Ethan: Uh... mom? I kinda pinched a girl today.
Ethan: It wasn't bad! I didn't punch her or anything. I could have punched her - but I just pinched her.
Me: What do you mean you didn't punch her?
Ethan: She said it was okay! She saided it didn't hurted her! She didn't cry!
Me: When did you pinch a girl?
Ethan: On the bus.
Me: Ethan. (sigh)
Ethan: She just bleeded a little bit.
Me: WHAT! She BLED!
Ethan: But promise its okay, right? Promise you are okay?
Me: No. No. I am not okay with this. It is not okay to pinch people - OR punch people.
Ethan: NO!!! Promise you are okay!
Me: I said no. I am not okay. This is not okay Ethan.
Ethan: MOOOOMMM! PROOOMIIISSE!
Me: ETHAN. Ethan. No. The answer is no. This is NOT okay. Listen. Stop. Quiet.
Me: Ethan. Did you get in trouble?
Me: Ethan? Did you get in trouble with the bus driver?
Ethan: Welll... I guess - I know I was in trouble. The bus driver wrote me up.
Me: It is the second day of school and you have already been written up on the bus.
Ethan: You are okay. Promise!
Me: (sigh) Just sit down and let's get home.
After a few minutes I ask him:
Me: Why would you pinch a girl?
Ethan: Someone was bod-ering Zayd.
Me: What does this have to do with Zayd?
Zayd snort laughs
Ethan: Someone was spitting on Zayd!
Me: Someone was spitting on Zayd so you pinched a girl.
Me: Zayd? Can you explain please?
Zayd: Welll... (pause followed by long sigh). A girl spit at me. But not the girl he pinched. The girl sitting next to her.
Me: So he pinched the wrong girl.
Zayd: (loooong sigh followed by deep breath) Yes.
Me: Ethan. If you are going to protect your brother and go through the trouble of pinching someone - at least pinch the right person.
Zayd: (another snort laugh)
About five minutes BEFORE I picked up the two little boys, I got a call on my cell from boy number 2 - Evan.
Evan: Uh... mom? I really need to talk to you. Are you busy?
Me: Kinda. Can it wait about 15 minutes. I am on my way home.
Evan: Oh. Yeah. Okay. But as soon as you get home I need to talk to you.
After my "pinching conversation" I get home and am cornered by Evan.
Evan: I need to tell you something. (pause) It isn't bad!
Me: It's okay. Tell me.
Evan: Well... the bus was really hot today so I decided to get off at a different stop and walk home. Just at the entrance of Prairiewood (about a 1/2 mile walk)
Evan: So... Zach rode the bus the whole way home and he didn't have the garage door opener and he had to sit and wait for me.
Evan: So... he was mad that he had to wait for me.
Me: Okay. (pause). So?
Evan: So... I think he is going to hurt me.
Me: (sigh) He is not going to hurt you.
Me: Well... maybe he will try to hurt you. But don't worry.
Evan: Should I not have done it?
Me: Well - you should probably stick together on the way home, okay? So if he doesn't get off the bus, you shouldn't either.
Evan: Okay. Sorry.
Me: That's okay. Don't worry about it.
No more than 30 seconds after Evan walks away, ZACH corners me.
Zach: Do you know what Evan did? (He is obviously NOT happy).
Me: Yes. I heard.
Zach: Oh. Yeah. Right. You heard. You heard what HE said he did.
Me: (sigh) Okay. Tell me what he did.
Zach: He wanted to get off the bus. I told him I didn't think it was a good idea. He kept asking and I finally said, "No. You can't get off the bus." He did anyways. Because his friend Mason and Skyler and this one girl were getting off.
Me: Which girl?
Zach: I don't know. Some girl.
Me: (sigh) Okay.
Zach: So I get home and he's not there. I can't get into the house, I don't have my cell (it was taken away from him - that's another story for another day) and I have NO idea where he is.
Me: Well he was walking home.
Zach: No. No. He didn't walk right home. He went to Mason's house to hang out. I sat on the step for 25 minutes before he showed up.
Me: (sigh) Okay. Thanks for telling me. We'll talk to him tonight.
Zach: Good. By the way. We got our planners today for school.
Zach: They are very small. Just itty bitty little things.
Zach: They are kinda weird.
Zach: I'm just saying.
Me: Okayyy. Sooo... how do you feel about that.
pause - Zach stares at me for a moment
Zach: What's going on here?
Zach: What are you doing? Are you like being Dr. Phil or something?
Zach: "Soooo... How do you feeeel about that?"
Me: I guess I just wasn't sure how to respond to the fact that your planner is small.