Wednesday, March 14, 2012
What Fresh Hell is This?
The call came yesterday. From Kristina's school. The instructor's voice was a little strained, a little hurried. Not the voice a parent wants to hear coming from one of their children's teachers - certainly not in the middle of the morning.
I sat down at my desk and turned my back to the open door. One hand running through my hair while the other - that hand clenched, holding the phone with greater urgency than when I had picked it up just seconds ago.
It happened on the playground, Teacher D said. Yesterday. They just discovered it today when another parent, a concerned parent, let them know.
Let them know what had happened on the playground. Yesterday.
There are play structures in the school's yard, and a few of them provide convenient hiding places for the kids. Kristina had encouraged one of her little friends to follow her up and into one of those structures. Apparently, my daughter is a Pied Piper and our city Hamelin, not Alameda.
My hand on the phone clutched it even harder.
What happened? I asked. And while saying the words, my mind raced - what could it have been? Had she hit her friend? Or had my daughter taunted her, made her cry? Surely she couldn't have scored a pack of smokes or a six-pack from the market on the corner - they card kids, don't they? Isn't it illegal to sell cigarettes and alcohol to four-year-olds? It was in my day.
My god, what had gone down?
Wellll, Kristina's teacher said, and the way she lengthened the sound of that simple word - afraid to continue, to take the next step, to let me know what horror had befallen Bayside, the preschool that had been home to so many warm memories.
Then, finally, she revealed the awful truth. Kristina, our beautiful little daughter, Kristina had given her friend - a makeover. Yes, while hiding in plain sight inside that confounded play structure while twenty other kids romped merrily under the watchful eyes of three teachers - my daughter applied lip gloss to her friend's smile and then...god, the shock is almost still too great. And then - and then, Kristina painted her friend's nails. Caterpillar green.
Karen and I don't know what to do. What's next? Pedicures? Facials? Oh, the embarrassment - oh, the shame.
Pray for us in our time of trial and keep us in your thoughts.