Tuesday evening started out much like any other evening in our home. It was shortly after 5pm. Mark had just arrived home from work. We were in the kitchen, chatting about our respective days as I made dinner. Charlotte joined us to chime in about her day. I remembered that she had received a new book from the classroom library that day, so I told her to get it out so that she and Mark could read it together while I cooked. Mark and I continued talking while she retrieved the book. The next thing I knew, Charlotte handed me something she had found in her reader.
“Mommy, what is this?”
Mark and I stared at it, and then at each other, in shock.
“Is that…it looks like a joint,” Mark said to me in disbelief.
I took a whiff. Oh yeah, it most definitely was a joint.
“Yes. That’s a joint. I thought her backpack kinda smelled like pot when I was unpacking it earlier, but it didn’t really make any sense! How does this happen?!” The pitch of my voice got higher and higher as this discovery set in.
We told Charlotte it was something yucky and Mark packaged up the book and the offending substance and got in the car and drove to the school to give it to the principal. Now, I have nothing against pot- it’s not really for me and doesn’t really fit into my current lifestyle, but if that’s what you’re into, fantastic- smoke up and enjoy! And I’m certainly not naive enough to think that Charlotte will never be exposed to pot. But she’s FOUR. And she found it in something that came from school. Where she goes to JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN. And I’m sorry, but not even pot can turn those dull readers into something entertaining. So this was pretty much the last thing I would have expected Charlotte to hand to me. I think I would have been less shocked if she had handed me a winning lottery ticket.
The potential danger of this situation was not lost on me, or on the staff at the school. Another four-year-old could easily have ingested it or let it fall into the wrong hands. If Penelope had managed to get hold of it, it most certainly would have ended up in her mouth. Or if Barkley had gotten to it, we would have been making an emergency visit to the vet. Luckily, Charlotte is pretty sensible, so when she found something unfamiliar, instead of investigating it on her own, she gave it straight to us.
The principal, once she had recovered from her shock, was very apologetic. And we don’t blame the school or the teacher for this- they handled it very professionally, and really, who would be on the lookout for POT in a KINDERGARTEN classroom? Apparently, they will now be checking all items the kids bring in from home. And they will be following up privately with the family who had the book before Charlotte. I’m sure THAT won’t be a totally awkward conversation for all parties.
So that was our exciting Tuesday evening. Maybe we should have kept the joint to unwind after the shock of discovering it. What’s the most unexpected thing your child has brought home from school?