When I saw the department of recreation’s phone number flash across my cell phone screen this afternoon, I assumed that had to do with a field trip waiver. I’d filled it out online the day before, but never received an email confirmation, so I was nervous about whether it had actually been received. As I struggled to remember if I took a screenshot of the waiver’s online confirmation page, I answered the phone.
“Jennifer…yeah, this is Mike from recreation…everything’s fine and no one’s been hurt…”, I braced for impact because I’ve learned those words – intended to make you relax – are usually dropped just before they tell you something really bad. Because, let’s face it, Mike and I don’t exactly have regular weekday phone calls. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t pick him out of a line up even if I tried really, really hard. He then finished with, “…well, there’s been an incident.”
And there it was. An “incident”. Why else would Mike be calling me on a Wednesday afternoon?
He then relayed a tale that involved kids who didn’t want to play dodge ball (who could blame them?), sitting in the gym making bracelets with items that were brought from home. My home. One of the other children decided to play beauty parlor with the scissors my daughter brought and haircuts happened. One of which was labeled “drastic”, involving nearly all of the little girl’s bangs. Another little boy also received a somewhat “intense” new do.
I. Was. Mortified.
I quickly thought back to that morning. I vaguely remembered her having a small pouch in her hand while we were in the house, but didn’t see it when I helped her out of the car. Or when I walked her into camp. Or as I checked her into camp. And her lunch bag is a clear ziplock bag, so I’m quite certain it wasn’t in there. “How in the world did she smuggle them in?”, I wondered to myself as Mike awkwardly gave more details about what transpired at camp that day. Suddenly I questioned how close my daughter was watching those drug mule stories on the news.
“Now, it’s not that we think she brought the scissors as a weapon…because then we’d have to call the police, but please remember bringing things from home is strictly prohibited under the rules of the camp…so, if she could leave those at home in the future…”
A weapon? What? As I struggled to confirm that was not the case at all and keep my child enrolled in this incredibly reasonably priced camp, my mind then shifted to my husband who was going to be arriving at the summer camp in less than an hour for pick up and should probably know why he might have angry parent’s following him to his vehicle. I apologized some more, hung up, and then dialed my husband’s number to explain what happened.
“Honey, I want you to try and stay calm when I tell you this. Everything’s fine and no one has been hurt but…there’s been an incident…” I then relayed to him the same tale of dodge ball avoiding, bracelet making children with some contraband scissors from our home. I explained the haircuts, Mike’s phone call, and how I dropped her off that morning with absolutely no scissors in sight.
“So I guess we’re going to have to do something to make this right,” I told my husband. “Maybe a gift card to a hair place? I don’t know. I just don’t know. How did she even leave the house with scissors?”
“I have a coupon for Great Clips on the coffee table, maybe that would work?” my husband innocently replied.
At which point I burst out laughing. That was most definitely not going to make anything better.
When I finally got a chance to talk to Greenleigh – who, by the way, also received a (subtle) haircut herself – she confessed that she did, in fact, smuggle the scissors and other bracelet making supplies past me that morning. Thankfully she had not been paying attention during those drug mule stories on the news, and her intentions were harmless, but clearly not the point. Somewhere, not far from my home, there’s a child trying to explain her “drastic” new look to her parents and no doubt blaming my child for bringing the contraband scissors. I pray that they don’t have a major life event in the near future that requires pictures.
For disrespecting camp rules and intentionally hiding the scissors from me, Greenleigh will be spending most of her free time writing handwritten notes apologizing to the parents of the other kids and won’t be watching much tv after she’s done. Unfortunately, the camp wouldn’t provide any contact information for the parents of the children involved. Who knew there was camp/camper confidentiality? I’d so like to apologize to those parents, and, if possible, intercept the Great Clips coupon that my husband so desperately wants to transfer to them.
So if your child came home from camp with a “drastic” new haircut or “intense” new do, I’m so very sorry. And please know I’ll be patting my daughter down before dropping her at camp tomorrow and every day thereafter.