I cried my first day of school. Not because I wanted my Mommy or my blankie or my teddy. That is the stuff of pansies. No, my tears were reserved for something much more traumatizing. An event that has scarred me for life.
I was young. Naïve. Completely unprepared was I for the terrors that awaited me at this thing called school.
Now I’m not sure how much research went into potential educational institutions before my parent’s decided to ship me off to Helga’s Boarding School for Wicked Little Children, but I can assure you, it was not enough.
And so began my first day. After a detestable snack of apple slices, cheese, and a glass of milk, we children were then forced to take a nap, with only the promise of a movie to buoy our spirits. Upon waking, we were told to sit cross-legged on the carpet, thus condemning us to require lower lumbar support in our latter days. But true to their word, there was a movie. Little did we know the unimaginable horror contained therein.
To this day I couldn’t tell you the plot. Something about a mamma kangaroo and her fatherless baby, Joey. I seem to recall an abusive, alcoholic stepfather kangaroo as well, but that could just be from watching too many episodes of Dr. Phil. I can however, recall the ending in vivid detail.
Mamma kangaroo decides to hop across a busy road with baby on board, (probably running away from the abusive, alcoholic hubby), and *smack* gets hit by a semi. It may have been a car, but that’s not what matters. There’s mamma ‘roo lying dead on the road, and poor Joey has survived and is now left pouchless and alone. The end.
We were then told we could go play until our parents arrived. (It wasn’t a boarding school in the typical sense of the word, ie. boarders.)
Play? How could anyone possibly play after the atrocities we’d just witnessed?
Apparently it was quite easy, I realized, sitting alone on the carpet. The clammer of blocks and toy cars only served to pull me down further into my melancholia. Oh, the inhumanity of it all! What kind of cruel establishment was this that they would have us bear witness to the unbearable suffering of road kill survivors. And these little, heartless bastards were enjoying the spoils of playtime with no more thought to poor baby Joey, when all I wanted to do was go home and take a bath with my Easy-Bake Oven.
What lesson we were to take away from this? Look both ways before you cross the street or you might get hit by a semi? Okay, got it. Don’t have a baby kangaroo out-of-wedlock? Not a problem. Alcohol is bad? I’ll keep that in mind the next time I top up my sippy cup.
The only thing I learned that day was that I didn’t want to go back.
When my Mom picked me up I voiced my concerns, and informed her of my intent to go and live in a kangaroo colony, like Jane Goodall without the poo flinging. She said she’d think about it, but it was never mentioned again.
As for my continuing education, we were no longer subjected to movies whereby animals become bumper stickers. We did, however, continue to receive disgustingly healthy snacks (which I still avoid to this day), and were forced to nap on a daily basis, (which I wish I could still do to this day).
I try not to think about Joey anymore. The meds help.