Don’t Ask Me!

Ice Queen…Wet Mistakes

Some four year-olds know how to abide by rules. I was one of them. I followed them very well—almost too well. What follows next illustrates what can happen when one sticks to the rules.

It was my friend’s birthday. Finn had invited the whole pre-K class to see the “Ice Queen” at Puppet Works. I had chosen the prettiest clothes to wear: blue tights and my favorite velvet blue dress. My dad dropped me off and reminded me that he would be back at the end of the show. I didn’t mind as I was too busy scouting out where the prime seat was. I quickly found the best seat in the house: front and center! As the lights started to dim, a guy came out to talk to us about Puppet Works’ rules. I listened carefully during this part. I certainly did not want to be caught breaking any rules. Although whispering was ok during the performance, he stressed that we had to show respect for the puppets. He also added that no one should get up during the show. I thought to myself:”Easy-peasy, I can follow these rules.” Little did I know what was to happen later…

Half-way through the Ice Queen, I had the urgent need to pee– I mean THIS VERY SECOND, OH MY GOSH NOW need to pee!! Just as I was about to get up to use the bathroom, I remembered what the man had said: “DO NOT GET UP.” I really needed to go but I reminded myself that I had to follow the rules. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one person, then another walking towards the bathroom. I thought that they were nuts and were looking to get into trouble. I did not under any circumstances want the show to stop because I had broken the no-standing up rule. This pee-pee emergency left me with one last resort: peeing in my beautiful pristine navy dress and tights. So I did and felt immediately relieved. I hadn’t gotten into trouble and I had followed the rules! Well, I did have soggy tights but it was certainly worth it (for a four year-old).

Since this incident, I have learned two things: people do not always mean what they say and you can use the bathrooms at Puppet Works at all times (the guy was lying).

Tammy

Ever wonder where your name came from? Well I recently found out that I was named after the artist Camille Claudel. She was Rodin’s talented partner and created beautiful sculptures. Unfortunately, he got all the credit and she ended up going mad. My mom, of course, also named me “Camille” because she thought it was a distinguished French name.

The only problem was that for the first five years of my life, I couldn’t pronounce the sound /c/ in Camille.

At first, my parents thought it was cute. In French I would say: “Je t’aime beaucoup (I love you very much),” but the hard “c” sound in beaucoup sounded more like the “t” sound. So what I was really saying was “beautoup, beautoup!”

The cuteness ended though when I said my name.

“What’s your name little girl?” someone would ask.

“Tammy!” I would reply proudly.

When my mother got wind of this, she became depressed. Every time she heard me calling myself “Tammy”, an image of the infamous Tammy Faye Baker with her outlandish eyelashes would flash in her mind. I have no idea who Tammy Faye Baker is, but by the look on my Mom’s face, it’s not good. Something had to be done!

The answer was going to Freya, a speech therapist. I don’t remember much of those sessions except for the stickers and cat figurines she gave me for my hard work. My /c/ sound was definitely improving. I could finally say “Camille” and my mother couldn’t have been happier. Tammy Faye Baker was gone! We decided to stop taking classes.

We went straight back to speech therapy though, when Kindergarten started. “Tammy” was back and so was “beautout.” Let me tell you, even I knew that it was no longer cute!

Months passed and I finally mastered the /c/ sound for good this time. The world was happy again. So long “Tammy,” ciao “beautout.” My problems were over. That is, until now…

Whenever I pronounce that hard “c” sound, my retainer pops out.

It’s a Dog-Eat-Crayon World

Dogs will eat anything they get their paws on. Anything from Polly Pockets to Wii remotes, a dog will jump on it, gnaw it and might eventually eat it. When a dog is a puppy, watch out house…

When my dog, Lily, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was just a mere puppy, she would do anything for attention: even if it meant leaving a hole in the couch or ripping the toilet paper up. Lily is the sweetest dog ever today, but she has had some pretty infamous moments. Let’s just say that the following makes it on Lily’s top ten “Notorious Accidents” list:

“Girls, go take your shower upstairs,” my mom called from the kitchen, “I’ll be up in a sec.”

“Wait,” my sister protested, furiously trying to piece together a jig-saw puzzle.

My mom appeared magically behind Olivia.

“Your hair stinks, now up you go!” Olivia stomped up the stairs, my mother right behind. “Camille, before you go upstairs, would you mind putting away Olivia’s crayon box in the kitchen, please?” Of course I did as she said and put the crayons on a cardboard box that had been overturned in the kitchen. Lily ran towards me.

“Hey, Lily! Now don’t get into any trouble, okay?” I said. Lily did not seem the least bit interested in what I had just said and trotted away. I sighed and headed upstairs.

After an hour of showering, arguing over playmobiles and reading had gone by, we came back downstairs.

It was NOT a pretty sight.

We stood there and scanned the room: crayon wrappers strewn everywhere across the kitchen floor like trash on the street. Lily lay in the middle of this mess wagging her tail. Like frozen statues we glared at Lily with a mix of concern and anger. Olivia broke the spell and ran over to the crayon box.

“Aww! There are only one, two, twelve crayons left! And they’re only ugly colors.” Olivia pouted, “Bad dog!” Lily had a guilty yet mischievous look on her face. My mom and Olivia glowered at me.

“Hey, don’t look at me!”

Later on that day, Lily went for a walk. You know that joke: “G-I-P pretty colors?”

