The kindergarten classroom was noisy as mothers and even a few dads were crowded in the room at the end of their school day. Mrs. Hart was looking for her daughter, and she couldn’t see her. Not that that was too alarming. Beth was only about three and a half feet tall, and with the commotion in the room, she could be anywhere.
Mrs. Hart stood still and turned in a full circle. Nothing.
A faint feeling of unease assailed her. “Beth,” she finally called out.
Nothing. And then, she heard a muffled, “I’m in here, Mommy.” Mrs. Hart turned in the direction of the voice. She saw the door to the bathroom in the back of the classroom open slightly, and then could partially see her daughter in the doorway.
“Beth! Where are your clothes?” Mrs. Hart, alarmed, started walking toward the door.
Beth looked at her mother from their respective distances. She could read the upset showing in her mother’s eyes, and so immediately froze, not sure whether she was in trouble or not.
There was tension in her mother’s voice. Best to play it safe, Beth thought, till she knew better what was wrong.
“Beth, why are you undressed? Where are your clothes?”
“He took them.” Beth kept her voice very neutral. Well, to be fair, Beth didn’t know the word ‘neutral’, but that’s what she was being. At five, Beth didn‘t have a vocabulary to match her wisdom, but she did know her mother, knew how to act around her, what to say not to get in trouble, to be safe with her. She knew that sort of thing extraordinarily well.
“HE took them?!” The tension in her mother’s voice had just ratcheted by up about 200%. Beth didn’t know why, but she knew her mother. Now Beth was getting upset herself. What had she done wrong?
“Who’s this HE?!”
Beth looked down. She wasn’t quite sure what to answer. Her main concern now wasn’t to provide information for her mother. It was to say anything she could so that her mother would calm down. “I don’t know his name.”
“But why does he have your clothes?”
Beth couldn’t help herself at that. She giggled. “They got wet. He said he’d get me. Get them dry. So no one would get mad at me. He helped me take them off.”
Mrs. Hart didn’t seem to like that answer at all. Miss Bradley, the kindergarten teacher, was walking past at that moment and Mrs. Hart stopped her. “Men don’t have access to the kids in the bathroom, do they? Not even male teachers. Nor any staff members? Do they?”
Miss Bradley said no, no, they didn’t, and then kept moving. This whole afternoon was very hectic for her with all sorts of questions being thrown at her, most of them dealing with a specific kid and wasn’t he just the brightest, best behaved kid she’d ever seen before? This was Miss Bradley’s first year teaching and her first time dealing with multiple parents in the room at once, all wanting her attention. She was frazzled and unaware of Mrs. Hart’s worries. She simply walked on.
Beth didn’t understand why her mother seemed to be even more upset now. But, she was. Her eyes were wide open, and her face, well, Beth didn’t like the look on her face, so she lowered her eyes again, wondering what to say to make her happy.
Mrs. Hart wasn’t worrying about what her child was thinking. She was worried about what had happened to her, about why Beth was standing there naked. “He was in the bathroom with you? And he took your clothes off? Why were they wet?”
“I was washing my hands, and he was standing with me, helping, and he splashed the water on me, then helped me get undressed.”
Beth hoped that would explain it, but it seemed that everything she said, no matter what, just made her mother more upset.
Her mother opened her mouth, closed it, opened it again, but didn’t say anything. She seemed to be thinking. She was; she was thinking she had to calm down if she didn’t want to scare her child. So, she squatted down in front of Beth and put one hand on each of her shoulders. “But why was he in the bathroom with you? You know about boys’ bathrooms and girls’ bathrooms and privacy.”
Beth giggled again. “He came in while I was going wee-wee. I told him he shouldn’t be in the bathroom while I was there. He said he needed to go, too. He just watched me, till I was finished, then offered to help me wash my hands. Then, when I got wet, he said I should take my clothes off and he’d get them dry. After.”
“After? AFTER? What do you mean, after?!”
“After he helped me take them off.”
Beth’s mother stood up, then immediately crouched down to Beth’s level again. “Did he do anything else?”
Beth frowned. She didn’t know if she should tell her the rest. Her mother was already upset, and she looked so worried! Beth thought maybe if she told her everything, her mother would feel better.
“Yes, he did. After helping me get my wet clothes off, he told me he came in there so he could go wee-wee, and he needed to go right then, and so he did. He also said, since he’d watched me, it was OK if I watched him. He said that was only fair. He went over to the toilet I’d used and took his pants all the way down, and I walked over to watch him. He grinned when he saw I was watching, and told me I could hold it while he went. So, I did.”
Beth’s mother wasn’t sure what to say. She didn’t want to alarm her daughter and knew if she got more angry and upset, Beth wouldn’t keep talking. So, she took a deep breath.
“Uh, what happened next?”
Beth felt better—her mother seemed to be calming down. Maybe telling her what they’d done was helping. She decided to keep telling her more.
“Well, when he was done, he told me to shake it for him. I did, and a couple more drops came out. I thought that was funny, and laughed, and he did, too. Then he turned around, away from the toilet, facing me. I was still holding on to his thing. It started to get bigger while I was holding it. He told me he liked me holding it.”
She smiled, remembering.
Beth’s mother didn’t like that smile. She was scared and upset, and her first thought was to scream. It took a lot of intestinal fortitude not to do so.
“What happened next?” Beth’s mother was trying hard to control her voice.
Beth looked up quickly. She didn’t like the edge in her mother’s voice. She didn’t like the look in her eyes, either. She decided to play it safe. “Nothing,” she said.
“Beth!” Mrs. Hart knew she had to calm down, and forced herself to, even though that was becoming increasingly difficult to do. By now she was on the very edge. “Beth,” she said again, forcing herself to us a much softer tone. “OK, you were holding his thing, and it was getting bigger. Then what?”
Beth heard the softer tone of voice, and settled down little. “He told me he liked me.”
Beth smiled and nodded.
“Uh, do you know where he is? Have you seen him around school?” She was wondering if it was the principal or the janitor who’d done this, or if he was a teacher Beth knew and trusted. Beth might not know his name, but she might be able to identify him for her.
“Yes.” Then she thought to add, “He’s nice.”
Mrs. Hart looked around. This was an after-school open house where parents were to come pick up their kids and also look at what projects they’d been working on. There were lots of parents with their kids. Lots of men walking around.
“Is he here; can you point him out to me?”
Beth started to speak, but stopped. Then, carefully because she saw the look on her mother’s face, she said, “Yes.”
Her mother opened her eyes wider. “OK, point to him. I want to see him.”
Beth hesitated, then pointed back into the bathroom. “That’s him,” she said.
Mrs. Hart pushed past Beth into the bathroom, in attack mode.
The only one there was a little boy. Younger even than Beth. Standing by the hot air hand dryer holding Beth’s clothes.
“That’s him,” Beth said, still in the doorway behind her mother.
“Hi,” said the boy. “I’m Kelly. Know what? Beth doesn’t have a pee-pee. But I do. Wanna see it?”
Hope you chuckled. You were supposed to chuckle. My thanks to my crack corps of editors, as usual, and especially Aaron Audet for his significant contributions. And to the magnificent Dude for single-handedly running this awesome site and allowing us the freedom to write from our hearts and souls. Without his encouragement, much of the literature you can find here wouldn't have been written. That is indeed a sobering thought. Please help support this site with whatever contributions you can manage. We all thank you for that.