"Ms. Flake, the principal would like to speak with you."
And suddenly I knew. We'd been caught.
There isn't much that excites my husband these days so when his birthday came, my four year old and I brainstormed for a fun party theme. I asked my daughter what boys like, she said guns, we went with it.
What gun themed party would be complete without shotgun shells at each dinner plate? I dug through Spike's small arsenal in the closet and selected nine red and beautifully live shells to set on the table next to cards with each guest's name card. I cut black guns from cardstock and put a bowl of loaded water guns on the middle of the table. Every big boy's dream birthday. After the party, I was caught up in a sugar and frosting haze and didn't notice who cleared up the table.
Two days later, I dug though Pixie's backpack after school looking for homework assignment and I saw a shotgun shell at the bottom of her bag. She casually mentioned she had given a bunch out to her friends on the kindergarten playground. Apparently she had taken them all off the dinner table. Cue my panic. Our elementary school does not give out class lists or phone numbers so I had no way to call the moms to warn them. Not that they needed any warning. By the next morning, five of them had called the school in a panic and one boy had been pulled off the school bus for waving the bullet around. By the time I dropped Pixie off at the school yard gate, the other mothers were knit in tight groups and the gossip mill had decided she had actually brought a loaded gun to school.
And thus the call to see the principal. I never had to go as a kid, but now both me and my daughter had to make the long walk towards the school office. Pixie was white as chalk, and my head was racing with pleas to appease CPS. It's bad enough knowing you're a screw up, but having to drag your poor kid into it as well just because you think live ammo is a cool decoration is just pathetic. We were seated in a large, empty conference room with a plastic bag on the table containing three of the bullets. My prints were all over them.