Daughter: My poop today was a long as the word chart Daddy!
There's a boy in my daughter's class who got in trouble for gluing things to his face. Which is fair enough (not really, but you know what I mean) for a six year old. But the point is that the day that happened my daughter told me in the crowded school corridor when I was picking her up that this happened. As did a few other kids that came out with her to their own parents. Which basically means that fifty people heard about a child with a very distinctive name doing that. Worse is that the tend to hear on a daily basis hear about the transgressions of this one child in the class. Which paints such a narrow picture of a child based upon whatever he got into trouble for at school that day. Sadly which seems to be all the time. And not just the usual case of not behaving politely or being quiet. But random weird stuff - like throwing scissors. Or deciding they wanted to go on a school trip - so escaping from the classroom and hiding in the principal's office. In plain sight mind you - leading to the plan falling down immediately. All of which is a shame I guess because it must be extremely frustrating for everyone involved when a child just has absolutely no idea about rules and boundaries. But is even more so when the parent of aforementioned child is picking them up and we all watch their mostly nonplussed reaction as all the other kids say loudly remark in the hallway that, "[child's name] pulled their pants down and tried to sit on everyone."
Which is unpleasant. My appreciation for what kindergarten teachers are expected to hurdle has been raised after vicariously experiencing it. In particular the fact that this year appears to the one when most kids learn an independent habit of pooing (or IHOP for short). Obviously some have more success than others. So much so that there are two boys in my daughter's class who are famously renowned to all the other kids to be befoulers of the bathroom. Lots of the kids are learning how to wipe their worries away all on their own - with varying success. And often the teacher will have to come help. At the very least they have to monitor the bathroom for the Brown Nightmare that apparently occurs on a daily basis - particularly as a result of two famously named boys and their propensity to crap everywhere. So famous that if they are spotted approaching the bathroom everyone makes it their business to find out if it's for a Number One or a Number Two. Because if it's the second one it will mean that nobody else should approach that room until a HAZMAT team has been assembled. My daughter has - with wrinkled nose and clearly imitated look of revulsion - told me how if the one boy goes for a poo he will wipe himself but not flush it away. Instead he'll pile up his collection of fudge-paper on the floor, or shelf or just in the sink. And that another child seems to have the odd habit of missing the entire toilet. And the teacher - with everything else on their plate (for legal purposes I'm not trying to compare a poo-covered plate with the school lunch menus...) - has to go clean that up.
Most parents will talk about the strangeness of how dealing with all that stuff is okay because it's your child. But 20 other kids!? Every year for your entire career? No thanks. To my daughter's credit she has been able to tell me with confidence that she's only pood at school twice. Following in her father's footsteps there. Keep it at home, I say. Regardless the one apparently didn't require a story to be told. But the other one did. She told me in the car on the way home earlier this week that she had a poo at school. I asked if she needed any help and she said no. Then - with a burst of excitement - she said, "My poop today was a long as the word chart Daddy!" I was crestfallen. Not only had my daughter taken after her mother in creating apparently monstrous bottom-sausages, but she seemed to be taking a similar level of pride in doing so. I quickly asked if she felt a burning desire to show it off to everyone. She said she didn't - so I felt a glimmer of hope that she hadn't learned all of her mother's bathroom habits. Then she clarified that she meant that she went into the toilet when the class started a Word Chart exercise, and when she came out a few minutes later they were done. Which makes me much happier. Because the notion that my delicate little daughter could wind out a twenty-five-to-thirty inch bum banana fills me with sadness.
Also today I watched an elderly lady wrestle a hobby horse off her grandson because "it's a girl horse." We had gone to the indoor playground for what is likely our only visit there this week. The boy - clearly old enough to be in school and strangely loud and angry - had been smashing around with a toy car for fifteen minutes before spying the horse and figuring he'd have a go. The grandma genuinely rushed over to him - after he asked how to use it - and snatched it away. I had no idea that humans are only supposed to ride the same sex horse as them - even if it is a fictional one made out of wood and plastic. Sadly this seemed to spur the boy on to an idea to take whatever toy other kids were playing with. Clearly just to grin about that he'd taken it too - because he didn't play with anything he took. He took a plastic panda off a one year old girl and then carjacked his own younger sister. Then he nicked all the freight cars from the wooden railway my son was playing with. Then he did that forcefield-arms thing where he answered his grandmother that he was indeed sharing via sacrifice - because everyone else was allowed to play trains but not in the clearly smaller section that he had commandeered. Which just so happened to have all the trains in it. Grandma did that token thing of telling him that he best share or else - but nobody did anything and nobody changed their behavior. My son buggered off to hide in a tunnel with the big train that he drags around like a prosthetic limb every time we go to the playground.
Then he finished up by plowing about in the bouncy castle thing before we buggered off to buy olives and go home.
Right now he's trying out another new cold. Another constant flow out of his nostril. I should get to cleaning up. I have the treat of scrubbing the bath.
Life of glamor...