The Water Bottle

The twins got off the school bus on Friday full of excitement.


Little Girl said, “Guess what? Some one threw a water bottle out of the bus window and the bus driver yelled, ‘Whose water bottle was that?’ but no one said anything. The bus driver was really mad about it.” She was bursting with pleasure at relaying this bit of gossip.

I have noticed this with all my kids at this age. They LOVE to tell you what the “bad kids” did at school. They’ll say “Tyler went on red because he wouldn’t put away his lunchbox,” or “Sophie had to stay in from recess when she didn’t finish her work.”

It used to really annoy me, and I’d say stuff like, “I don’t care what Tyler or Sophie did. What did YOU do?” But later I realized that it’s pretty normal for young children to be fascinated by bad behavior, whether or not it actually had anything to do with themselves.

To be honest, I don’t think this tendency to relish in the “bad-ness” of others goes away as we age. That’s what we have tabloids for. I mean, I love reading about celebrity scandal as much as the next adult, right? (“Simon got his best friend’s wife pregnant! Ooooh!”)

Anyways, I was unconcerned about the school-bus-water-bottle scandal. I figured the culprit would be easily revealed by the name that someone’s mother had probably written on the missing vessel. Then I noticed that Little Boy’s water bottle was not in its pocket on his backpack.

I said, “Where’s your water bottle?”

Little Boy looked back at the pocket where his water bottle was supposed to be. “Uh oh,” he said.

And what was the name that bus driver was looking for? MY KID.

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