Friday, May 25, 2012

You Want a Piece of Meat?

This has been one of those weeks where everything happens at once - end of the school year events and meetings, work presentations and projects due, deadlines for volunteer jobs - boom, boom, boom.  Plus, I started a new show so it's time to learn lines and pencil in rehearsals.

So, it's daily e-mails and 100's of phone calls and running from place to place.  "When will you finish this?" "Can you bring a fruit tray?"  "How dare your organization not nominate my second cousin for an award?" 

Each one slowly chips away at you.  In my mind I kept hearing a running line from origins unknown ..."You wanna a piece of me?"  That's an empowering phrase, but it also makes me smile, because when my son was little he thought it was, "You want a piece of meat?"  Both apply when you feel like a human buffet.

There was a moment during all this chaos that I hit the wall and made a U-turn.  It was during the middle school conference for my daughter's speech services.  I sat at the table with my daughter's homeroom teacher, the guidance counselor, and the speech therapist.

Here's how it went:

Speech Therapist walks in.  I stand up and extend my hand.
ST:  "I have a cold."
I retract my hand.
Guidance Counselor then smiles really big.

GC:  "Thank you so much for coming today. We are going to get started now and work together to make sure your daughter gets what she needs."
ST:  "Has no one - a pediatrician, orthodontist, or teacher - EVER noticed this issue? I find it hard to believe that NO ONE has noticed this before."
Me:  "My daughter has had speech services before for other issues, but this particular problem hasn't been addressed."
GC:  "Well, we're here now and we're just going to move forward."  Bigger smile.

Homeroom Teacher then shares her observations.
ST:  "I really can't believe that your orthodontist has NEVER noticed or mentioned this.  It is really obvious."
Me:  "It hasn't come up."
GC:  Smile starting to crack. "So let's talk about our plan for your daughter and decide how we are all going to move forward."

Speech Therapist then outlines our summer homework. "You have to do these exercises every day.  It won't work unless you do them every day.  It has to be every day."

Me:  "I. got. it. No. problem."
GC:  "So, let's just everyone sign these meeting minutes and then we'll call your daughter in to show her the exercises.  Where did she get that beautiful hair?"
ST:  "Have you never noticed this at ALL? Have you never SEEN this issue while she's talking or eating?"

And here is where we come to the fork in the road.  You know, the part in the movie where you can choose an alternate ending, depending on your mood and sense of adventure. 

We'll start with the alternate ending for this scene:

ST:  "Have you never noticed this at ALL? Have you never SEEN this issue while she's talking or eating?"
Me:  "I'll be honest with you, I'm usually drunk.  I sobered up just for this meeting, but the minute I walk out of here, I'm headed to Houlihan's.  I didn't even realize the kid was in middle school until the elementary school called me to pick her up because she didn't go there anymore.  Plus I work nights at the club so if I do make it home during the day, I am probably sleeping it off in my car."
ST:  " ........ " (stunned silence.)

Here is the actual ending of the scene:

ST:  "Have you never noticed this at ALL? Have you never SEEN this issue while she's talking or eating?"
Me:  "The structure of my daughter's mouth is from my husband's side of the family, and they have a similar way of talking and speech, so, it's not something I ever noticed as ..."
ST:  "Oh sure, blame it on your husband."

At that point Guidance Counselor quickly wrapped up the meeting and hightailed it out of there.

While I didn't get the satisfaction of shocking Speech Therapist into silence, I do at least have the pride of knowing I took the high road.  But the high road is a lonely, unfun place, and I probably won't take it again unless they have wine kiosks every half mile.  The tide is turning and now I DARE anyone to try and take a piece of meat from me.

Until next time, keep crowin'!

1 comment:

  1. Best. One. Ever. And I swear I just realized Will has a speech prob too. He can't say th. Both = both. Now I know to blame it on Bryan!