On Friday, I went in to pick Mary up from school as usual, but this time I had to make sure and talk to her teacher about something minor but important (the all-imperative Friday pizza order form). I walked in the door and was accosted by a little blonde tornado.
"Hi, sweetie. Let me talk to your teacher for just a second, ok?"
"Mommy look, I have homework!" She is waving a sandwich baggie so fast that I can just barely make out what appears to be a bean with a face drawn on it.
"Hi," her teacher greets me.
"Hey," I start. "Do you know where I can get another copy of-"
"AND WE CAN'T PLANT IT!" Mary is saying over and over. "It's my PET BEAN!"
"Okay, honey," I say. "You can tell me all about it in just-"
"AND IT'S FOR ADVENTURES!"
"...can print another one on the web site..."
"BUT WE CAN'T PLANT IT!"
"...needs to be in by Wednesday at the latest..."
"MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY!"
It took a few minutes but in the end I had sorted out the fact that the teacher had no additional pizza order forms and the onus was on me to go online and print another AND that the preschool children had been given charge of a fava bean and a small white bean (the "pet" and its friend) and were to take it around with them for the entire long weekend. Then they were to "draw a picture or dictate a story" about said bean and its adventures (presumably with the "friend" bean).
Outwardly, I smiled. Inwardly, I had already tried to estimate the number of times one or both beans would become lost (approximately 18), whether Anna would insist she, too, get a pet bean (yes, and thank God I had a bag of dried beans in the cabinet that I had meant to cook up when I purchased it approximately 17 years ago) and whether there would be drama over Lily trying to grab the baggie containing the beans (yes, yes, a thousand times yes).
We arrived home. In between attempting to cook, sort out toys and games and chores, and generally keeping the house standing, I photographed the "pet bean" (known now as Ellie, the "friend" being Kacey) "meeting" Mary's miniature Lalaloopsy collection. I documented Mary attempting to feed Ellie a large carrot. I took the container that had held fresh cilantro, cut the top off and trimmed up some cloth from the rag bag to make the beans a bed (also photographed). I attempted some chores.
"Mommy, I can't find Kacey! Kacey is goooooooone!"
Head, meet wall.
"Did you throw it away?"
"NO! It's MY PET!"
"Did Lily eat it?"
"Then it's somewhere around here. Find it."
Miraculously, she did. Again and again for the rest of the night. She slept holding the little plastic bag.
The next day went well with one notable exception: When Tim dropped Mary off at ballet, the bean was at home. Evidently, she refused to dance without it and pouted. She's lucky her father dropped her off and picked her up, and that's all I'm going to say about it.
Oh, and when she got to her grandmother's house, she reminded my mother in law approximately 205 times not to cook her bean.
...that one may be my fault. I may be too sarcastic for preschool pet bean homework.
If the teacher doesn't collect them back on Wednesday, I anticipate at least a month of fava bean excitement.
I'd better pour myself a nice chianti now.