It started with a permission slip. It was written in pencil on a white plain sheet of paper in Anna's trademark slanty scrawl. It looke dlike a permission slip.
" I am throwing a party for Ms. Eshbaugh" Anna said proudly. Inwardly, I was cringing. What does she want to do now?
I think Kathleen's first reaction was something like. "No! Definitely not! I will not allow this, I won't help you, and I won't talk to you about this. Don't bring this up again. Ever."
So Anna did what was to be expected, when faced with such negative thinking. She ignored her, pretended she had never spoke to mom, and tried asking dad. Anna told me that she wanted to use my copier to make 30 copies of her permission slip, and hand them out at class so that everyone could come home to our house on Saturday and have big surprise party for her teacher.
"A permission slip?" I said. This was after work, so the gears were moving a little slowly. Even so, somewhere in the back corner of my mind a buzzer was sounding, and probably saying something like, "Alert! Alert! Anna plus thirty permission slips equals trouble! Alert!" Still, I didn't want to sound unreasonable, I just wanted to torpedo this latest campaign by my ambitious daughter with the least effort neccessary.
"Well" I said, "I think you'd need to get a permission from the principle before you were to start handing out permission slips. Why don't you bring that permission slip in to school and show it to the principle, and let her decide. Okay?"
Well, this managed to stonewall Anna for a short period of time. The next day, she actually remembered to bring the slip with her into school, and when the principle was not available to meet with her, she brought the slip home with her. I had assumed this would have been the end of it, but as usual, I was wrong.
Anna was told by someone at school that the principle was going to be gone for most of the morning, but that she would be around in the afternoon. When she was at home that afternoon, (and I regret not being around to see this) Anna picked up the phone, and called the phone number for the school that was at the top of her school lunch menu. She used her best telephone manners.
"Hello, this is Anna Shaw. May I speak to the Mrs. Fye please?" Mrs. Fye is the principle. "Yes, un-huh, Anna Shaw." A pause. "Yes, I'll wait."
Kathleen at this point left the room. She thought the principle was going to want to speak to her.
I got home from work later that day. Expecting a negative result, I asked Anna how things were going with the party. I wanted to comfort her in getting rejected by the prinicple.
"She said that it was okay to have a Holiday party! Can we make copies of the permission slip now?"