A New School
“So who is Molly,” Joanne asked as they headed down the hall.
“Here, you take this one, it is her favorite,” Sally said handing Joanne a book called, ‘Biscuit Goes to School’. “Molly’s my sister.”
Looking down at the book and flipping through a few pages, “So, is she in Kindergarten?”
“No, she is my twin sister,” Sally said skipping down the hall.
“And . . . this is her favorite book,” Joanne questioned with confusion? The book was clearly for Preschoolers or Kindergarteners. How could this be a Third Grader’s favorite book?
“You are going to like Molly and the kids in her class. They are real fun to play with and there are neat toys in there. Mrs. Renton let’s me and one other kid from the class have a few recesses a week in Molly’s classroom.”
“Doesn’t your sister’s Third Grade class go outside to recess like ours?”
“They have recess, but not at the same time. Anyways it is more fun in her classroom than playing with her outside.”
Joanne wasn’t looking where they were going. She was trying to figure this out and looking at the book. The book Sally had in her hands was also a Biscuit book. Were they supposed to read these to the Third Graders in Molly’s classroom? Joanne was looking at the Biscuit book in confusion as they entered a classroom. She stopped looking at the book and looked at the classroom they had just entered.
Without thinking she blurted out the first thing that entered her mind, “But I don’t need to be changed.”
“What Joanne,” Sally asked in confusion?
Joanne looked at Sally’s confused expression, “Umm, Uh. What are we doing in Mrs. Jones’ classroom?”
“You know Mrs. Jones? How do you know Mrs. Jones, this is your first day?”
Before Joanne could answer, a girl looking exactly like Sally came up and hugged her from behind, “Hi Sally. Hi Joanne.”
“What,” Sally questioned looking at Joanne? “How do you know Molly?”
Before Joanne could answer, Sally turned around and looked at the girl hugging her. Sally asked, “Wait a minute. Molly, how do you know Joanne?”
“Joanne Andy sissy,” Molly said in a matter of fact manner, and then walked away.
In a dazed state Sally said to no one in particular, “Who is Andy?”
“Andy is MY brother,” Joanne explained. “He is the one over there playing with the Fisher Price School Bus next to Molly.”
“What? Who? Where?” Sally looked at Joanne, then turned to look at her sister and the new boy playing next to her. “So you have a brother in here. Do you think Mrs. Renton knew that when she put you next to me?”
“Yeah, Mrs. Renton probably knows about Andy,” Joanne said. In an effort to change the topic she asked, “So Sally, what do we do in here during recess?”
“Well, we read a book to one of the kids in the class, then we play with the kids. I gave you Molly’s favorite, so you can read to Molly. I will read to your brother. That way we are sharing our brother and sister.”
The two girls giggled as Mrs. Jones approached. “Hi Joanne. Hi Sally. Are you two here to play with the kids?”
“Yes Mrs. Jones,” Sally said with a smile as she grabbed Joanne’s hand and headed over to Molly. “Molly, Andy it is story time.”
“Joanne,” Andy said clapping. “Scoo bus. Scoo bus.”
“Yes it is a nice School Bus Andy. Now it is time to hear a story. This is Sally. She is going to read you a story about a dog named, Biscuit.”
“Biscuit story? Me want Biscuit story. Sally wead me Biscuit,” Molly pleaded.
“Not today Molly, but Joanne here is going to read you, 'Biscuit Goes to School.”
“Biscuit Go School, yeah,” Molly clapped. She then stood up and dragged Joanne over to a bean bag chair in a corner of the room and pulled her down into the chair. Sitting next to Joanne, Molly said, “wead, wead Biscuit.”
Joanne read Molly the story and on Molly’s insistence, read it a second time. After reading the story, Molly got down on the floor with a toy car, pushing a button on top of it. The car rolled over and bumped into the bean bag chair Joanne was still sitting in. Sliding forward out of the chair and onto the floor, Joanne pressed the button and sent the car back to Molly.