In this particular case, the joke should go “G-I-Poo pretty colors.”

50% Off All Teeth at Old Navy

When you’re three and a half, you’re not very savvy. Characteristics that would likely describe you would be curious but also impulsive. Think back to those memories when you were a three and a half year old, because this one pops into my head first:

“Mommy, tan we weave?”

“If you sit in your stroller and go to sleep, we’ll be home before you know it,” my mom replied while searching through a pile of jeans for my dad. I let go of my mother’s hand and hopped in the stroller. I squeezed my eyes shut and puckered up my face as if I had just eaten a lemon.

“I’m probably at home!” I thought seconds later. I opened my eyes, and to my disappointment, my mother was still searching for the perfect pair of jeans. “Aww phooey!” I thought closing my eyes a bit harder this time. Five seconds later, I popped open my eyes, but the same negative result awaited me. After trying and retrying this at least 10 times, I decided to get out of my stroller and look for some toys.

“Mommy, I’ww be wight back,” I said. I don’t think that my mom heard me because she was talking to my father on the phone.

“…these blue ones are nice, but they look a little wide. What’s your size again?…”

I trotted off and strolled through the men’s shirts. I scrutinized each shirt very carefully, like a hawk searching for prey. I wondered which shirt would look the best on my dad. All of a sudden, my stomach growled like an angry dog. As it growled, an idea popped into my head. “Hmm…I wonder which shirt tastes the best?”

Note to Reader: I know this may sound really gross and unappealing, but keep in mind that I was only 3 ½.

So I went around chewing on each shirt, critiquing each one like a food critic. “Nope,” next shirt, “Nu-uh,” next one, “Gross!” I hadn’t realized it, but there was a trail of blood on each sampled shirt. I moved on to the next one, naïve about the source of the blood, and chewed very thoroughly on a particular taste-bud pleasing shirt. “Mmm…dis one tastes yummier than the others,” I thought, “I bet Papa will wuv dis shirt!” As I was about to take it, I shrieked at the top of my lungs.

“Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!”

There was a pool of red, fresh, dripping blood near the pockets of the white flannel shirt.

“Mommy, Mommy, Momeeeeeee!!!” I cried. I found her and jumped into her arms.

“Where were you? I was so worried! Don’t you? OH MY GOSH!!! What happened to your mouth!?!” My mother gasped. “Say Ahh…Oh! Congrats! You just lost your first tooth! Can you give it to Mommy?” I shook my head and opened my closed fists, still bawling.

My mother did not get the jeans.

That was 7 ½ years ago. I’m still trying to figure out what happened to my tooth and the white shirt. These are my guesses:

About the tooth: One lucky man must have found it in his shirt pocket.

About the shirt: Old Navy employees probably assumed that there was a mass murderer on the loose.

Thank You Buddy!

You may think that I’m a bit eccentric but you haven’t met my cousins. One of my zaniest and most awesome cousins is Mateo. He is the kind of kid who at one point or another believed every word of the ‘Spooky Caca’ story (I was just trying to distract him), thought that a cheesy Cheeto was a caterpillar, tried to fit his sister’s fist in his mouth, and the list goes on and on. But one of Mateo’s most memorable moments was “Thank You Buddy.”

It was a gorgeous spring day. My dad and my uncles Philip and Gil decided to take us to Prospect Park. ‘Us’ included myself, Mateo, our cousins, Julian and Katina, and my sister, Olivia. We settled near the long meadow and started to play soccer. Julian went off to annihilate all the ants he could find with his bug vacuum (I warned you that my cousins were weird). After a few minutes the soccer game fell apart because Katina had just spotted an ice cream truck. Obviously no one wanted to play soccer until they got some ice cream, so the dads gave in and ice cream we got. Remember, for little kids, life depends on ice cream.

“Give me back my bug vacuum!” Julian yelled, trying to snatch it from Mateo’s hands.

“But I want it,” Mateo stubbornly insisted. Just when Julian was about to start crying, Katina randomly hit him.

“You poopy-head! You made my ice cream fall!” Katina pouted.

To break up the about-to-explode insult fight, I called everybody over to the tree.

“Wow, take a look at this bug” was all it took to get everyone around the tree. But soon the pushing started as everyone wanted a closer look. Julian grabbed the bug vacuum out of Mateo’s grasp. Mateo stomped away like an angry Velociraptor, his favorite dinosaur, and began throwing dirt at a squirrel. The wonderful cousin that I am, I naturally ran over to him and tried to console him.

“You know, Mateo, you don’t really need a bug vacuum. It’s just a silly toy after all. I bet it doesn’t even— Suddenly, I had a feeling that Mateo wasn’t really listening any more. At that point I turned around and caught a glimpse of what looked like a two year old toddler in a diaper gleefully eating a hotdog. Mateo was mesmerized. So was the toddler. Mateo got up swiftly. “Mateo….what are you doing?” I hissed. Mateo, who was now completely ignoring me, stared at the hotdog. “Oh…” I thought.

“Thank you buddy!” Mateo called out as he bent over to bite into the poor kid’s hotdog. The toddler stood there looking at what was left of his hotdog. I just sat there with my mouth wide open. “Who the heck says ‘thank you buddy’ before eating someone else’s hotdog???” I thought.

Well, Mateo does.

Camille Hamant
Age 12, Grade 7
Berkeley Carrol School
Gold Key

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