Preschool Imp

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


When I first saw the three-year-old, she lie curled up on a futon, with the soft rise and fall of peaceful breathing. Thin wisps of greasy blond hair were spread across the big pillow, against which her pale face looked small and vulnerable. 

 

I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat at the desk to read why she had come to our shelter. The papers said her mother had been placed on a psychiatric hold and there were no other caretakers available. 

 

As I sipped my coffee, sunlight began to stream through the blinds. The little girl stirred in her bed. I glanced, once again, at the roster. Her name was Legna. 

 

She rose from her bed, and walked right over to me. 

 

“Diaper change,” she said matter-of-factly. Her command both surprised and amused me. 

 

“Good morning.” I chuckled. “What’s your name?” 

 

“Legna, angel spelled backwards,” she said quickly and fluently. A smart girl. This was going to be fun.

 

I took her little hand, which was lined with eczema wrinkles, and led her toward the changing table. She abruptly stopped. I turned to see why. She just stood there, with a sly grin on her face. Then, after a moment, she resumed walking. It was as though she was telling me, “We walk when I say we walk.”  

 

Swiping a toy from the floor, she said, “Mine now.” Her words sounded like those of an adult, confiscating a toy from a child. 

 

“No, that’s ours,” I said.

 

She tossed it over her shoulder, like she didn’t care about it anyway. We passed by the kitchen. Casually brushing her hand over the table as we passed by, she knocked over a cup. It bounced to the floor. 

 

“Pick that up,” I said.

 

“No.” She ran to the living room.

 

“I guess you’ll just have to sit in your stinky diaper until you pick it up.”

 

“NO! CHANGE ME!” 

 

“Okay, then pick up the cup.”

 

She swaggered back to the kitchen, swinging her arms. Picking up the cup, she slammed it on the table.

 

“Set it down nicely.” 

 

She picked the cup off the table and, with careful concentration, set it back down very slowly. Evidently entertained by this, she went to pick it up again, when I swiftly grabbed her wrist. Surprised by my own impatience, I quickly led her away from the table. The phone was ringing and other children were waking up. I didn’t have all day to mess around. 

 

We finally made it to the changing table. As I was cleaning her, she suddenly kicked, causing the dirty wipe to touch her leg. 

 

“Hold still,” I said, noticing the same impish grin on her face. 

 

In the weeks to come I would learn, more and more, this child was no angel. And neither was I.

 

 

 


Submitted: November 16, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Netalie. All rights reserved.

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