathan? ... Nathan?"

As I got up and crossed the room, I could feel the eyes of every women in that waiting room on me. Questions like, "Why is that guy seeing an OBGYN?" or "Is that really a guy?" or "If that is a girl, how can that skinny little thing actually be pregnant?" were probably eating away at them.

Red faced, I went through the door, and she took me back to see the doctor. He was sitting at his desk, and when he saw me, smiled pleasantly and handed me the paperwork.

Are you kidding me? Did I actually have to go through that walk of shame just so you could hand me the paperwork yourself?

To this day, I still think he did it on purpose just for the comedic value. I'm positive I was a popular story at their office Christmas party that year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

... Thanks ... Scooby Doo.

So, this probably won't be funny to most people, but it is indicative of my daughter.

The other day, my daughter came up to my wife and asked:

"Mommy? Does Jesus fight the Holy Ghost?"

This may baffle most of you (it baffled me when my wife told me), but in context, it makes perfect sense.

My daughter is a huge fan of Scooby Doo right now. HUGE.

Since most of the episodes are of them fighting some type of monster, and since many times it involves some sort of paranormal entity, my daughter has developed a certain contextual association with ghosts.

Now begins the uphill battle of trying to explain that not all "ghosts" are bad.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Best prank ever ... or at least the most devious

So ... my bishop (that's Mormon-speak for my local church leader) is also a colleague at work. And he has a sense of humor.

On Sunday last week, I got a phone call from him where he announced himself by his official title, which was an immediate clue that something was wrong. When he hesitated a little and told me this phone call was particularly difficult, my nerves nearly forced me to lay an egg. (He probably deserves an Oscar for that performance.) He then told me that it had come to his attention that my daughter had punched another little girl in the face during church. (This is the assault I referenced last week.)

I was mortified.

He went on to explain that he was going to have to address the situation with me and figure out what we were going to do about it.

At this point, mortification wasn't nearly enough of a word to describe how I felt.

Then he started laughing.

It turns out it was all a big joke. My daughter had in fact hit another little girl, but he was playing a prank on me for making it a bigger issue than it was.

... So, I decided to get him back.

I found out that his son had been a little bit of a stinker in elementary school, receiving two action slips last week, one on Monday and one Wednesday. If a student gets five action slips in a school year, they must have a mandatory suspension.

To be clear, this boy is absolutely adorable. He's not a troubled child, and his parents give him all the love and support he needs.

But as my mom would say, he just likes to march to the beat of his own drummer.
(End Tangent)

So, I got a friend to call from a number that would display as a school district number on my bishop's caller ID, and read the following script:

Hi, is this Mr. Johnson? (Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent)

This is Sylvia Barnes with Fieldcrest Elementary. I'm calling to let you know that your son, Timmy, received another action slip this morning. I don't know if you are aware of our policy, but if students accrue three action slips in one week, they are required to have a 3-day suspension and must meet with the school social worker.

We tried calling your home, but we weren't able to reach your wife. Timmy is currently in our office, and we will need you to come pick him up.

It worked like a charm. Thankfully, I told his wife last night, because by the time I got to his office, he already had her on the phone, telling her he just got a call from the school district.

Once I told him it was a joke, he burst out laughing while telling me he was going to get me back.

I have two words for him ...

Bring it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stunted Development

When I was 11 years old, my parents moved to Utah for 3 years, which really did a number on my friend quotient.

This is one example of what happens when a tween has too much time on his hands. For more stories, go here, here or here.

If you grow up in the snow, you instinctively know when snow pants are needed and when they will just get in the way. Since I grew up where the lowest temperature was 50 degrees, I was blissfully ignorant by the time we had our first snowfall.

So, when I got ready for school that morning, I pulled out the bin of all the winter gear my mom purchased, intending to find a way to strap all the pieces onto my skinny little body ... because if they sell this stuff, it must be important to wear, right?

Have any of you seen "A Christmas Story?" That kid who couldn't put his arms down has got nothin' on me. Click here to view (the clip I found won't allow me to embed the video).
(End Tangent)

So, after becoming my own version of the Michelin Man, I headed off to early morning choir practice.

At school, all the little choir geeks had to sardine themselves into the room (I believe they called it a kiva), and started going through warm up scales.

The janitors were a little overzealous with the thermostat settings, and it wasn't long before I felt like we'd all been transported to Egypt. I was roasting in my layers of thermals, sweat pants, jeans and snow pants.

As the practice extended into the eternities, I started to wonder if I hadn't been very good in life and mysteriously died during the night. That would certainly explain the torture I was being subjected to at this moment.

After I had sweat my own body weight in fluids, they finally dismissed us, where I went to the bathroom and peeled out of the 18 layers, swearing off snow pants for the rest of my natural life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm back ... I think

It's amazing how student paperwork deadlines (and the weeks afterward with students panicking about missing the deadlines) sucks up all my time.

I feel like my head is still spinning.

The other day, my wife was outside with our daughter, when she went up to my wife and said:

"Mom, I'm a Sleeping Beauty Monster."

My wife immediately thought, "I can't think of a more concise way she could have described herself."

And I agree. That brings her completely opposite personality types into perfect oppositional clarity.

And since we just received a report that she slugged another kid in nursery at church yesterday, I'm wondering if the Sleeping Beauty part is just that. Sleeping.

Let's just say our daughter is becoming an expert at time outs.
(End Tangent)