When Dani was in First Grade, she had a great teacher who really emphasized daily journaling. Every morning, she would provide the students with journal prompts, and the kids would spend 20 minutes writing in fractured sentences and with misspelled words. It was precious. I loved reading Dani's journals. At Open House night, I proudly stood in front of the "Wall of Journaling" with the other parents, reading the "My Family" journals that hung there. It was sweet. It was moving. It was.... mortifying! There, in awkward kidscript, written with a fat pencil on a Big Chief tablet were the words "My Mom... sleeps nekkid." Ahem.
It's taken me 8 years to get over that embarrassment. Why DO I stress to my kids to always speak the truth anyway??
This afternoon, I walked into Aidan's Mother's Day Out classroom. His teachers were working on a bulletin board and didn't see me come in. Ms. Maria was saying, "Oh NO. You can't tell her about it." Mrs. Mary replied, "Oh, Maria. She'll LAUGH! I know she will. It's FUNNY!"
I had a tingly sensation and knew they were talking about me, so I piped up, "What's so funny?"
Ms. Maria jumped up and said, "Oh! Mary. Don't."
But Mrs. Mary, a sweet, perfectly coifed grandmother, was already ushering me out to the hallway where the days' artwork was hanging. She was so excited to show me this:
Pointing to the top right corner, she said, "Do the boys share a bunk bed?"
"Yes, they do," I answered.
"That's what Aidan said. He drew a bunk bed here. And is their sister's room right next door?"
"Mm hmmm," she replied. "And downstairs is the sofa, and there's a big spiky plant by the front door."
"Well, not exactly. But Aidan has been ASKING for a cactus to put on our front porch."
"Ah," said Mrs. Mary. "Well, Aidan draws such accurate pictures wouldn't you say?"
"Yes, he does. He loves to draw!"
"And he's so good at drawing DETAILS!" enthused Mrs. Mary.
My MomPride was short-lived however, for in the next moment, Mrs. Mary turned the page.... to THIS:
Mrs. Mary was laughing. Ms. Maria was standing in the door shaking her head. I was in shock. There I was, standing in the middle of my perfectly drawn family, stark naked. Mrs. Mary continued,
"I asked him, 'Aidan, what's THIS?', and he said, 'My Mommy's boobies.' And then I asked him, 'What's THIS?', and he said, 'My Mommy's tummy'."
But Mrs. Mary wasn't telling the whole truth. Because at that moment, Aidan shouted across the room from the sand table, "No! I said 'My Mommy's big, FAT, tummy.'"
I immediately glanced back at the paper to make sure there weren't any OTHER body parts I had failed to notice. I sighed audibly when I discovered no scribbly areas below the belly. But then I saw my face.
"Aidan, why am I SAD in this picture?"
"You're not sad. You're MAD 'cause you can't get your CLOTHES ON!"
Mrs. Mary fell out laughing, and so did Ms. Maria, although she tried to stifle it, bless her heart.
I sarcastically said, "Well. You're grounded from crayons and paper for the rest of your life. HMPH!" He didn't even hear me.
I had my thyroid follow-up at the doctor today. I'd only lost two pounds since last month. But hey - considering that I lived through Halloween and a 5-day scrapbooking holiday with friends, I'd say that's not bad. But still.... ain't nothin' like a portrait drawn by a very honest 4-year old to make you drop to your knees and give 'em 20.