I don't see nearly enough family/parenting fics on here, so I thought I'd write one. Enjoy!
Cosima was walking back into her office after a meeting when her cell phone rang. She pulled it out of her pocket and saw Delphine on the caller ID, she swiped and answered,
"Hey, Delphine, what's up?"
"Not a lot, it's just that I got a call from the school; it seems that André has been sent to the principal's office, apparently for 'distracting other students'." Delphine sighed from the other end. Cosima furrowed her brows and sat down at her desk. Their six year old wasn't the type to cause trouble. Sure, he was sometimes too clever for his own good, like Cosima was at that age, but the boy took after Delphine more in the behavior department: he was quiet, observant and rather meek in front of others.
"So are they gonna send him back to class or…?" Cosima asked, not quite sure what the procedure was for in-school discipline nowadays. Delphine chuckled,
"They want one of us to come up there and talk to the principal. I'm kind of tied up at home right now," Cosima could hear Louise, their ten month old, giggling in the back ground, "so I was wondering if you could go?" Delphine asked.
"Sure, I'm not very busy today." Cosima agreed, she was also kind of curious to see how elementary schools penalized rambunctious first graders. Delphine thanked her and the two said goodbye before ending the phone call.
Cosima pulled into the school parking lot and entered the building. Colorful murals covered the walls of the hallway, bulletin boards with encouraging and informational pictures were mounted every few meters; the building had that distinct smell that Cosima always associated with schools, but she could never quite place what the source was, probably a mix of paper and cleaning supplies. She entered the front office and signed in. The woman at the front desk directed her towards the back of the office, where the principal's office was.
She walked to the office and saw André sitting on the bench outside of the door, his small backpack on the floor by his feet, which weren't quite touching the ground. Cosima was taken aback by how much the boy looked like Delphine. He was chewing on his bottom lip nervously, his doe eyes were staring at the ground. His hair was blonde, but it wasn't quite as curly as his maman's. Of course the boy looked like Delphine, he was hers biologically, but most of the time Cosima could see some of herself in both of her children, especially in their facial expressions. André made the same faces she did when he was angry or tired, he had her smile but Delphine's laugh. Louise had her laugh and her eyes lit up the same way Cosima's did when something caught her attention, the baby also, by some random chance, happened to have brown hair. Cosima never openly celebrated this trait, because she knew that regardless of biology, they were still her children no matter what, but it didn't hurt that one of them shared a physical feature with her.
Cosima walked closer to her son, who finally looked up. His eyes lit up with relief when he saw Cosima and not Delphine. Delphine wasn't strict by any stretch of the imagination, but Cosima brought levity to even the darkest of situations, and the boy knew that the meeting wouldn't be as tense with his mom present. André jumped up and hugged Cosima, his face nuzzled into her side. Cosima rubbed the top of his head,
"Hey, Andy." She greeted. The boy relaxed some more. Cosima only called him by his real name when he was in serious trouble, the rest of the time she used the nickname. He pulled away from his mom and looked up at her,
"I'm sorry! I didn't mean to do anything." He said frantically, still distraught over being sent to the office. He was definitely Delphine's son. Cosima pulled him back to her,
"Don't worry, I'm not mad. Let's just wait to see what the principal has to say, okay?" She reassured him. André nodded and they sat on the bench, her arm around his shoulders, until the office door opened and a woman, apparently the principal, ushered them in. The principal sat behind her desk and the two sat in the chairs opposite her. There was another woman who Cosima didn't know standing in the corner. Cosima introduced herself to the two women, and she found out that the mystery woman was actually her son's teacher.
"Alright, so what seems to be the problem?" Cosima asked, not quite sure which woman to look at, she decided on the principal. The teacher spoke up,
"André has been very disruptive in class recently, he's been distracting other students and keeping them from learning." She said. Cosima thought for a second, cocking her head to the side. The principal seemed nice, but she didn't like the vibe the teacher was giving off,
"How exactly has he been 'disrupting' class? Can I get specifics?" She asked.
