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The [Really Not Very] Curious Case Of How Buzz Went Missing

The [Really Not Very] Curious Case Of How Buzz Went Missing

This morning, I asked Mini something and his response was, “I have good news, and I have bad news.”

This made me realize that the day is fast approaching when I will repeat to you something that Mini has said to me and you all will have stopped believing me altogether. There will be accusations that I just make up these conversations to get traffic, because no three year old could possibly be this well-versed in the language of 70s I’m OK, You’re OK street parlance.

But since he mentioned it, about Buzz, I have good news, and I have bad news.

The good news is, Mini is not too upset. Yet. The bad news is, we don’t know where the fuck Buzz is.

Here’s what happened. And I really don’t want to turn into those insane mothers who starts pointing fingers. But what I’m going to do is, I’m going to turn into one of those insane mothers who starts pointing fingers. Because I absolutely did drop Buzz off with Mini yesterday at school. I specifically remember tucking him into the cubby, because I had to smash him down in order to fit him in with all the other crap that was in there. So I go in to pick up Mini yesterday and Mini says, “We don’t know where Buzzie is, Mama.”

And right away the teachers start up with the gaslighting.

Oh, you didn’t bring Buzz in today, they say. And I say, Oh yes I did. But they’re insistent, right? And I’m saying, Oh yes, I did bring Buzz in, I remember, I know I did. And they are saying, Well, he wasn’t here at naptime. And I’m saying, Right. But I put him in the cubby. And all I’ve got is a three year old to back me up, who is talking about — What the fuck are you talking about, Mini? Blocks? Honestly? Can you stay on target here, buddy? We are trying to locate BUZZ.

So we search. We search everywhere. In all of the cubbies. In all of the baskets. Underneath all of the communal stuffed animals. Even in the yard. In the other rooms. We can’t find Buzz. And all the while, they’re still trying to sell this idea that I never brought Buzz to school in the first place, but I know. I know who took Buzz. But I don’t want to say it because I’m not going to be that insane mother who points fingers. So I go through the motions of looking, and I agree to search at home, in my car, even in the parking lot, even though I know that he’s got to be either in that room or in the trash, or gone home with somebody, because he did come to school and besides nobody is talking about the elephant in the room which is the kid who has been known to go into Mini’s cubby and take shit out of it, nobody has taken THAT kid aside and questioned him, or played good cop bad cop on HIS ASS. OH NO. It’s all about, did you check YOUR car? How about the parking lot? Or maybe somebody turned it into the office?

We went home last night and things were quiet. Mini was not too upset about it, though he did mention an incident, involving the kid in question, Buzz, and some blocks. I thought this was a lead, so I called it into the classroom. They told me they would follow up on it, but I am pretty sure they have started throwing my suggestions directly into the circular file. I told Mini that his teachers are continuing to look for Buzz and not to worry. He comforted himself with Bruin Bear and Lamby Lamb last night, and this morning we both went in, hoping that they had managed to find Buzz overnight.

No such luck.

I was talking to one of the teachers about it, filling her in on what Mini had told me about the blocks, and trying to be as diplomatic as possible. She told me, “Well, three year olds can tell you stuff that happened from days ago as if it was today.” And I said, “Yes, I know. It’s just that, well, and I really don’t want to be that parent, the one who makes a big deal, but this is the thing, he does tend to always fixate on Buzz, I’ve seen him do it before, and –”

Just then, I see the same kid running up to Mini with Lamby Lamb — Mini’s Lamby Lamb — and shaking it in Mini’s face, and then running away with it. And then before I know what I’m doing, I’m running over to him, and grabbing it from him, and I’m saying, “No, no! That is Mini’s! You cannot take that out of Mini’s cubby, OK? Do you understand? That is Mini’s!” I look at the teacher and I say, “Do you see? I know that 3 year olds are not reliable narrators, but Buzz went missing yesterday, and I’m telling you about it, and then the very same kid goes and takes the next lovey out of Mini’s cubby while I’m standing here telling you about it!”

And I realize, with horror, that I’m that mother. I’m that horrible mother who makes a big deal about everything, blames the teacher who has to watch eleventy billion kids for one missing lovey. I’m over here picturing Buzz with a knife stabbed through him and a note written in blood that says, “You’re Next!” Meanwhile, Mini doesn’t even really care all that much, in the grand scheme of things, he’d rather have Buzz back but can he sacrifice a lovey? Probably. In fact, if I stop freaking out about it, maybe he will forget that Buzz is gone.

He’s a pretty secure kid. It’s me that is the fucked up one.

Epilogue: We found Buzz! Suspiciously, he was found smashed behind one of the girls’ cubbies. Now, I checked in and behind every single cubby twice, so I suspect somebody is trying to play this girl as a patsy, but whatever, the important thing is that Buzz is home safe. I’m currently fashioning a lock on him to attach to Mini’s wrist so he doesn’t get kidnapped again.

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Comments (24)

  1. Jul 28, 2010

    Apparently I am worse than you, because OH HELL NO that child did NOT touch someone else’s lovey and then frame some girl for it. The kid is clearly going to be a serial killer (or oil company executive) in 30 years.

