Daniel decided it was a good day to sulk. It was late when I picked Daniel up from Third Base, his after school activity in the gym. The sun was still out and the temperature was warm enough that the last of the snow from the weekend was melting. I knew something was up by the way Daniel dragged his feet along the blacktop to the truck. He climbed in and slammed the door shut, then slouched down as far as the seat belt would allow.
“How was your day?” I asked. Nothing. I tried again, a little louder. “Did you have a bad day?”
“Only the worst day ever!” Daniel cried. I asked him what had gone wrong.
“Did you do okay on your math?” Daniel usually starts his day with a timed math test. Math is Daniel’s favorite subject.
“I got a perfect score,” he replied. I tried again.
“Did you have fun at recess?” I asked. He nodded. “How was lunch? Did you have to choose something you didn’t like?”
“We had cheeseburgers,” Daniel said. “I like cheeseburgers.” It turned out that Reading was “good” and Music was “all right”. They had played a tag game in gym class.
“Did you get tagged?” I asked.
I was out of subjects. “So, what was so bad about today?”
“Third Base,” said Daniel. “Someone called me names.”
“Who called you names?” I asked. Daniel didn’t know. “What did they call you?” I asked. Daniel didn’t remember. Did they get in trouble? Did he tell the supervisor? Daniel shrugged. Considering my “perfectly average day” consisted of dealing with “nastygrams” from customers, fielding crazy requests from sales and trying to navigate our insane phone system with a waning battery in my cell phone, I have to admit I had a difficult time generating a whole lot of sympathy.