While the car was going back and forth, Joanne would occasionally look over to Andy and Sally. After the book, they started playing with the school bus. Sally showed Andy how to put the people into the seats on the bus. She also showed him about a magic back door where a wheelchair could get on the bus. Andy would try to copy Sally, but not always have success with his efforts. Sally was always very helpful when he struggled and assisted him to achieve his goal.
Sally would occasionally look over to Joanne and Molly. Her focus however did not end up on what Molly and Joanne were doing, but on Joanne and something that didn’t make sense. When Joanne slipped out of the bean bag chair, her dress slipped up around her waist. Then with her legs spread to receive the car going back and forth, Sally could easily see Joanne’s diaper. It was the same kind of diaper Molly wore. Sally did not question what she was seeing, she just didn’t understand. It did explain Joanne’s statement when they entered the room. Joanne must come here to get her diapers changed.
Teacher Mary came up to Joanne and Sally and told them that recess was over and it was time to go back to class. After saying goodbye, the girls headed back to Mrs. Renton’s classroom.
Sally started to slow down on the trip back, “Joanne . . . you need to be more careful at school not to show off your diapers.”
“I don’t wear diapers,” Joanne lied.
“I saw them Joanne, they are the same type Molly wears. I won’t tell anyone. I promise. Mommy has threatened to send me to school in diapers when I call Molly a baby.” In Sally’s best impersonation of her mother she said, “Sally stop teasing your sister. Maybe I should just treat you like Molly and send you to school in diapers, then you would learn how hard she has it.”
“My mom doesn’t like me teasing Andy either.”
“Yeah, Andy is just like Molly,” Sally said.
“No, not really.” Joanne paused for a moment. “Sally, please don’t tell the other kids I am wearing diapers.”
“I won’t, but you need to be more careful. Everyone in Mrs. Jones’ room could see your diapers. Since almost all the kids in there wear diapers or Pull-Ups it doesn’t matter, but you need to be careful other places in the school, especially in a dress. Molly shows off her diapers all the time while wearing a dress. I’ll help remind you not to show your diapers.”
The two were silent the rest of the way back to class.
When they got back to class the other kids were just settling down to continue on their project. Joanne was surprised by the disappointment in the other kids, that they didn’t get to go down to Mrs. Jones’ classroom.
“I had fun playing with the new kid,” Sally said to a boy giving Joanne a wink.
“What you do, play dollies with Joanne,” the boy replied.
“No, Molly was saving the Barbie dolls for when you go down Billy. I had fun playing with the new boy in Mrs. Jones’ class,” with that Sally turned around and got to work on her paper.
Joanne heard the murmur going around the room about a new boy in Mrs. Jones’ class. Several of the kids tried to get Sally to tell them about the boy, but she ignored them and continued working. Every now and then she would look over to Joanne and the two girls would giggle.
Sally finally go so fed up with the bugging, she turned around and said in a fairly loud voice, “Stop it already. You’re asking the wrong person anyways. Joanne knows more about him than I do.”
“Okay everyone back to work,” Mrs. Renton interrupted. “Joanne can tell you all about Andy during lunch recess. IF she wants to, and if I was her, I wouldn’t want to if everyone under the sun was bugging me. Now Get Back To Work!”
The room went silent as everyone shut up and started writing. Joanne and Mrs. Renton looked at each other and smiled, before Mrs. Renton non-verbally prompted Joanne to also get to work.
It wasn’t long before everyone had their three paragraphs done and handed in. The next assignment was self portrait. Shortly before lunch Mrs. Renton started calling kids up to the front of the class to read their report to the class. She said it was a way for Joanne to learn about everyone in the class. Just before lunch, about half the kids had read their reports. When Mrs. Renton called Joanne up, she said she would be the last one to read their reports before lunch.
“It is about time, this is the report we have all been waiting to hear,” Billy blurted out.
“Billy,” Mrs. Renton reprimanded. “For that statement I should make Joanne go last, but for Joanne’s sanity at lunch, let’s hear her report.”
Joanne went up to the front of the classroom, more scared than she had been entering the room at the beginning of the day. Mrs. Renton handed her the report she had written. Joanne stood in front of the class in pure terror, unable to move or speak. Sally prodded her onward.
