Gracie walked in the door from her dad’s house, tossed a quick hello over her shoulder, and immediately zipped over to put her backpack away. That was my first clue. My oldest child is pretty good about following rules – certainly she isn’t as absent-minded as her sister – but she always stops to give me a hug and race through eleventy stories before I ask her five times to please for the love of god to go put her backpack away.
Something was amiss.
I sauntered over and caught her furiously trying to smuggle something out of the front pocket of her shorts into the small pocket of her backpack before I noticed. Rushing? Gives it away every time. Silly ten-year-old! “Whatcha hiding?” I asked, letting my good humor show in my voice so my little culprit would ‘fess up. “Nothing,” she answered. It didn’t even come close to believable.
“Whatcha really hiding?” I asked again, this time with a little less laughter in my voice. Ten is gonna be ten, but don’t lie about it. Sheesh.
She knew she was caught, too. Everything about her body language screamed “busted!” as she slowly pulled her hand out of the backpack and opened it, revealing a tube of lipstick. Bright pink lipstick. I sighed. “Gracie,” I started, “You know you’re not allowed to wear makeup. And you know taking things from your dad’s house and trying to smuggle them to school so you can hide it from us is wrong.”
I must have hit just the right note of moderate censure. Really, it was more disbelief than anything else. I mean, I know Gracie is ten and I expect as we navigate the tween years, more and more silly decisions will pop up. Ten is going to raise it’s silly, hormonal head more and more often, especially the closer she gets to eleven.
Gracie knew just how busted she was. She hung her head and just stood there, deflated, and listened to me chastise her decisions. Every now and then, a slightly broken “Yes, ma’am,” crept out.
“It was not a smart decision, Gracie. You see Ms. Greer every day, and you know she’d not only tell me you had on bright pink lipstick, she’d make you wash that junk off!” That made Gracie stop and crinkle her face – clearly that hadn’t occurred to her. Score another point for having best friends teach at your daughters’ school.
I held out my hand and Gracie handed over the contraband. I took a pic and posted to Facebook, tongue in cheek, letting everyone know the trials and tribulations I was facing, and to let the Ex know that I had confiscated said lipstick and to let me know if he wanted it back. Since it looks like it’s a holdover from Wet’n’Wild’s 1990s line, I wasn’t surprised when he responded that it wasn’t Stepmom’s, and to tell Gracie-girl that he said I could throw it away.
Yep. Good and busted. I was lucky I was in the mood to laugh over antics and realize that things could be much worse. Still, it made me miss the days when I would find ice cream in their backpacks instead of lipsticks. My babies are growing up…and it just might kill me!