I don’t like rules. I don’t like being told what to do or how to do something. The more I’m told that I have to do something, the more I will push back. Ironically, I’m also a rule follower. I know, it doesn’t make sense. This generally results in my incessant complaining about said rules to anyone who’ll listen (usually you, sorry) followed by my begrudging acceptance. Then, I’m in. I’m an enforcer. If I have to follow the rules, then so does everyone else. No messing around.
So when my in-laws visited last week, I was beside myself when J suggested he take a vacation day and we let E play hooky from preschool. Family only visits so often and the weather was taunting us with clear blue skies.
I was horrified at the suggestion.
I know it’s just preschool. But we pay money for her to go to that little preschool. And what if that day’s lesson happened to be the cornerstone to the preschool foundation upon which the rest of her education will be built? J confirmed my insanity and bribed me with lunch at a new cafe I’ve been eyeing.
I acquiesced. We played preschool hooky.
We spent the morning at Oatland Island Wildlife Center howling at wolves, inspecting the indigo snake and trying to hatch some eggs.
Every exhibit was overshadowed by E’s anticipation of the bison. I don’t really understand her affinity for those shag-carpeted, is-it-or-isn’t-it-a-cow creatures. But for whatever reason, the girl digs them. We saved the bison for last and used that exhibit as motivation to keep moving through the less than exciting animals. After taking the very, very long way around and seeing everything from wolves to farm animals, we finally reached the bison exhibit.
An exhibit in which all the bison were hiding. Or sleeping. Or dead. Or something. Whatever they were doing, they were not to be seen by my disappointed 3-year-old who I just dragged on a 2 mile trail walk with the promise of seeing a freaking bison.
Undeterred, we scaled the viewing platform in hopes of spotting the obscure beast. All this time, B has been hanging like a champ. Although the animals were neat, she thought the best adventure was in the trek. And this overlook was the highlight of the morning. It was nothing more than a basic wooden platform with a railings about 5 inches apart. This spacing gave enough room for kids to see the exhibit below and….
Just enough room for my toddler’s head to fit between the rails.
But not enough room to pull it back out.
It was a giant, wooden Chinese finger trap.
I flailed my hands and spun in circles and became frantic wondering where we were going to find butter to get her head unstuck.
Come on, I can’t be the only one who grew up watching TGIF?
Thank God for J. A twist this way and a wiggle that way and little B’s head was free. No butter involved. I knew I married him for a reason. The ordeal lasted no longer than 6 seconds but the horror is burnt in my memory.
That is why I follow the rules.
Karma? Probably not. Just an overly curious child with unobservant parents.
Do you let your kids play hooky? Do you?