“My name is Joanne Samantha Musee. I am 8 years old. I have blue . . .” Joanne read through her report not looking up from the paper. There was a quiet hum throughout the room when she read that she had a brother named Andy. She ended her report by telling everyone about wanting to be an astronaut and starting a colony on Mars."
Everyone clapped as Joanne brought her paper back over to Mrs. Renton. Handing the paper over, Joanne heard Mrs. Renton sniff two times and then saw her tug on her ear. Joanne put her head down and started heading for the door. She heard Mrs. Renton telling the rest of the class about finishing the pictures of themselves after Lunch and hearing the rest of the reports. Joanne slipped out of the room with few kids noticing.
Entering Mrs. Jones’ room, Joanne found everyone sitting down at two tables. Most of the kids had bibs on and were sitting in from of a tray of food with a sippy cup. Andy was one of the kids wearing a bib and drinking from a sippy cup. Teacher Mary was cutting up some food on Andy’s plate. Upon seeing Joanne, she got up from the table and joined Joanne.
To Joanne’s displeasure, she had to wear one of Andy’s diapers, when her poopy diaper was changed. His were bigger and a lot noisier since they didn’t have a ‘cloth-like’ backing. Teacher Mary quickly had her changed and heading back out into Mrs. Jones’ classroom. Joanne wasn’t too sure she wanted to go to the cafeteria for lunch after this.
Joanne was surprised to see Sally talking to Molly when she entered the classroom.
Upon seeing Joanne, Sally said goodbye to Molly and headed over to Joanne. “Done? Let’s go to lunch.”
“How did you know I was here?”
“When I saw you leave the classroom, it wasn’t hard to figure out. I bet even Molly could have figured it out. I waited to be the last one out of the classroom and asked Mrs. Renton if you had come down here to get your diapers changed. Then I asked if I could come down and help you get to lunch.”
“Did any of the other kids ask where I went?”
“Not that I noticed. Come on, let’s go to lunch. I want to get there before the fifth graders, they always take the good seats.”
Reluctantly Joanne followed Sally.
After passing a few classrooms Sally stated, “Those diapers make a lot of noise. Are they different from the ones you were wearing earlier?”
“They’re Andy’s. I can’t wait till I can get my panties back.”
“You don’t always wear diapers,” Sally asked with surprise?
“No, Mom said I had to wear Pull-Ups to school for the next two weeks because I wet my pants at the store last weekend.”
Sally, confused over the contradiction between what Joanne said versus what she knew Joanne was wearing, was unable to get any more information because they had entered the cafeteria. Sally showed Joanne the lunchroom procedures, and then they got a seat by the windows, with some of the other Third Graders.
“What took you two so long,” one of the girls from Mrs. Renton’s class asked.
“We were checking in on Molly and Andy before coming to lunch,” Sally said smiling at Joanne as she sat down.
At lunch the other kids asked Joanne a lot of questions about where she moved from and what her likes were.
Joanne was surrounded by kids all the way through lunch and recess. She was worried that kids would hear her noisy diapers, but in all the questions, no one asked about the noise. Joanne was happy to go in from recess, it meant an end to the crowds of people and back to just her and Sally.
The afternoon went quick. The class finished their pictures of themselves and got to hang them on the bulletin board replacing the tree and leaves. The rest of the students did their oral presentations of their reports. Afterwards, there was a spelling activity putting the words in alphabetical order.
Joanne was feeling like a member of the class as they lined up for Music. Once the class was quiet, Mrs. Renton led them down the hall. Sally was in front of Joanne and could hear the diaper crinkling as they walked. Ellen, directly behind Joanne, could hear crinkling that sounded like someone was unwrapping some hard candy. Another class was still in Music when they arrived, so they had to wait out in the hall.
Ellen whispered to Joanne, “Could I have a piece of candy?”
“I don’t have any candy,” Joanne said confused.
“Yeah you do. I heard you unwrapping a piece when we came down here,” Ellen insisted.
“Ellen, no talking,” Mrs. Renton said.
