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Snips and Snails
by Betty Castleberry
6/09/2007 / Parenting
I didn't like getting a note from Timmy's principal, but I knew when I met with Mr. Markham, everything would be fine.
I walked into his office confidently. He shook my hand. "Mrs. West, I'm glad you could come. We at Hillside Elementary appreciate a boy's sense of adventure as much as anyone, but we need to discuss your son's actions with you."
I looked him in the eye. "He's really a good boy."
"Were you aware he stopped up a sink in the boys' bathroom?"
"Apparently he wasn't interested in eating his peanut butter sandwich, so he stuffed it in the drain and turned on the faucet. Then he threw his milk money in the water and yelled 'Harr! Sunken treasure. 'Tis a pirate's life!'"
"We did just see 'Pirates of the Caribbean'."
"That doesn't explain why he took up a collection for a gym membership for Miss Johnson. He claims you said she could use a few work outs."
I prayed for the floor to swallow me.
"He asked his friends for donations, but only collected sixty cents. He snuck into the teacher's lounge and spent it in the vending machine. Did you know that a cola poured into a volcano model can cause a violent reaction?"
I shook my head.
"Someday Timmy might have a brilliant career in pyrotechnics, but ruining a class science experiment just isn't acceptable. I feel it's only fair to wipe this incident off the record, though, because Timmy paid for it as much as anyone. I hope the shirt he was wearing wasn't new."
I did recall some odd stains on one of Timmy's shirts.
"There's more. The class took a field trip to the Old West Museum. Timmy climbed into the teepee at the Native American display. Miss Johnson tried to coax him out, but he refused because she didn't know the secret password for 'Camp Timmy.' He came out when he noticed the bow and arrows. He took aim, but even Miss Johnson said she didn't think he meant to release the arrow. However, if that statue had been a real outlaw, Timmy would be a hero.
"The next day he left a trail of stickers from his classroom to my office. When I asked him why he did it, he said the halls were confusing, and since he came down here often, he wanted to mark his trail. While I did have a moment of compassion for him, I'm afraid it faded when the janitors complained how difficult it was to remove the stickers. Asking Timmy to help them didn't teach him anything. He stood on the rolling mop bucket and whizzed down the hall playing air guitar and singing "She's my little deuce coupe, you don't know what I got."
I was embarrassed. "His father and I are Beach Boys fans."
"Talented lot. Let's get back to your son.
"Timmy isn't a very good driver. The bucket careened into the aquarium in the main hallway, and toppled it. Mrs. Federstein just happened to be walking by. She gasped in surprise at the water pouring over her. This had some unfortunate consequences. Let's just say she isn't a sushi fan."
"I'm sorry. I had no idea."
"Yesterday was quite a day for Timmy. He challenged Jay Phillips to a duel for the hand of little Beth Wheeler. Mrs. Thomas, our playground monitor, found them wielding red crayons at each other. At some point, Timmy's crayon made contact with Jay's cheek, because there was a red mark on it. Mrs. Thomas thought it was blood and marched both boys into my office. Actually, Timmy was dragged in while screaming, 'I won't go to Snidely Whiplash's torture chamber!' I made the boys stay in my office until recess was over. That was a mistake, because Timmy pulled up my ivy plant and yelled, "Snake! Stand back, Ill slay it."
While he was busy hacking at it with my letter opener, my secretary reacted to the word "snake." She jumped out of her chair and accidentally hit a button on her keyboard. The teachers weren't pleased to hear their entire week's lesson plans had been deleted.
"You can see we have a problem."
"I sincerely apologize. Timmy's father and I will take care of this."
I left that office as fast as I could, and ran into Timmy standing at the principal's door. He had an eraser stuck to his forehead. I didn't even want to know.
Copyright 2006 Betty Castleberry
~The author is a retired-early-by-choice RN who lives in Texas with her husband and three parrots. She has a daughter, step daughter, and five grandchildren. She is a published author, and loves to write for the Lord. Email her @
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