Last night we were serenaded by a local high school theater group prepping for their production of Grease. We were at our favorite diner. It’s old school decor and style with new school local organic food. Our party was six and the only table big enough for us was in front of their makeshift stage. We knew it would be noisy. Fun but noisy. But the Piper loves that kind of stuff so we sat down. Piper ordered french fries and a milkshake. Then the students began singing. Right in Piper’s ear. I thought maybe she would start belting out the music, too. I thought maybe she’d jump off her chair and dance. She didn’t. She ignored them. Completely. Coloring was much more important.
Later she asked if we could see Grease again. “You know, the summer lovin’ one, Mom,” Piper said, “not that boring ancient one.”
This afternoon when I picked Piper up from school she ran into my arms, buried her face in my neck, and declared today the worst day ever. Ever is a very long time.
“What happened, P?” I asked, kissing her soft little cheek.
“It was Media Center day and I forgot my library book.”
“So they wouldn’t let you check out a new one? I’m sorry that happened to you,” I said.
Then Piper turned on me. “It’s your fault! You should have put my library book in my bag. You should remember it’s Tuesday!”
Oh, really. My sympathies began evaporating. I took a deep breath.
“It’s your library book, honey. You’re responsible for it. And if you forget it at home, then you have to wait for next Tuesday and try again. I’m sorry that you’re upset, but it’s not okay to blame me.” Whew. I didn’t even raise my voice. It probably helped that other parents were watching. Sissy, too.
“Yeah, you’re right,” Piper said, shrugging and skipping off to the car. “A girl’s got to try, you know?”
Piper thinks you might be following her. She knows you love the blog. You may love it so much that you’re trying to get secret pictures of her in action. Walking down the street. Sitting in the car. Dancing on the playground. You can’t get enough.
Yesterday as we were leaving school Piper saw a woman on her front porch with a camera. There was only one possible explanation.
“Ugh!” Piper exclaimed. “The paparazzi follow me everywhere!”
Piper told us at dinner last night that she’d heard THE “f” word. Kids at school are saying it. Her teacher is discouraging it but it seems to be contagious.
“First Kayla said it,” Piper said. “Mrs. A warned her. Kayla did it again. BIG trouble!”
“What happened then?” Sissy asked.
“Nate said it, too. Mrs. A told him not to say it again.”
“Did Mrs. A say the ‘f’ word when she told them not to say it?” Daddy asked.
“No. She didn’t have to. Everyone knows the ‘f’ word.”
“What is it, Piper?”
Yesterday was Piper’s class picture. You know the one where the whole kindergarten smooshes together and smiles so that 10 years later you can look back and wonder what happened to the kid who ate paste. We forgot it was picture day. You’re supposed to dress up for picture day. You’re supposed to look presentable.
We’ve had a series of weather delays and early releases and general schedule rescheduling that’s left us in a permanent state of flux. I’m pretty sure Piper’s teeth were brushed. I doubt her hair was. She was wearing at least seven pieces of rainbow jewelry. Maybe two tutus. I remind her daily to wear underwear. Clean underwear. My standards are that high.
“Mom! We forgot picture day!” Piper told me on our walk home.
I shrugged. What could I do now? “Sorry, honey.”
“Thank goodness I look THIS good every day!” Piper said, twirling in her paste eating loveliness and smiling. I checked for underwear. Whew.
Piper’s favorite place at school is the hallway. She’s a fan of anything that gets her out of class. There are multi-colored clothes pins that serve as hallway passes. Piper likes to collect them.
One of my dear stay-at-home-volunteer-at-school-rule-the-world friend moms recently took pictures for the school yearbook, and here is where she located the Piper: smiling innocently as she got out of class once again.
A Piper has places to go. Here are her favorite routes:
1. The Bathroom. She likes to sit on a stool and think. It’s quiet in there. Also, you can sing loudly and listen to the echo.
2. Sissy’s Classroom. There’s a little glass window in the door of Sissy’s classroom. If you smash your face against the glass and squint hard, you might catch a glimpse of Sissy, but Sissy usually has her face stuck in a book and doesn’t look up. Every single one of her friends has to call out one by one “Isabelle! Piper is at the window!” The teacher loves that.
3. The Hand Washing Station. This is the trough of soap dispensers and fun outside of the cafeteria. It looks a lot like those water tables at Science Centers. Piper likes to make suds and soak her clothes. At least she’s sanitized.
4. The Locker. Oh, the locker. Has there ever been anything cooler than your locker? It’s endless fun. And it’s the best place to shove things on the route between your teacher and your mom. Neither of them check there. Hardly.
5. The Office. Every school should have a Mrs. Army. That’s her real name. Sort of. She runs the school. At any second Mrs. Army knows the exact GPS position of all 900 kids in school. And she knows where they are supposed to go after school, too. Mrs. Army deserves top secret security clearance. Piper likes to intentionally forget stuff at home just so she can get called to the office to pick it up from Mrs. Army.