Lindsey is working on a book report for school. As part if it, she has to write down the first sentence of the book she just read. This she will read out loud to the class when she presents her report later this week. No problem, right?
Lindsey came to me very upset because the first sentence of her Newbery Award Winning Book called Al Capone Does My Shirts has a *bad word* in it. Indeed, the phrase, "bird turd" happens to be in the very opening sentence of the book. Go figure!
(Although, if you know the book is about life on Alcatraz, and if you've ever been there yourself, you'd know why that was an appropriate opening line.)
"Mom!" she wailed, "I can't say 'turd' in front of the class! I'll get in trouble and they'll laugh at me!"
As I choked back my laughter and attempted to put on my concerned parent face, I assured her that she could not possibly get in trouble for following instructions for a book she is most certainly allowed if not encouraged to read. I read it myself so I know that it is a clean, decent book. It just happens to open with an attention-getter.
I suggested that if she was concerned that she should talk to her teacher about it. But, no. She is way too shy to broach this particular topic. So guess what I got to do tonight? That's right! I wrote a note. To Lindsey's teacher, telling her about this whole turd situation and could we please work something out, as Lindsey's progress on her report has stalled out of sheer panic.
As I wrote, I wondered if she had ever received such a note in her teaching career. I have certainly never written one like it. I'm also pretty sure I've never written the word 'turd' before today.
I think I liked my previous status better.