Mrs. McMillan looked out over her first grade class. All twenty one of them were busily practicing writing their names. One of them, little Sally McGillicutty, lifted her head and caught her teacher’s gaze. She smiled her crooked little grin at Mrs. McMillan, and the teacher smiled back.
Bobby, Joe, Tom and Sam began giggling because one of them had farted. Mrs. McMillan went over to their table and told them quietly to behave themselves and be quiet.
“But….but….but….Bobby farted,” Sam said, starting to giggle again. His statement made the entire class begin giggling, and the teacher sighed.
“Okay, class,” she said. “I will take care of this problem.” She walked over to her desk and removed some air freshener from a drawer. She walked around the room, spraying. When she got to the original table, she sprayed around each of the boys’ chairs.
When the day was done and the kids were gone, Mrs. McMillan straightened up the room and wiped down the tables. She sat and worked on her lessons for tomorrow. She made sure that her copies were run and that her craft project pieces were ready. She gathered her purse, jacket, and car keys and headed home for the night.
The next morning, she once again gazed out over her twenty one little sweethearts sitting around the room. Brett was a nose picker, and was rooting for gold at the moment. Sam was straining to fart, and had his face so scrunched up that his eyes were squeezed shut. Lilly was a little snob, and was trying to show her new purse to the other girls at her table.
Sam’s twin sister, Samantha, sat at the same table as Lilly and Daisy. Suddenly, she grabbed Lilly’s purse and threw it to D.J., who sat at a table with Steve and Peter. D.J. grabbed the purse and tossed it to Sam. Sam wasn’t watching and got hit in the head with it, affording Mrs. McMillan the opportunity to grab hold of it and place it on her desk. Lilly was squealing the entire time that this was going on. Finally, the teacher had had enough and told her so. When everyone was calmed down, Mrs. McMillan told Lilly that she could have the purse back at the end of the day.
At lunch that day, Mrs. McMillan made certain that she sat near Stanley, Roger, and Lucy. They were the biggest talkers and never finished their lunches if she didn’t sit right next to them.
She looked up and down the lunch table at her charges. They were all talking, but they were also eating so that was okay. Mary, who was sitting next to Roger, suddenly spoke up.
“Gross, Mrs. McMillan, what are you eating for lunch?” she exclaimed.
“Liver,” she stated plainly.
The whole class groaned in unison.
After lunch, she took the class outside to play for recess. They ran and screamed and climbed and jumped. They swang and slid and went around on the merry-go-round. When the fifteen allotted minutes were up, she sighed and blew the whistle. She always hated them coming in from recess. They were always hyper and smelled like little wet dogs.
They stopped at the bathrooms and water fountain. Of course, she had to monitor them in the bathrooms and count them off at the water fountains. If she didn’t, they would have played around there all afternoon. When bathroom break was over, they headed to the classroom, where they did indeed smell like wet dogs.
Mrs. McMillan completed the afternoon lessons with her class. They didn’t get to the craft projects that day, but it was fine. There would be time.
She once more straightened and prepared, then headed home. She walked into her lovely little living room and hung up her jacket and purse. She headed to her neat yellow kitchen and made dinner. She set out two plates, one for her and one for her husband, Charlie. As they ate, she told Charlie all about her day and he never interrupted once. He was such a devoted husband. After dinner, she watched a movie with him, and then went to bed.
The next day found all pretty much the same, except that today Lilly was bragging about her new dress to Serena and Sarah. Janet walked up, and Lilly immediately held her nose and told Janet to go away. Mrs. McMillan stepped in and deescalated the situation, although she couldn’t really blame Lilly. Janet always smelled of urine.
The reading lesson was uneventful. Math, however, was a different story. They were playing math relay, where the teacher gave a problem and two students, one on each team, went up to solve it. Unfortunately, Daisy and Chloe were competing against one another. Daisy was fairly weak in math, and Chloe was the total opposite. Naturally, Chloe finished first and correctly. Daisy began crying and when the class laughed, she wet herself. This made them laugh even more. Mrs. McMillan groaned.
After lunch, recess, and bathrooms, they returned to their classroom for science and social studies. The science lesson was pretty simple and direct. For social studies, they were learning about the different seasons, as they were now in the fall she started with that one. This turned out to be a bad idea. Mary and Betty began arguing about whether the proper name for the season was fall or autumn. The teacher tried to squash the argument, telling them that it didn’t matter which word they used, it meant the same thing. They were hearing none of it. Other students jumped into the disagreement, and it ended with social studies being cut short and the students all doing quiet work at their tables.
That night, as she was telling Charlie about her day, the phone rang. It was one of the mothers, calling to complain about what had happened that day. She hadn’t sent her child to school to be ridiculed, etc, etc, etc. Mrs. McMillan handled the call professionally and politely, but her appetite was ruined and she didn’t feel like talking to Charlie or watching tv. She decided she would just go to bed.
Mrs. McMillan was determined to get that craft project done the next day. She walked into the classroom with determination. The class could tell that something was different. She started the day telling them that she would have none of the foolishness that had gone on yesterday. She explained that they would be completing a craft project that afternoon and that everyone would have to be on their best behavior.
That afternoon, when it was time for social studies, everyone was excited. Mrs. McMillan spread newspapers on all of the tables. She placed paintbrushes and scissors on the tables. She brought out leaf cutouts on white construction paper and had the children start cutting. While they were doing that, she brought out orange, red, and brown paint.
She said that she would be calling the children behind a screen to conduct a special test while they were working on their projects. She sat at the edge of the screen and called each child back, one at a time. Occasionally, she would refill the red paint cups. The children wondered why the paint was warm, but didn’t ask.
Later that afternoon, she hung the leaves all around the room to dry. She hung the subtle oranges, the dark browns, and the red ones – the blood red ones. As she was finishing up, the speaker came on in her room. The principal said that none of her class had gotten home, and wanted to know where they were.
She grinned. Her response gave the principal a chill.
“They won’t be going home,” she chuckled. “Oh, and someone may want to check on my husband, Charlie. I’ve been eating on him all week, but I think he is starting to go bad.”