Miss L started first grade and her new school seems to be a great place for her. I have fond memories of walking back and forth to school as a kid in my small town and Miss L’s new school is close enough that on the first day, we walked. She wore her new dress and carried her new backpack full of school supplies and the safety patrols on the corners were neighborhood kids and her favorite new buddy lives on the corner. It’s sort of like I always imagined school should be because that’s how it was for me, I guess.
She lost her third tooth last week at Y-care and when I went to pick her up, she was sitting at a table with two other little girls, coloring. I was informed about the tooth loss and asked to wait while the coloring job was finished, all the while conscious of the intense scrutiny of the two other gals. Finally one of them spoke up.
“She doesn’t know that tooth fairies are MOMMIES,” she said, gesturing to L.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said. “COME ON SWEETIE IT’S TIME TO GO.”
“Have you ever actually SEEN the tooth fairy?” the small skeptic pressed.
“No but our cats have,” I said. My palms felt sweaty. L was taking her sweet time finishing up and didn’t seem to be paying any attention to the interrogation.
The little girl scowled at me and pushed at her paper with her pen. I managed to hustle Miss L away from the table, stuffing things into her backpack and chatting gaily to distract her. The sweat prickled along my shoulders. The little interrogator wasn’t finished yet, however, and as we exited, she hollered after me, “WHEN SHE GROWS UP AND LOSES ALL OF HER TEETH WILL YOU FINALLY STOP LYING TO HER?”
Grade school is rough these days, I’m telling you.