Friday, March 18, 2011

Kindergarten Memories - Memory Lane Friday

Memory Lane Friday is a weekly blog hop where you can blog about your memories and link up.  Today is the first in a series of Memory Lane Fridays that will carry us through the school years.  As always, you can still link up even if you're off topic.  All are welcome!

I was excited to finally be of age for kindergarten, but the anxiety of the new situation got the best of me.  All the colored chairs, the cylinders of crayons, the bulletin boards with vibrant animals, numbers, and shapes lurking in overwhelming playfulness.  It was all too much.  As our meek tour of unwilling five year olds continued we followed our mysteriously aloof teacher out into the foreboding hallway, down sleek loud linoleum floors, and there before us loomed the doorway of the omniprescent children's bathroom.  I was not deceived by the deceptively friendly "girls" sign perched on the red door. 

We entered the echoey room, rows of stalls with 18 inch tall toilets and sinks just our size lined the walls.  My teacher was oblivious to the awkwardness of the situation as she began talking.

"Now boys and girls.  See this right here," she said in a very serious tone, gesturing to a massive, ugly pipe coming out of the wall, "Whatever you do, DO NOT TOUCH THIS"

Fear riddled my body.  Obviously, were I to touch the offending object, terrible things would happen.  Monsters would fly out of the pipes, dragons with sharp pointed teeth and shooting fire balls.  When we returned to the classroom, I hunkered down in my plastic orange chair, miserable, unable to let go of the images of the Pipe of Dread.

In the days to come, I refused to go to the bathroom at school.  I held it.  All day long.  I didn't drink so that I wouldn't be likely to need to go.  But one day it happened.  My bladder was FULL.  I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't possibly enter the bathroom with the Pipe of Dread.  I was about to bust, and started crying.  The teacher came over to ask me what was wrong, but I was too scared to answer her. 

"I'm sick, I need to go home," I sobbed.

"Do you have a sore throat?"

"No," I said in a small voice.

"Does your stomach hurt?"

"No," I whispered.

"Do you need to go to the bathroom?"

"NO!!!" I said, shaking my head emphatically.

"Then you can't go home," she said, returning to the chalkboard.

I squirmed in my seat.  I tried to will away the urge.  But it was beyond willing away.  Finally, it was too much.  I sat in horror as a stream of urine ran through my green plaid dress and dripped down off my tiny orange chair to the floor.  For the rest of the day, I sat in my own pee, too scared to move. 

When I got home that afternoon, I was immediately busted.

"Lisa, why is your dress wet?"  about two seconds after I walked in the door.  And so, I relayed my sob story to my mom.  She took me back that afternoon and made me go back into the bathrooms with her.  She showed me that there was nothing to fear.  That the Pipe of Dread was just part of the fire alarm sprinkler system, and that it wasn't 'out to get me'.  And after that, I was no longer scared to use the bathroom at school.

Want to link up with Memory Lane Friday?  Just insert your website into the link below. 
Be sure to visit other link ups and leave them some comment love.  Also, come back next week.  The topic is first grade.


Anonymous said...

I feel for you. The teacher sounds really tough and distant.

Jessica said...

Oh this brings back such memories, when I was in first grade I asked the teacher if I could use the bathroom twice and she said no, the third time while walking to the front I started peeing my catholic school uniform. Why did they put the mean teachers in charge of the little kids?
I guess we both made it out okay, huh?

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Oh, baby Girl my heart goes out to you. I couldn't participate today because I don't think I went to Kindergarten...back in 1802!...:)JP

Karen said...

OH, you poor little thing! I can feel that angst all these years later!

Nancy said...

One of those life-altering moments you never forget. I feel so bad for you -- even all these years later!

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Awww, poor li'l thing. I'm glad your mom showed you everything was okay.

TexWisGirl said...

Awww. Poor little sweetheart. Traumatized! Twice!

Anonymous said...

Oh, you poor thing. How awful!

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Oh cute! I love a walk down memory lane!
One comment each day (this week) enters u into a new giveaway EVERY day!

Valerie Boersma said...

Oh Lisa-this made me cry! I feel so sorry for your little kindergarten self. Adults have to be so careful with the way they talk to small children. Hopefully-that teacher figured that out eventually!

Kymberly Foster Seabolt said...

Oh poor sweet you.

I will hold forever a warm place in my heart for the second grade student and teacher, respectively who when my daughter inexplicably had an accident in the bus line waiting to go home, said and did NOTHING to call attention to it. The little girl next to her met her eyes and, I'm sure moved by my daughter's silent pleading mortification, turned briskly and distracted EVERY OTHER CHILD IN LINE while the teacher calmly called my daughter over like she needed "help" with something, then contacted me to come get her. They took what could have become the defining moment to graduation "remember when K___ peed her pants in pick-up line!" and instead turned it into "no big deal, nothing to see here." ♥

Evonne said...

It's funny how kids interpret things and make them out to be more than what they.

I can't believe the teacher never noticed. I'm glad your mom was there to show you everything was ok.

Mere said...

so I'm a little late linking up, but I didn't get a chance to write my kindergarten story during the normal waking hours.

That's awesome that your mom took you back to school and showed you the evil pipe wasn't so scary. What a terrible teacher to scare you like that!

Jeremi said...

there are some people that should not be a kindergarten teacher -- i feel for the little 5 year old in you. my k teacher went on pregnancy leave and our sub was a very old, very crabby little lady (mrs. able), who was as round as she was short with her black/grey hair piled up on the top of her head in a bun. i talked in class when i wasn't supposed to and she put me under my table as a time-out. i was beyond mortified. my mom also figured out something was wrong the minute i got home, and after talking with me about what happened she made up a little silly song about mrs. able under the table ..... i've thought of that story so many times over the years, how terrible of a k teacher she was and how great my mom was. it may even be a little part of why i decided to teach kindergarten myself once i got my teacher's license : ) thanks for sharing the memory!

Myya said...

Awe how sad. Ok but seriously... you remember kindergarten??? I always remember little tiny bits & pieces of things but hardly ever anything substantial, even from my grade school & middle school years. Geesh & I thought my memory wasn't too bad. LOl