Saturday, April 16, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished

I’ll do a Saturday post since I won’t be near a computer on Monday, and maybe not Tuesday. (This assumes my devoted audience waits breathlessly to see what I have to say on any given day. Sorry, but if I don’t have these illusions of grandeur, I’ll get bummed and stop writing, and I really like the writing part.) Plus, this is funny. (To me, as my husband will remind me. Maybe not to you, but to me.)

Friday, Jack’s class presented “Many Communities, One Nation.” If you’ve never heard a kindergarten class sing, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” then you really haven’t lived. (It was actually the secular/make- kids-feel-good-about-themselves version called, "I've Got the Whole Globe in My Hands.") It was adorable, from the paper mache globes they painted to decorate the room, to the countries they chose to research, to the introductions made in every different language. Every parent was rapt.

Okay. Jack chose Scotland, because Whit’s family is Scottish. The parents were asked to contribute an authentic recipe from the country their child chose, and then prepare the dish and bring it in for the party.

I learned quickly that Scottish food sucks. The one recipe we found that interested Jack was butterscotch. Now, I’m a decent cook and baker, and I love to do both. But I’ve never made candy before.

So there I was, at the crack of dawn, trying to buy a candy thermometer. There I was, sweating, boiling the hell out of the sugar and water and butter and not even being able to pause to answer the phone. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was for Jack, so I just tried my best. I made the candy, let it harden, then smashed it into smaller pieces with a hammer.

When I walked into the classroom, I joked to my friend, “Teeth will crack all over kindergarten today.”

Huh. Famous last words.

Within twenty minutes of the event, that friend came up to me, bubbling over with glee. I could tell she had something to report. “Alexander,” which is what we’ll call him for blog purposes, “broke his crown on your butterscotch.”

I giggled, I admit it. I felt guilty, I’ll confess. I stood up for the kid when another friend said, “Why the hell does a kindergartener have a crown?” I started to make my way over to the mother to apologize. I left cackling friends in my wake.

Before I could take three steps, the mother was in front of me with a paper plate. “Oh,” I started…but she interrupted me. “Alexander lost his crown on your candy!” She didn’t seem mad, just pretty matter-of-fact, almost enthusiastic. A little like, “Well, we told him not to eat hard candy. What’m I supposed to do about it?”

I felt okay.

But then she said, “Look!” And shoved the paper plate in my face.

And I swear on all that is holy that she had the piece of butterscotch candy on the paper plate, and the crown was sticking right out of the top.

First, I wanted to barf. A crown ripped off a tooth by hard candy is not a pretty thing. Second, I wanted to laugh. She was carrying it around like she might run into a dentist carrying superglue. Or maybe like it was forensic evidence of a crime, and it had to be perfectly preserved to identify the perpetrator.

I almost offered to get some Elmer’s off the craft cart and stick it back on. I almost suggested he bite back into it and see if it stuck on the tooth. I almost offered another piece of butterscotch to dislodge the crown from the first piece of butterscotch.

But I didn’t do any of those things.

I apologized. With a straight face.

And then I haven’t stopped laughing since.

1 comment:

  1. Laughing?!?!?! Yikes! If that was Caroline you would have demanded reimbursement for the dentist co-pay! LOL!