    Is this the same kid that was playing with knives? Or are there two future serial killers/oil company executives in his class?

  2. Jul 28, 2010

    I would be that parent in a heart beat. I know I am projecting the fact that my entire childhood was a PR stunt, but stuff like that really burns me. At least Buzz is home safe and sound, though probably in need of a spiritual cleansing…

  3. Jul 28, 2010

    I would totally be that mother! Luckily, I am surrounded by other moms who would act the same way, so I don’t feel totally crazy! Make sure that lock is a combination, because that other kid probably knows how to pick a regular lock by now, lol! 🙂

  4. Jul 28, 2010

    Honestly? I don’t think you’re “THAT mother” as much as that kid is probably on the road to becoming “THAT bully.” I would’ve done the same thing if I had been in your situation. And I’d also keep my eye on that little punk.

  5. Jul 28, 2010

    No, it’s a different kid. This is a kid who actually likes Mini. I think he just really wants to be Mini’s friend and I think Mini doesn’t really like him as much as he used to or something. It was really complicated, this whole thing. I was totally way more upset by it than Mini was, because I was feeling torn in three different directions — I was obviously feeling for Mini because he’s my kid, but I also felt for the kid who took the lovey because I was more like THAT kid when I was a kid (though i wouldn’t have taken something, I was just more of an unhappy kid, not the golden child like Mini seems to be so far), and then also the teacher because I have been the teacher dealing with the parent who wants me to solve an impossible problem.

  6. Jul 28, 2010

    Ah, well, to quote one of the greats, “all’s well that ends.” Or something. Some kids just ping our sociopath radar. My daughter’s got one of those in her life. I will not be surprised when that girl ends up knifing somebody. Of course, I blame the parents (because I’m “THAT mother.”)

  7. Jul 28, 2010

    It was so frustrating. I found myself telling Mini that we might not be able to keep Lamby at school because he wasn’t “safe,” and then I’m like, “WTF am I saying?” If Lamby isn’t “safe,” then why am I keeping Mini at this school? What the hell? But the problem is that with something like a lovey, you can’t replace it, so it’s not like something else where you just go buy another one or whatever. The teacher was saying to just have him bring one that he’s not as attached to, but you know there’s not one that he’s absolutely more or less attached to than the others. He’s going to be sad if he loses any of them, he’s not going to be crushed if he loses any of them. It’s just a problem that there’s a kid taking them from his cubby, and I’m not really sure what to do about it.

  8. Jul 28, 2010

    Aww, this kid, I kinda feel for. He’s not a bad seed so much, I don’t think. I think he’s just a little jealous or something.

  9. Jul 28, 2010

    There is a kid in Mini’s class to which that applies, I think. But this one, I’m not so sure. I spend a lot of time in their class, and I think this one is a little different. This is more of a troubled or frustrated kind of a thing. Like it might lead to acting out later in life, yes, but it’s not an inherent thing like a sociopath. But it’s really weird to watch kids like this as they grow throughout the year because you see them change and it’s dramatic, even over the course of a few months. It makes me sad, actually.

  10. Jul 28, 2010

    Yeah, Mini’s class has a possible sociopath but this kid isn’t the one. This kid has empathy, he is just acting out. Also, it is specific to Mini, because he likes Mini and Mini has apparently decided he likes other kids in the class more now or something. I do feel for this kid a lot, I just want him to not take the stuff out of Mini’s cubby.

  11. Jul 28, 2010

    There’s a child who left my Youngest’s school midyear last year (second grade). From the moment I met him in kindergarten, I told everyone who would listen that he was definitely future Serial Killer of America. A couple of teachers tried, quite half-heartedly and only likely out of fear that I was recording our conversation, that he really wasn’t all that bad. Oh, he is. At three, he so would have been doing this and definitely had it in him to make someone take the fall for it. Thankfully, he moved back to India with his parents. I thought about warning India, but I didn’t want to start an international incident.

    Reading your post, I couldn’t help remember that you outed your blog to fellow parents. Here’s hoping this kid’s mom isn’t one of them reading. Although my guess is a lot of his actions are well known by his parents. Kids don’t become troubled only at school.

  12. Jul 28, 2010

    Not impossible. You say, “Jack, we don’t take other people’s things. Put Mini’s Buzz back in his cubby please.”

    That is totally age-appropriate and not unreasonable at all to expect the teacher to tell them that.

  13. Jul 28, 2010

    Oh, they do! I know that they do. It’s just, what is impossible is that they guarantee to me that a lovey will come to school and be coming home, when there is a child fixated on it like that. Because they cannot watch him around the clock, is what I’m talking about. They have talked to him about it many times, I know that. And they cannot make it like number one priority. I would rather that they put, you know, physical safety of children first.

    It may be that we have to put Mini’s loveys somewhere else, not in his cubby, until this issue is resolved. Because it’s becoming larger than the cubby, apparently.

