09 September 2019

Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children: Thing 4 (The Baby)

This is one that boggles my mind to this day.  I may be a little slow on occasion, but there’s still things that make me shake my head and think “Really?!?”  Time to take my baby down the road...

The baby, Thing 4, was in high school.  He was old enough to be in high school, but not old enough to have his driver’s license yet, so that should give you a good enough idea of his age range.

During this time he usually rode the bus to school, but I picked him up after school.  I don’t think it was a “status” thing with him (I drove a really crappy car back then), it was more of a “Mama, be late so I can hang out with my friends” thing.

I worked for a local law office at the time about 5 minutes from the school.  My time was mostly spent in the office, so I could “take my lunch” to pick up my kid, but on rare occasions I got to go to court.  I –loved- going to court.  Court is nothing like you see on television and I found it intriguing.  Really good days were when I got to get out of the office and go on one of those “field trips.”

Just one little problem.  Thing 4 always expected to be picked up from school and most judges don’t take kindly to someone leaving their court room before a case is brought to a close.  The boss usually doesn’t either.

I was assisting on one case that seemed to drag on, and on, and on…  I looked at my watch, knew I was late to pick up Thing 4, and also knew there wasn’t anything I could do about it.  No cell phones allowed in the court room.  I was a panicked wreck before court finally adjourned.

A teacher finally approached my Thing because of my tardiness, took him to the front office, and asked if he knew anyone else that could come get him.  (As an aside, I find it ironic that they could have cell phones in school, but we couldn’t have them in court)  He thought for a bit and finally answered “Gramma.”

Okay!  We have a back-up!

School staff asked him “What’s gramma’s name?”  He answered “Gramma.”  This went back and forth several times, hints and/or questions included, and he still kept answering “Gramma.”

I finally, late, made it to the school and he was standing there all alone because he couldn’t think of Gramma’s name or phone number.

HIS UNCLE WAS A TEACHER AND COACH AT HIS SCHOOL!!!  And the connection never occurred to him.  It just boggles my mind…

I got to the school eventually, listened to the whole story, and have drilled important information into him and his brothers ever since.  “What’s my name?”  “What’s Gramma’s name?”  “What’s my maiden name?” None of the boys’ knew my maiden name, but they do now; how in the world do you answer security questions without knowing your mother’s maiden name, your first pet…

My baby is now a Marine Sergeant, husband, and father.  I’d bet a dollar against anyone that has the guts to play chess with him.  I’d bet two against playing laser chess.

I wouldn’t bet one red cent on him if you asked him my maiden name right now.

- Bess Tuggle

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