Faith in Vermont: Over-sharing

I was at Ilsley Library with my daughters, when we ran into a friend whose daughter attends preschool with our middle child, Campbell.  We greeted each other, and then she spoke directly to my two-year-old, Georgia. “Georgia, is it true what I hear?” she asked, “Did you really throw all your mommy’s makeup into the toilet?”

Apparently Campbell had been over-sharing at preschool again.

It was a humorous moment; this was a good-natured friend doing the asking. It was also a humbling moment, because answering her question involved admitting that I do, in fact, use makeup. Not a lot, mind you: some powder, blush, lip gloss if it’s a special occasion. But I feel embarrassed about makeup, for two reasons. The first is that makeup strikes me as a superficial luxury; confessing that I use it is a little like confessing to having a chauffeur, or a personal shopper (no and no, if you must know).

The second reason I don’t discuss makeup is because anybody who’s seen me in person will likely think, “She uses MAKEUP?!? And she STILL looks that way?!?” Despite enhancement, my general appearance tends towards pale and haggard. It’s humiliating to admit that’d I’d look even worse without the help.

But I digress; you’d probably like a straight answer to my friend’s question: Did my two-year-old throw all my makeup into the toilet?  YES. Well, she didn’t throw ALL of my makeup into the toilet; she threw in a makeup brush and a blusher. Not a big deal, nothing that couldn’t be solved by a quick trip to the drugstore.

The back-story: Last month, my husband’s parents visited us from California for two weeks. My husband and I like to take advantage of grandparent visits to get out of the house, so we used this opportunity to have numerous date nights. Since I rarely go out at night, my girls got very excited about giving me “princess makeovers” before I left. They’d choose my clothes (mercifully I was eight months pregnant, so there were only two dresses to choose between), put on my jewelry (decking me with everything they could find), “brush” my hair, and do my makeup. It was very sweet. Then I’d get in the car, remove most of the jewelry, smooth down my hair, and wipe the lipstick off my forehead.

That’s how my two-year-old happened to be running around the bathroom holding blusher and a brush, and I happened to be too distracted to notice until I turned and saw her calmly and deliberately toss both items into the toilet bowl.

How our little family drama became common knowledge among my daughter’s preschool classmates is another story.

If you met my middle daughter, Campbell, she’d probably ignore you. Campbell isn’t shy or unfriendly, but she’s so involved in her inner world – the one with the fairies and ponies and mermaids and lions – that she’s often unaware of what’s going on around her. This drives her sisters crazy, because they think she’s ignoring them (which she is, but not in a mean way). It drives her parents crazy, too, because we frequently have to repeat simple instructions five times at increasing volume before Campbell snaps to attention. It’s a family joke that the only way to get Campbell to listen is to say, “Look, Campbell, a pony!”

In short, Campbell would seem to be the least likely of our children to dish on the family dirt. But put her in a roomful of classmates and teachers, and she becomes the preschool version of Joy Behar, Kathie Lee Gifford, and the Kardashians all rolled into one.

In Campbell’s preschool, each child has one weekly opportunity to share an object from home. Occasionally, the teachers transcribe what the children say and post it on the classroom bulletin board. Campbell’s classmates tend to say a few sentences about their objects; Campbell’s monologues fill an entire sheet of paper.  Whenever I speak with her teachers, I’m surprised by how many details they seem to know about our home life. Most of these details are completely accurate; some are not, as when Campbell told her teachers that if our fourth child were a girl she’d have “a girl’s head and unicorn’s body” and be named “Campbell 2.” 

Campbell’s story about Georgia and the makeup, of course, was mostly accurate.

This whole incident seems to encapsulate what it is to live in a small town. It’s hard to keep secrets, especially if your child is prone to excessive sharing at school (and even more so if the child’s mother writes a column about over-sharing for the local paper). Word gets around.

But this incident is also a tribute to Campbell’s preschool teachers. I’m writing this particular column on this particular day because today is the last day of school in our town. As I eagerly anticipate the start of the next school year, I’m deeply grateful for the skilled teachers who created a preschool environment in which Campbell felt comfortable over-sharing the intimate details of her home life. Here’s to the teachers, and to their well-deserved vacation!

Faith Gong has worked as an elementary school teacher, a freelance photographer, and a nonprofit manager. Since moving to Addison County in 2011, her work has involved caring for a house in the woods, three young daughters (with another on the way), one anxiety-prone puppy — and writing for her blog, The Pickle Patch.

Faith Gong has worked as an elementary school teacher, a freelance photographer, and a nonprofit manager. Since moving to Addison County in 2011, her work has involved caring for a house in the woods, three young daughters (with another on the way), one anxiety-prone puppy — and writing for her blog, The Pickle Patch. - See more at: http://www.addisonindependent.com/201305faith-vermont-some-thoughts-food...

Faith Gong has worked as an elementary school teacher, a freelance photographer, and a nonprofit manager. Since moving to Addison County in 2011, her work has involved caring for a house in the woods, three young daughters (with another on the way), one anxiety-prone puppy — and writing for her blog, The Pickle Patch.

opinions powered by SendLove.to     Addy Indy News Digest Get the latest headlines in your inbox The latest in Addison County news, every Monday and Thursday.   More stories published this issue Cornwall hires Hackett to serve as new principal Police arrest Whiting home invasion suspect New film documents 250 years of Ferrisburgh history Invasive fly species threatens berry crop Cornwall student serves up cookbook to help children in Africa     Connect with us   Comments People Recent Popular Recent Comments Ric Tile Cengeri

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Faith Gong has worked as an elementary school teacher, a freelance photographer, and a nonprofit manager. Since moving to Addison County in 2011, her work has involved caring for a house in the woods, three young daughters (with another on the way), one anxiety-prone puppy — and writing for her blog, The Pickle Patch.

opinions powered by SendLove.to     Addy Indy News Digest Get the latest headlines in your inbox The latest in Addison County news, every Monday and Thursday.   More stories published this issue Cornwall hires Hackett to serve as new principal Police arrest Whiting home invasion suspect New film documents 250 years of Ferrisburgh history Invasive fly species threatens berry crop Cornwall student serves up cookbook to help children in Africa     Connect with us   Comments People Recent Popular Recent Comments Ric Tile Cengeri

I believe the spelling is drosophila...

Invasive fly species threatens berry crop · 22 hours ago

kp

Not the first Cow Power Foster Bros in Middlebury was years ago

Blue Spruce Farm's 100kW wind turbine now online · 1 day ago

Michael C. Blount Sr.

How many donut shops are in Middlebury?

Middlebury Police Log: Copper thieves hit county homes · 1 day ago

  - See more at: http://www.addisonindependent.com/201305faith-vermont-some-thoughts-food...

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