By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved to purchase Dumb-o-Meter
"Do not operate equipment while asleep." "Too much caffeine can cause sleeplessness." Ever wonder the I.Q. level of people who write these warnings? More importantly, ever wonder about the I.Q. level of people who would need such a warning? I was wondering about this as I waited in the pick-up line for the five-year-old today. No need to wonder any longer.
"Hi, little man, how was your day?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Uh, oh, what color did you get?" Kindergarten behavior is color coded on clothes pins that are moved up and down a flower at the discretion of the teacher according to actions observed during the day. Blue is Super Student, Green Good Boy, Yellow Beware, Red your BUTT IS DEAD!
"Yellow, have you got anything for me to eat?"
"YELLOW???!!!!!" I said quietly. "WHAT DID YOU DO THIS TIME?"
"I don't know. Do I have a snack?"
"YOU DON'T KNOW??? YOU GOT YELLOW AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DID? THAT'S SCARY! WHAT IF YOU DO IT AGAIN TOMORROW AND YOU DON'T KNOW YOU ARE DOING IT? WHAT, HAVE YOU HAD A STROKE? DID YOU GET HIT IN THE HEAD BY A SOCCER BALL? DON'T MAKE ME PULL OVER."
"OK, maybe I stood in the sink in the boy's bathroom. But I was good except for that."
"You stood in the sink in the boy's bathroom. You got yellow because you stood in the boy's bathroom sink?" I took a few minutes to process that and decelerate the car down to the speed of light. Possible scenarios were playing in my head:
- He was being threatened and he had to be taller than the bully so he stood in the sink.
- He was barefooted and stepped on jalapenos in the cafeteria and had to cool his toes in the sink.
- A commode was overflowing and that was the only dry spot.
- Somebody dared him to stick his foot in the drain.
- I never told him not to. YIKES!
"Explain, please. I don't understand and here's some cheese crackers." Food always gets him distracted from any pre-planned tales he may have engineered.
"Well, uh, I didn't want to jump. My knees have been killing me for the last five minutes." I suppose having older parents, he's heard that phrase many times.
"Why did you want to jump in the first place?"
"To see in the mirror. I wanted to know if I had a milk mustache. Emily might see me at recess."
For the next ten miles I rattled off all the possible rules for things I may have neglected to tell him not to do starting with "Don't stand in the sink in the boys or girls bathroom anywhere. Don't put your head in the commode. Don't eat grass. Don't stick your tongue to the flag pole in winter. Don't drive a car, tractor, dune buggy, four wheeler or anything with wheels until I say so. Put your socks on first, then your shoes" and ending with "Ask a friend you trust if you have a milk moustache."
Emotionally exhausted, I made a quick stop at McDonalds for some C and C (coffee and caffeine). On the cup? "Caution. Handle with care. I'm hot." I wonder if the writer once had a five-year-old who stood in the school's bathroom sink? Now I understand!