Setting: The front desk at my office. The phone rings around 4:30pm as it is beginning to get dark and the rain is pouring down.
Me: ABC Chiropractic. This is Michelle. How may I help you?
Isaac: Yo, Mom, I turned in all my work this week, can I go bicycling with the guys? (Understand in recent weeks we've enacted the rule that we check his grades online each week and if there are any zeroes for work not turned in there are no social activities for the following week, including biking with the guys.)
Me: I am not at home to check the website and verify the homework situation, plus it's raining, plus it's nearly dark.
(At this moment patient steps to the desk to checkout.)
Me: I need to put you on hold, I have a patient to take care of, okay?.....Okay? (hearing no reply I opt not to push the hold button in case he thinks he's been disconnected. I turn to the patient) Ok, When do you need to see the doctor again?
Patient: Thursday evening, please.
Me: No problem.
(I turn to the computer to make the appointment and hear a muffled voice in my ear)
Isaac: (thinking he is on hold) Dude, my mom is so ridiculous! She doesn't want me to bike in the rain, like I'm going to melt. Oh and you know we haven't had white bread in the house for like TWO YEARS! And we always have to eat fruit and vegetables and they are all organic. She makes me go to the chiropractor all the time and if I get hit in a game she wants me adjusted because (in mocking voice) "Your spine is going to get messed up." And this whole homework rule is really pissing me off. Can you believe I'm not allowed to go mountain biking tonight because I didn't turn in a 5 point assignment last week?
(I stifle guffaws as I schedule the patient and take payment)
Patient: (smiling quizzically) What's so funny?
Me: My kid thinks he is on hold. I am hearing him tell his friend how mean I am making him eat right and turn in school work and generally awful things like that.
Patient: (laughing) You're terrible.
Me: (nodding) Call me the Great Oppressor.
Isaac: (demandingly) Mom? Mom? So I can go right?
Me: (excessively sweetly) What's that, darling son who hates to eat well, get adjusted, and who thinks my rules are so unfair?
Isaac: (stunned) Uh..what?
Me: Well, it seems you're somewhat unhappy about something.
Isaac: (worried) How much did you hear?
Me: (with great relish and stifling chuckles) Every single word.
Isaac: (suddenly conciliatory) Uh, ok, so I guess I won't be biking. See you at home.
Me: (smugly) Glad we have that all sorted out.