A very rare thing happened in the House of Handschuh a couple weeks ago: my daughter got in trouble at school.
I can’t recall the last time she was reprimanded at school. Her brothers rarely got in trouble as well. That, or they rarely got caught.
Sure, my son and his friends did get a police escort home one day because they were playing smash-up derby with a couple of shopping carts in the parking lot of a local mall, but there was never any serious interaction with law enforcement officials or school officials.
However, my angelic little daughter broke one of the most stringent rules to ever be put in place at an elementary school. A rule designed to keep children safe. To prevent them from experiencing severe and even maiming injury and my sweet little girl broke the rule.
Yes, she threw a snowball at another child.
Oh, the humanity.
She almost hit the other kid too, who was also throwing snowballs at her. But when an authority figure saw the anarchy taking place on the hallowed grounds of elementary education both were busted.
She then had to write “I will not throw snowballs” 234,967 times, or something like that.
There is also a rule prohibiting ‘unwanted’ face washes.
Is there such thing as a ‘wanted’ face wash?
“Excuse me, bigger kids. Hey, would you mind throwing me to ground and mashing a mitt full of snow into my face until my cheeks turn red from frostbite?”
I don’t think those words have ever been uttered on a playground in the history of playgrounds.
I must admit, I agree with the no snowballs, no face wash rule.
There is always some kid who takes things a step farther and turns his snowball into an iceball that he hurls at his victim with enough force to dent the fender of a ’72 Buick.
Will the iceball of doom hit the kid in the nice fluffy winter coat he is wearing? Nope, it has to hit the kid in the nose, or the eye or the mouth. The projectile, of course, has no option than to hit the victim square in the face causing redness, ouchiness and the occasional tear, so the no snowball rule is a good one.
And unlike soccer balls, snowballs can do some real damage on impact. I know my daughter cannot throw hard enough to really hurt anyone, but it is a blanket rule for everyone and one that makes good sense.
She had to confess to her crime against her classmate in a letter written to her mom and I that basically said, “Hey Mom and Dad, I threw a snowball at a kid.”
In the letter, she had to explain what she had done, and why it was wrong. She then had to show me and the Missus the letter. We then had to sign it, have it notarized and witnessed by at least seven people.
Her snowball-throwing counterpart also had to write a letter to his parents with a similar explanation of his dastardly deed.
If the child does not bring the letter back to the teacher with signatures from everyone including the Pope, then mom and dad get to have a personal conversation with the school principal about the anarchist lifestyle their child is pursuing by refusing to follow the rules.
I wonder how many of those letters are written after the first snowfall of the year. For some reason, kids simply cannot resist taking millions of soft, fluffy flakes of snow and compressing them into a weapon.
It has been that way since the first snowfall. I am sure little Neanderthal Junior lacked the intellectual capability to figure out what the white stuff was, but he sure learned in a hurry how to make and launch a snowball.
Did my daughter break the rules? Yup. But she admitted her wrong doing, did her time (aka writing the letter) and learned her lesson.
So much for a life of crime.