Year 4, Day 77

With a gas crisis striking the East Coast this week, Jaclyn and I are trying to pare down the amount of driving we have to do, which is only relevant because it resulted in me being the one to pick Miles up after daycare yesterday, an occasion upon which I was delivered some unexpectedly clandestine information.

It all started when I asked Miles what he did at school during the day. He didn’t provide many details, but he did say that he had taken some wood chips from the playground and put them in his pocket.

“Miles!” I said, recalling similar bizarre hoarding in my own youth. “Why did you take wood chips?”

“I like wood chips,” he said, as though I should already know the answer.

“Did you get in trouble for it?”


“Did your teachers make you put the wood chips back?”


“Oh. Well maybe your teachers are going to put them back on the playground.”

“Yeah,” Miles agreed in a way that suggested we would just have to wait and see.

I didn’t think about Miles’s admission until tonight, when Jaclyn asked Miles why she found wood chips in the washing machine after cleaning his pants.

I was initially impressed that Miles had told me about his minor, harmless infraction during the school day. I figured he hadn’t gotten in trouble because, honestly, who cares about some wood chips? What I failed to realize was that I was the only person Miles told about his kleptomaniacal acquisition of landscaping material.

When I’d cram something weird in my pocket, like an acorn or a rock, I’d always end up telling my teacher what I had. If it was something I really shouldn’t have in the classroom (ie, the rock) I might get a short lecture about how “we don’t take stuff off the playground” or something. I assumed, erroneously, that Miles’s experience had been similar. So the bad news — Miles is way sneakier than I was as a kid. But the good news — I suppose he still can’t keep his mouth shut about it.

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