Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"That's Not What I Meant"


Seamus is relishing his role as a big brother. Not only does he enjoy trying to keep Marlie in line, but he likes to play the protective role as well.

It has become evident that as advanced as Marlie is for her age, verbally and emotionally, she just doesn’t belong in the church nursery anymore. We made the decision to move her up to the youngest Sunday School class a few months early. Since we usually get to church early, the kids go into what is called “hang time” which is a combined play group. Seamus and Marlie would be in the same “hang time” until it was time for them to separate into their classes.
Since this was Marlie’s first time in the class, I figured being with Seamus in hang time would help ease her adjustment to the new surroundings. And so I left the kids with instructions to Seamus.... “Take care of Marlie.”

So it was with a little surprise that when I picked up the kids after church that I noticed that Marlie’s hair and scalp were covered in sand. The teachers tell me that they actually brushed out most of the sand... that it was much worse before. I sincerely hope they meant “brushed out” as in they wiped with their hands and didn’t take an actual brush to her hair. CRINGE! I also tried to keep my composure as I realized that an hour and 1/2 worth of hair styling the night before (that was supposed to last a week) had now gone to waste as I would have to try to wash out the sand when we got home. Freaking out in front of the teachers would not have done any good. How could they, who were caucasian and presumably didn’t have experience with black hair have any idea how difficult it would be to get sand out of my daughter’s hair. My daughter with her thick, curly, beautiful hair. Her hair that often has moisturizer or other product in it, that I now know makes sand stick so well to it.

It wasn’t until we were in the car, leaving the church parking lot, that I found out that Seamus was the one who had baptized Marlie with the sand. And specifically, with THREE buckets full of sand, according to Seamus. I informed Seamus that he would be losing his sandbox privileges at church for a long time forever.

And then Seamus said to me, “But Mama, aren’t you happy?” and I responded with a “What do you mean, Seamus?” and he said, “You said for me to take care of Marlie and I took care of Marlie.” And I responded, “My dear Seamus, my love.... pouring three buckets full of sand on Marlie’s head is not what I meant when I said ‘Take Care of Marlie’.”

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