"He gets up and walks around during instruction time, he talks to other students when I'm talking, and he refuses to listen when I give lessons." The teacher clarified. Cosima was a bit confused. This was unlike her normally attentive son. She looked to the boy, whose head was bowed,
"Is this true, Andy?" She asked. The boy nodded solemnly. Cosima looked back to the teacher,
"I don't want to tell you how to do your job or anything, but it seems like we've skipped a couple of steps here. I mean, I find it hard to believe that the first thing you do when a normally well behaved student acts up for the first time is send them to the principal's office. Isn't there a gradation of punishments or something? I'm a bit confused as to why the first time I'm hearing of this issue is in the principal's office. Couldn't you have emailed me or my wife to let us know that this was a problem?" She pressed. The teacher nodded,
"I gave your son multiple warnings over the course of several days to settle down, it escalated to this." She justified. Cosima was growing frustrated,
"Okay, I understand, but did you not think to let me or my wife know of this issue so we could help? We would have talked with him at home about it." She asked, trying to not take a tone with the woman.
"I just assumed that your son would listen when I asked, I mean he's smart, his test scores show it. The problem is that he's talking to other students when we do group activities. The teacher explained, holding up several pieces of paper that were presumably graded tests, each with a large '100' written on the top.
Andy, what's the deal? Why aren't you participating in class? Cosima asked gently. André looked to his mom,
"I'm bored." He said timidly. Cosima shook her head,
"That's not an excuse, Andy. The other kids need to learn and you can't be distracting them." She explained. André sank lower into his chair. Cosima pointed to one of the tests that his teacher was holding, "Your test scores are great, so why aren't you watching the lessons? She looked back to him and saw herself in the boy. He was still looking at the test, still trying to make out the words, he was making the same face she did when she was looking at something with her glasses off. Cosima's eyes widened a little at the realization. She looked around the room, her eyes landed on a poster on the far wall of the principal's office that read "teamwork" in medium sized font. "Hey, Andy, tell me what that poster says." She pointed to the hanging that was about twelve feet away. André looked to the poster, the other two women looked too. He squinted, focusing as hard as he could. His lips moved a little as he tried to sound it out,
"T-t-ea awake?" He stuttered. The two women looked at him confusedly. Cosima pursed her lips and looked away, now extremely angry. She remembered what it felt like to not be able to see as a kid, before she got glasses. Constantly squinting, always feeling out of the loop during class, always feeling bored and frustrated during note taking. The fact that her son had to go through it too was infuriating, and the fact that she hadn't picked up on it sooner made her stomach ache with shame. She looked back to André,
"Are you having trouble seeing during classes?" She asked. The boy nodded. She looked to the women,
"He needs glasses." She declared. The teacher blinked a few times, not following, "He's bored and being disruptive because he can't see what you're doing at the board." Cosima clarified, trying not to yell at the woman. The teacher nodded understandingly. Cosima patted André on the shoulder and began to stand up,
"I think this solves the problem, thanks for bringing this to my attention, have a nice day." She shook each woman's hands quickly and quickly led her son out of the office.
André spoke up when they were driving home, looking at his mom from the backseat,
"Does this mean I'm gonna get glasses like you?" He asked. Cosima smiled a little at the thought,
"Yeah. We'll go to the glasses store and you'll get to pick out whatever pair you want to." She answered. The boy thought for a little before replying,
"I want mine to look like yours." He said contentedly. Cosima bit her lip and smiled even wider.
When they got home André ran upstairs to play in his room and Cosima found Delphine asleep with Louise on the couch. She laughed quietly and picked the girl up before nudging Delphine slightly. She woke up and looked around sleepily,
"How'd the meeting go?" She asked.
"It went fine, it turns out that he needs glasses." Cosima supplied. Delphine looked at her confusedly, "Yeah, he's bored because he can't see what's going on at the front of the class, so he talks to the other kids." She expanded. Delphine nodded a little before grinning,
"He'll look like you now." She said. Cosima grinned and nodded excitedly, careful to not wake up the child she was holding.
Eight days later the four of them left the optometrist's office, Delphine carrying Louise and Cosima holding André's hand. Resting on his small face was a pair of black rimmed glasses, slightly smaller and a little squarer than Cosima's, but they still looked extremely alike. The boy looked around excitedly, his face looking almost like a perfect mix between the two women."Pouvez-vous voir mieux maintenant?" Delphine asked. She'd taught André French when he was little, and she was beginning to teach Louise. The boy shook his head enthusiastically and kept looking around. Cosima's heart swelled, she was happy that her son could finally focus on things and no longer had to squint to see anything. She snapped a couple of pictures on her phone to send to Sarah and Alison. They both replied quickly. Alison said the boy looked 'dashing' and Sarah said that he looked just as his nerdy as his mom now. Cosima laughed and shook her head. André went to school the following day and didn't have any problems paying attention or sitting still for the rest of the school year. He loved his new glasses and he loved looking like his mom. French translation: "Can you see better now?"