Since Sugar’s school career began many moons ago, we regularly fight about stuff she wants to bring to school. When she was little she wanted to bring toys, stuffed animals and books. Now that she’s older and more mature, she wants to bring her variety of electronic devices. She claims that she uses them to read during reading time. What’s wrong with a plain old book made out of paper?
After fighting endlessly, I've given up. If her stuff gets stolen or broken at school, she’ll have to replace it with her own money. We are already on the second iPod touch! I’m not buying another one!
Now that Spice is in school we are starting this battle all over again. Lucky for me, I leave before they need to get on the bus so it’s mostly EN’s battle to fight. Like me, he’s tired of this fight and just tells her that by bringing her things to school, she’s taking a risk. We even brought up the topic of bringing stuffed animals to school to her teacher-in front of Spice. Her teacher said that she didn't mind if they brought in toys, but the students need to keep them in their backpacks.
So Spice continued to bring in items from her Wild Stuffed Animal Kingdom. Spice loves her stuffies and takes pretty good care of them. As with any animal kingdom, there is a hierarchy of animals in Spice’s world. At the top of the heap are giraffes like Giraffey and Jungle Love and horses like Butterscotch, Junior, Buddy and Vanilla Valentine. Where the rest of the animals fall under the giraffes and horses changes on a regular basis.
On Tuesday night, we had a rough night at the house. It reached its peak when Spice put her plastic school folder on the hot stove. The folder immediately melted and couldn't even be opened up. I ranted and raved about putting stuff on the stove and finally just told her to ask her teacher for another folder. If there weren't any extras, we’d go buy a new one.
In the morning, I sent Spice’s teacher a note regarding the folder. I didn't hear back from her teacher until the end of the school day. I knew when I clicked on the email that something BIG had gone down. Normally her responses are friendly and reasonably short. This email was paragraphs long.
It seems that while the kids were in class someone went into Spice’s back pack and stole her stuffed animal. The stuffie was later found floating in the toilet in the boys bathroom. Spice also reported to her teacher that she had seen a third-grade boy near her back pack and another third-grade boy walking down the hall with the stuffed animal. I found this to be strange because Spice is in first grade and really only knows one 3rd grader.
On my long drive home, I prayed that the animal involved was not a horse or giraffe. I got Sugar first and asked her if she knew which animal Spice brought… she had no idea. I told her what happened and strongly suggested she be nice to her sister on this heartbreaking day. She actually got quite upset and said that she was “getting tears” thinking about Spice.
I arrived at Spice’s school and as is typical with either of my girls, I was greeted with a big, brave smile and she said, “Mama, someone threw Duchess in the toilet in the boys bathroom.” and then she proceeded to fall apart in the school hallway.
And there in front of us, on the ground, lay Duchess, the sopping wet pink cat. She had been placed in a plastic shopping bag so the ick factor was minimized. I told Spice that it was probably time for Duchess to meet her maker. She wailed louder and said that I should just put Duchess in the washing machine.
Y’all? I’m sorry, call me a mean mother. I am NOT sanitizing a stupid pink cat that fell into a toilet that I haven’t seen. If it was my own house, I’d consider it. After all, I’m the girl that bleached a $20 bill the dog ate and pooped out. But who the hell knows WHAT ELSE was floating in that toilet with the cat?
Fast forward through the tears, drama and phone call to another parent to understand another angle to the story. It appears as though there is a Serial Stuffie Stealer working in Spice’s school. Other stuffed animals have been found thrown in the trash and one time Duchess even found her way to the mitten box outside the nurse’s office. Spice’s BFF has one stuffie that was never found at all. Others have been found in the girls bathroom on the floor.
I’m convinced that Spice and her BFF have NO IDEA who went into their back packs and took their babies. I think they commiserated about their losses and started guessing about who might have done this. They based their conclusions on who they had seen leaving the library which is right next door, and who had teased them by saying they hated stuffed animals.
And the Case of the Serial Stuffie Stealer is currently unsolved and being investigated by the school. If Spice and her friend have a say in it, the police will be called and cameras will be installed in the hallways.
I’m certain that prosecution and punishment will be swift and fierce.