“But Joanne has candy and is not sharing it.”
“Joanne,” Mrs. Renton said coming up to the kids. “Give me the candy.”
“I don’t have any candy Mrs. Renton,” Joanne stated.
“Yes she does,” Ellen insisted. “I heard her unwrapping the candy in her pocket as we walked down the hall.”
Sally went wide eyed and stared at Joanne.
“Let’s see what is in your pockets Joanne,” Mrs. Renton calmly asked.
Confused, Joanne said, “I don’t have any pockets in this dress Mrs. Renton.”
“Mrs. Renton,” Sally interrupted. “Joanne doesn’t have any candy, it was her . . . umm . . . her . . . you know.”
Mrs. Renton looked at Sally for a moment with confusion and then figured it out. Looking at Ellen she said, “Well Ellen, she said she doesn’t have any candy and she doesn’t have any pockets to hide any, so you must have heard something else. Now it is time to be quiet in line. So, no more talking please.”
As Mrs. Renton headed back to the front of the line, the other class came out of the Music room. Joanne stood there trying to figure out what had just happened. She started to move her fingers along the frills and ruffles near the bottom of her dress. Very shortly the class was on there way into the Music room.
The kids went to take there spots on a three tiered set of risers. The Music teacher stopped Joanne at the door.
“Hi Joanne, I am Mr. Oliver, the music teacher. We have been practicing for the Christmas Program. Everyone has a spot where they are to stand for the program, now we need to find your perfect spot. Hmmmmmm,” Mr. Oliver said looking back and forth between Joanne and the kids on the risers.
“You are a little one aren’t you, hmmmmmm. Joanne,” Mr. Oliver asked getting down in front of Joanne holding both of her hands. “Do you know the song Jingle Bells?”
“Can you sing some of it for me?”
“Okay . . . Jingle Bells . . . Jingle Bells . . . Jingle all the ways,” Joanne meekly started, more saying than singing. “O what fun . . . it is to run . . . on a one horsey . . . open sled . . . A.”
Some of the other kids in the room were giggling, but were silenced by a stare from Mr. Oliver.
“That was a good first try sweety. Now I want you to sing it again, but this time, sing it nice and loud. Pretend you are in the gym and your Mommy and Daddy are way on the other side of the gym. Let’s hear your nice pretty voice sing it nice and loud.”
Joanne tried to turn to look at Sally, but Mr. Oliver had turned her so her back was to the kids and was still holding both of her hands. “Okay,” Joanne said taking a deep breath. “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the ways, Oh what fun it is to run on a one horsey open sleeeeed-A”
Several of the kids clapped at the end making Joanne smile.
“That was much better,” Mr. Oliver said with a big smile. “We need to teach you a few of the correct words, but with that nice strong voice and intonation, let’s put you in the front row, center.”
Mr. Oliver brought her over to the center of the first row and put her directly in the middle. Joanne looked around and found Sally one row back over to one side and Ellen was two rows back on the other side. There was a girl on one side of her and a boy on the other. Mr. Oliver handed out a packet of songs and then went up to a podium in front of the class.
“We will sing through the first two songs with the papers and then try them without the papers.”
They sang Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells and then were instructed to put their papers on the spot behind them. Then they went through the same two songs again. Joanne switched from a nice strong voice while reading the songs, to a quiet timid one once the papers were put down. Joanne would look down at her dress and started playing with the lace and frills at the hem of her dress.
“Class,” Mr. Oliver said when they finished the two songs without the papers. “Let’s practice those songs again without the papers, but this time I will be playing on the piano.”
Groaning throughout the room stopped with a look, as Mr. Oliver headed over to the keyboard. Joanne didn’t like singing without the papers since she didn’t know all the words. She played more with the hem of her dress.
They were half way through their fourth time singing the two songs when Mr. Oliver noticed that Joanne was wearing a diaper, because she was playing with her dress and exposing the diaper. He made a mental note to tell her parents to have her wear bloomers or shorts under her dress on the day of the Christmas Program. After the fourth run through, he had the kids sit down and look at the packet of songs. He had the group sing through all five songs in the program.
