Friday, May 6, 2011

Do I look like I would kidnap a child?...don't answer that

There are certain jobs a live-in nanny (or as Ron likes to refer to me, “Sister Wife” which is so not cool and has never been funny) must do. There are times when Christy or Ron can’t pick up the kids from school and if I am able, I am happy to oblige. Yesterday Christy was running late and called me to pick Whitman up by 6:00. Not a problem.

I was home when she called and I still had my work clothes on which actually consisted of a dress instead of my normal khakis and t-shirt. They don’t so much care about exposed tattoos here (Woot!) so they were exposed. Whatever.

Let me say now…I am not saying that a daycare shouldn’t be cautious of randoms walking into a preschool to pick up a child. That is completely understood. Someone taking a kid is something that could happen anywhere, they have a right to be cautious, however…that doesn’t make their particular reaction to me any less funny. Moving on…

I have dropped him off before but never picked him up so I didn’t think it would be a problem.  I was wrong.

I walked in and the lady (mid-50s, at least, Tammy Faye make-up) at the front desk looked at me and looked back down at whatever it was she was doing. I spoke up and said, “Hi! I am here to pick up Whitman, I am…” and she waved me off. Cool. Whatever.  I figured I was good to go.

I walked back and found Whitman hanging outside his classroom doing hood-rat stuff and he immediately said “Stacey! What are you doing here?!” and he ran to me for me to pick him up. I picked him up and told him Christy’s sob story about running late and I put him down and took his hand to walk him down the hall. Not so fast…

I stood there, ready to leave, when I was flocked by 4-year-olds.  Four-year-olds with questions*:

4YOS (meaning more than one): Why do you have that giant tattoo?”

Me: “Umm, because they are cool?”

4YOS: “Why did you get it so big?”

Me: “Go big or go home?”

4YOS: “What does that mean?”

Me: “Uhhh…”

4YOS: “Is that a skeleton?!”

Me: “Well it’s a skull actually but I suppose…”

4YOS: “Why isn’t it pretty?”

Me: “Excuse me? I am sorry, it is very pretty!”

4YOS: “Does that come off?”

Me: “No, it will be here forever.”

4YOS: “How?!”

At this point Whitman saved me and said “Come on, Stacey!” and we started to maneuver our way out of the sea of children. Again, not so fast…

Front Desk Lady was waiting frantically (with a phone in her hand with Amber Alert on speed-dial, no doubt) for me to finish my exchange with quizzical four-year-olds. She stopped me and asked me if I had ever been there before. I explained who I was and the situation, yada yada yada then she turned to Whitman:

“Whitman, who is picking you up?”

“That’s Stacey.”

“Oh, ha ha. No…who is Stacey?”

“She’s just… Stacey.”

And Whitman gave her a look that said “What about this are you not getting???” And I swear to you he looked at me like “…the hell is her problem?” I explained again who I was and she said, “Well, we just have to make sure that people that come in to pick up kids that look…different…are identified.” I told her that I understood but I live with this kid and I swear I am not taking him back to my lair. I even picked him up, showed him to her and said “Do you see the resemblance?” She laughed a bit and said “Not really…”

Oh the joys of living in Collierville! Now, I am not saying that they judged me solely on my tattoos or that they aren’t open-minded to people with tattoos and crazyish hair. She very well could have been sporting Tweety Bird on her ass for all I know. But you can’t tell me that the ladies of the local Christian daycare didn’t think I was the anti-christ for just a second… I am convinced of it, actually but I wasn’t for sure and then…

I came home and told Christy all this and she said “It was the tattoos. I am positive.” Thanks, sis!

* In my old age, I have grown quite fond of children. You kind of have to when you are around them all day but I wasn’t always a kid person. I actually couldn’t stand kids…and then Garrett was born and I was crazy about him. And from then on, kids are pretty cool.
Kids do nothing all day but keep it real. If you want to know the truth, you go ahead and ask a kid. If they know what you are talking about, they will break it down honestly in layman’s terms. I welcome the honesty from kids. Always.


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