Naked Crayons

October 18, 2007
I stubbornly gaze around my prison. I am sentenced to 30 minutes of solitary confinement. Posters of puppies and fruit smile back at me. I blankly stare at the multi-colored story time rug. I must
have read the carpeted letters at least a hundred times. My teacher and I are awkwardly alone. Just us, and the soft-clicking of her computer's keyboard. She must know I'm miserable. She must realize I have learned my lesson and repented for my sins. I daydream about playing outside with the other kids. The good kids. Doesn't she understand that it was my turn to be the mom in our ongoing game of Pretend House? I'll probably never get a chance now. Some other girl is cooking my gum-ball stew and collecting leaves for my family's beds. My eyes are tearing up from spite. Not to mention my bladder is about to burst. I can't put my head down and sleep because the faux wooden table smells just like Mommy's cleaning spray. It's the blue kind that leaves a film in your nose that burns well beyond the five minutes after initially breathing it in. I swivel my legs back and forth, occasionally knocking my heels against the metallic chair legs. I sense a growing pressure in my lower abdomen.

The classroom is equipped with a toilet that awakens more temptation in me as the seconds drag on. I squeeze my thighs together in protest. I silently consider my options. I can either A) dash to the bathroom in the back and run the risk of having an accident en route or B) display complete insubordination and rebellion whilst tasting sweet revenge by staying seated. I bounce from one consequence to the next, and that's when it hits me. A warm, almost pleasant, wetness travels through the fabric of my frilly, acid-wash jeans. It reappears as a growing puddle in and underneath my seat. The chair happens to be yellow- I find this amusingly ironic. When I finish, I am filled with overwhelming relief. I stand up, push the chair away with the back of my knees and prepare for my teacher's foreseen wrath.

I tip-toe quietly to her desk and tap her on the shoulder with my stubby index finger. She turns half of her body to face me. At once, I start crying. I am a blubbering mess. Snot drips out of my nose and settles on my upper lip. I assume she comprehends every word that escapes my dribbling mouth. She, in reality, cannot and sits puzzled trying desperately to translate the gibberish that I am spewing. She finally catches on when I direct her to my lonely yellow chair- painfully glistening from the stagnant urine. She cradles me, wet pants and all, and walks me over to my cubbyhole by the window. My “hole” is jam-packed with loose coloring sheets and naked crayons along with my favorite Lisa Frank killer whale backpack. I imagine pressing my face into the hot plastic of the whale's picture in order to escape to the crystal blue waters and resident friendly sea animals that represent a kindergarten-free life. Plus I just like the aroma of hot plastic. My teacher's slender manicured hands search for the gallon-sized Zip-loc bag that my parents sent me to kindergarten with on the first day. Once discovered, it reveals one pair of Aladdin panties, one white tank-top, two sizes too small, with a zebra and giraffe on the front contently standing by a palm tree, and one pair of shameless silver spandex pants that parents must have presented me with as a joke. I, for one, didn't find the humor in it.

Shuffling off to the bathroom to change, I drop my bag on the brown-tile floor and internally reflect upon the day's events. The mirror contains a little girl with a red, swollen face. She looks like she needs a nap. I wonder what Pocahontas and Jasmine would do in a situation like this? While I'm in the bathroom, I hear the high-pitch squeaks of small feet scuttling quickly across the hallway floor. Recess is over. I shove my wet jeans into the clear bag that is threatening to rip. After gaining my composure, I slip unnoticed into my new and most importantly dry, red chair. The girls at my table update me on today's session of Pretend House. I hear them, but I don't listen. I timidly sit, scanning my teacher for any sudden moves. I visualize her announcing to the class through a large bull horn that I am in fact a baby that is not yet potty-trained. This would be followed by my being pelted with nap time mats, Huggies, and the occasional insult. O woe is me!

I suppose all the while I am planning my demise my teacher can feel my anxious eyes burning into the back of her blonde head. After about 10 minutes of this incessant staring, I realize that maybe she doesn't plan on denying my right to live because I peed my pants. Maybe this happens to her all the time and she's dealt with it before. A silent contract was signed between my teacher and I that day. It was a vow for secrecy. She was not to soil my social life for the next 3 years. It was also a vow for self-control. I was not to wet my pants in her class ever again.

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