  14. Jul 28, 2010

    Some of the parents do know about my blog, yes. I’m not sure that anybody would know who the kid is by this description. The parents who read the blog know who the knife thrower is, but that is not who this kid is. This is somebody else, and I’m not sure they know who that is. I hope not, because I really don’t want to marginalize this kid. This is a specific problem to Mini, I think, rather than a that-kid-is-a-menace issue.

  15. Jul 28, 2010

    Oh, sugar, I’ve been there. And what this post really gets at is how, while we’re standing there being freakazoids, our kids are like, “Look, felt squares!” Totally, stay on target, I am trying to be your advocate here!

  16. LC
    Jul 28, 2010

    I don’t think your response was crazy – it’s an appropriate lesson for three years olds to know that when they take something that isn’t theirs that an adult (or adults) are going to set that right. It’s unfortunate that the school was so cavalier about the situation and essentially put you in the position of correcting the kid.

  17. Michele
    Jul 28, 2010

    I was that mom. My son had one of those kids in Kindergarten, who took his Eeyore lunch pail. I thought at first he’d left it at school, but my son told me he went to get it out of his cubby and it was gone. Teacher next day insisted he’d brought it home. I found it that morning as I went looking around the room and one the girls told me Spence(my sons nemesis) threw it in the garbage. BRAT! I am friends with the parents of some of his kindergarten friends to this day, even though we live in a diffrent city. I was told that Spencer is still a brat and disrupts class and is a general nuisance. So…his path was beginning there. Honestly I think if he’d been taught responsibility and some good strong parenting, he could have taken a diffrent path. Future BP CEO, I’m sure.

  18. Michelle
    Jul 29, 2010

    I love how we discuss children’s paths like they are set in stone.

    I was ‘that child’ acting out for attention because I didn’t know how to get it correctly.

    The situation completely sucks. The teachers in this case are trying to cover their asses and not get into it. In order to stay out of it they call you a liar (no, you didn’t bring it in today) and call your son a liar indirectly (he must not have meant that). Your instincts were spot on, so were Mini’s. The child in question needs a hug (from the teacher, not you) and to be told that taking Mini’s things isn’t nice. And maybe if you’re really nice you could tell Mini that it’s ok to not be friends with people, but you should try to be nice and include even people you don’t like now and again because nobody likes being excluded.

  19. Jul 29, 2010

    I try not to let the kids take anything, anywhere, unless we’re all comfortable with it potentially being destroyed. You never know!

    You might have heard the story of Bitty Baby. Bitty is an American Girl baby doll and Jane had Eva’s old Bitty. Scott didn’t know my “don’t bring anything anywhere” policy so he let Jane carry Bitty to the park, where she was left behind.

    They got home and realized she was back at the park so Scott ran back to get her. Turns out some boys found her and….cut open her chest, stuffed firecrackers inside, and exploded her. it was pretty horrifying. I sewed her up but it was hard to get that burned smell out of her plus I’m not very handy so she has big Frankenstein stitches like an open heart surgery scar. Lesson learned – check.

  20. Chi
    Jul 29, 2010

    I am surprised that the kid’s mother didn’t realize that her kid brought home something that didn’t belong to him.

    My kid’s friend took my kid’s toy. He brought it home and told his Mom my kid gave it to him which was not true. However, the mother brought it back the next day to check with me.

  21. Jul 29, 2010

    I was going to suggest calling that kid’s parents but I’m glad you found Buzz. I have done this kind of going nuts thing in the past sticking up for my kids in situations with other kids. And I do remember other kids sometimes behaving inappropriately as a way of attracting friendship, or sometimes, with girls, splitting up perfectly good friends out of jealousy.

  22. Jul 30, 2010

    I would have been that mom too. O has her Binky. It’s a pink taggie blanket. And if it vanished, the world would come to an end. If Alpaca vanished? Bummer dude, but oh well. Binky. Apocalypse. She knows that is the ONE thing she doesn’t have to ever share with anyone. And if anyone ever touches it, she pitches a grade A fit about it. I don’t know what we’d do if I had to send her to school right now – as I wouldn’t want to risk losing The Bink – but she cannot rest/nap/pretend to nap without it.

    Maybe you could have Mini pick one of his less loved loveys that he’d be willing to part with to give to the little bubba who is stealing his out of the cubby. I could see this MAYBE (highly stressed) deterring the bubba from Mini Lovey theft. Maybe.

  23. Aug 9, 2010

    See, I feel differently because the teachers were refusing to consider any possibility but that YOU or Mini lost Buzz. If they’d been more open-minded, you wouldn’t have had to make a big deal, because whenever multiple kids are not physically blockaded from one another’s stuff, of course there’s a possibility someone’s grabbed somebody else’s something. I really can’t believe it never occurred to the teacher – I think it was just less work for the teacher if it was all your family’s self-contained fault/problem.

    And as for suggesting a small child did something askew… it’s not like the mere suggestion oh a 3 year old may have nabbed something takes away their civil rights and condemns them to a lifelong string of meaningless jobs with the other ex-cons.

  24. Aug 20, 2010

    Oooooh, I loved that GASLIGHT reference! That’s very clever, you’re a funny woman, Anna Viele.

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