Joanne was relieved when she saw Mrs. Renton enter the room. The group finished the song they were on and then lined up. Once the class was lined up, Mrs. Renton asked Joanne to go down and check on Andy while pulling on her ear.
End of Day
Joanne was humming Jingle Bells as she walked down the hall, trying to remember the correct words. As she walked into Mrs. Jones’ classroom, she found the kids sitting on the floor listening to a story.
“Hello Joanne, come on over here and listen to the story till Teacher Mary is done changing Molly,” Mrs. Jones stated.
“No, I am just here to check on Andy. Mrs. Renton told me to come down and check on Andy.”
“Oh sweety, I am sure she just told you that so the other kids didn’t know you were coming down to get your diapers changed. Come over here and have a seat next to your big brother.”
Joanne stopped smiling as she faced the reality. As she walked over to Mrs. Jones, she recalled Mrs. Renton pulling on her ear when she gave the directions. Sitting down she looked at Andy, he was sucking on his thumb smiling at her. Joanne rolled her eyes up and shook her head back and forth.
“Let’s see, where were we?”
“Cor-roy go in cave,” one of the kids in the class said.
Joanne was upset about being tricked by Mrs. Renton. She was sent down to get changed when she wasn’t even wet or messy. Joanne pulled up her dress and looked at her diaper to confirm her thoughts. Andy’s diapers had a strip on them that changed color when they were wet, to Joanne’s utter disappointment, she could see the line had changed color. Quickly putting her dress down, she focused on Mrs. Jones.
“Yes, Corduroy had climbed into what he thought was a cave,” Mrs. Jones said. “It wasn’t a cave though, was it? Who knows what it was?”
“Bag cose,” Andy said smiling with pride.
“Yes, Corduroy had just climbed into a bag of wet clothes that he thought was a cave,” Mrs. Jones confirmed. “Who can guess what will happen next?”
“Me, me, me,” a boy about Andy’s size said while raising his hand.
Mrs. Jones looked around at the kids and noticed that everyone had their hands up, including Joanne. Turning to the boy she said, “Marcus, what will happen?”
“Cord-a-roy get all wet and go for a train ride,” Marcus said with confidence.
“Well, let’s keep going with the story and see if Marcus is right,” Mrs. Jones said opening back up the book. She started reading where she had left off from.
Before the story was over, Teacher Mary and Molly came back and sat down to listen to the story. Joanne didn’t get up to get changed, because she wanted to hear the end of the story. While Mrs. Jones was asking the kids questions about the story, Teacher Mary brought Joanne back to get changed.
Teacher Mary quickly set out getting Joanne up on the changing table. “Let’s get you changed and back to class. The day is almost over; you don’t want to miss the end of your first day.”
“Yes I do.”
“Oh Joanne, it couldn’t have been that bad. You made a friend, didn’t you?”
“Sally?” Joanne quietly thought about whether or not Sally was her friend.
“Looks like you didn’t quite get all your poopy out this morning, just a little bit to clean up here,” Teacher Mary said as she wiped Joanne’s bottom.
“Do you really think Sally is my friend?”
“Yes Joanne, Sally needs a true friend just like you do. I’ve see the way she cares for you, almost the same way she cares for Molly. She would only do that for a sister,” Teacher Mary snuggly taped up the diaper. “Or, a friend.”
Joanne thought about what Teacher Mary had said all the way back to class. Was Sally really her friend? Had she made a friend on the first day of school, a friend that knew she sometimes wore and used diapers? Entering class, the other kids were in groups of two drilling each other with math problems. Getting to her desk she found Sally waiting for her.
“Took you long enough,” Sally said jokingly.
“It’s your sister’s fault.”
“Oh,” Sally asked questioningly?
“She took forever getting her diapers changed, so I got to enjoy story time. Mrs. Jones was reading ‘A Pocket for Corduroy’.”
“I like that story. I have a teddy that looks like Corduroy,” Sally said with a smile.
“You might want to read it to Molly tonight. She missed a lot of the story getting changed.”
