We went to IHOP for dinner because we needed to be grateful for a stressfulish day.

My wife and I had a meeting at the kids school about something that happened the day before which was observed by another parent, although the school staff was not aware the parent knew us. There was a strong sense that the staff was telling a limited story. If not outright lies, the version that made them look their best.

It becomes difficult to get pushback on simple suggestions that would limit the behavior that puts the staff in a bad light. I pulled out “people with big brains” during the conversation because it gets hard hearing adults saying an eight year old who is struggling needs to “just use tools.” No, the people with the big brains need to do everything they can to keep her from getting to the point of needing to use the tools in distress.

The meeting was scheduled for 20 minutes before school ended and went passed the final bell, which left our son standing on the sidewalk wondering where we were. He did great and found his cousin, then found his sister and her teacher. The four of them walked to the office and met us a minute or so later. But it was stressful on our son.

So we went to IHOP.

Both kids love doing activities. A couple crayons and some paper is a joy. My wife started coloring on the straw wrapper that was not torn to little bits and when my daughter realized it was her’s she reclaimed it and colored the other side. Then she tore it into little bits and left them in a pile, from where my son tore them into smaller bits. Of which the picture shows the outcome.

I grateful for better communication with school staff this year.

I am grateful for my kids love of learning and doing.

I am grateful for being able to go out to eat and enjoy each other’s company as a family.