Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm not a tattletale

For this edition of Way Back Tuesday, we'll travel across time and space to a little place called Farmington, Minnesota which used to be a pretty small town and is now a semi-suburb of the Twin Cities, and to which my family moved when I was a year old and from which we moved when I was six years old. This means that I started my academic career there, with half day Kindergarten (I had mornings), during which I spent most of my time playing with trucks alone in a corner because I already knew how to read, so I didn't need to sit in a circle and learn the alphabet but my parents had decided I wasn't ready for first grade because I only had one friend. By the end of Kindergarten I had two friends and then we moved 1,000 miles away, so that worked out well for everyone.

Anyway, my teacher was Mrs. Rhode-Goggin, who was about four and a half feet tall and wore her headgear and a wok stand around her neck on Halloween and called it an alien costume. She also got pregnant that year and my best (only) friend asked her if she was having a baby or just fat. She was awesome.

So, next to her desk she had a thing called The Tattle Ear or something like that, which was a construction paper ear which you were supposed to go tattle to, rather than bugging her about how little Jenny bit you. I found out much later from my mother that the idea behind the thing was that five and six year olds don't whisper so good, so they would come up and do that loud wet whisper into the ear that they all do, and Mrs. Rhode-Goggin could overhear what they were saying and decide whether she needed to do anything about it. I'm guessing Jenny the biter would have been in trouble.

Well, apparently in addition to being ahead of the curve in the whole reading thing, I was also an unusually good whisperer for my age, and my teacher could never hear what I was tattling about. I also 100% believed that this ear was somehow magical and made all your tattle-worthy problems go away, so it never even occurred to me to tell the teacher as well as the ear.

This is relevant because one time during recess or whatever they called our play time outside, I had to go to the bathroom, and the aide let me come in and use it alone. I was probably also a potty genius of some kind. Anyway, when I came in and burst through the bathroom door already working on the clasps on my overalls because damn those things were complicated, I found one of my classmates sitting on the floor surrounded by Oreos and with chocolate all over his mouth. It seems he had discovered the hiding place for the snack and went buckwild. With no one else in sight, I promptly went over and told the tattle ear and then went back outside to play, figuring my work was done.

I was more than a little upset when the teacher only discovered the missing Oreos at snack time and the thief just sat there all happy and full of cookies and frosting while the rest of starved until our mom made us tomato soup and shells for lunch during Sesame Street.



  1. I'm just gonna say it. Jenny the biter takes on a whole new meaning in high school. Not classy.

  2. Oh Jenny, you really should have listened in Kindergarten, because now your career prospects are hooker and asylum inmate. Adult biters just don't go far in our society.

  3. Write your memoirs of your childhood or something! All your stories are so fun!