The two of them giggled as Sally handed Joanne half the stack of math flash cards she had and they started to drill each other. Several minutes into the activity, Joanne’s mind drifted back to the conversation with Teacher Mary. Was Sally really her friend?
They did many more math problems before Joanne meekly asked, “Are you my friend?”
Joanne was heart broken. She just knew deep in her heart that the giggle meant Sally wasn’t her friend.
“Oh we are Best Friends you silly,” Sally said taking Joanne’s hands and getting down into her line of site. “Best friends.”
“Really. Best Friends,” Sally confidently stated.
The two girls continued to do the assignment with occasional side talk. Sally couldn’t ask the question she wanted, since other kids were close by. Sally was disappointed when Mrs. Renton told everyone to put stuff away and get ready to go home. This meant she wouldn’t find out today about why Joanne was in diapers, when she said she came to school in Pull-Ups. The girls said bye to each other as they headed off to their moms who were waiting in their cars.
“Did you have a good day sweety,” Mrs. Musee asked Joanne as the car door closed.
“It was okay, but it would have been better if I didn’t have to wear diapers.”
“Sorry princess. Tomorrow I will make sure you have enough Pull-Ups to change into . . .”
Mrs. Musee was interrupted by the car door opening and Andy climbed into his car seat. Mrs. Jones helped Andy get strapped into his seat. She told Mrs. Musee how good Andy was today and that she was looking forward to seeing Andy again tomorrow.
“I am really glad you were a good boy Andy,” Mrs. Musee said.
“Me good boy. Me good,” Andy said clapping his hands.
Mrs. Jones said goodbye to Andy and started to close the door.
“Say Goodbye to Mrs. Jones Andy,” Mrs. Musee stressed.
“Bye-Bye Teacher,” Andy said holding up his hand and opening and closing it at Mrs. Jones.
“Bye Andy. Bye Joanne,” with that, Mrs. Jones closed the door and walked away.
“So, did either of you make any friends today?”
“Yeah, I made friends with Sally,” Joanne said as the car pulled out of the school driveway.
“Did anyone find out about your diapers Joanne,” Mrs. Musee asked with concern.
“Sally had to have found out,” Andy answered for Joanne. “Joanne was showing off her diapers to everyone in my class after she read Molly that Biscuit book. Sally and I could easily see them from where we were. Oh, and you know Joanne, Molly thinks you are her friend too. She talked about you a lot after you read her that Biscuit book.”
“She doesn’t count,” Joanne insisted. “She is in your class, not mine.”
“That may be Joanne,” Andy said. “But she is Sally’s twin sister, so she is your age.”
“Okay you two,” Mrs. Musee tried to stop the coming dispute before it got out of hand. “So, Joanne has a new friend named Sally, who has a twin sister in Andy’s class who also likes Joanne. Sounds like Joanne had quite a day. Did anyone else find out about the diapers?”
“No one in my class,” Joanne said.
“That is good. Did you like your teacher?”
“Mrs. Renton was nice. She set up a secret code when she wants to tell me to go get my diapers changed. She just tugs on her ear.”
“That sounds nice.”
“Andy, how about you? Do you like your teacher,” Mrs. Musee asked.
“She was great mom. Both Mrs. Jones and Teacher Mary treated me like I was just a little kid. They even put a bib on me at lunch time, and had me drink out of a sippy cup. Can I really go back and play again tomorrow Mom?”
“If you can keep convincing them that you are two years old, then you can stay. And as I have said before, you have to keep up with your school work. If you start falling behind, I will not let you go to Learning Time anymore,” Mrs. Musee stated.
“Thanks mom,” Andy acknowledged. “I am ahead at the moment, or at least I will be once I finish my paper on the Oregon Trail.”
“You haven’t finished that yet,” Mrs. Musee questioned?
“It is almost done mom,” Andy tried to calm her. “I have four out of five pages. I should be able to finish it up this afternoon.”
“Well Andy,” Mrs. Musee said in a very motherly tone. “No more reading the Harry Potter books till you are done.”