The Mystery of Jacob
September 23, 2008
I find myself writing a lot about Bridget. My older girls are wonderful, but there is something so zany and unpredictable about a three-year-old. There’s an alarming mixture of innocence and guile, understanding and confusion. And always, there are funny stories that arise when a feisty little girl is your daughter. The latest is “The Mystery of Jacob.”
As I’ve written here, Bridget started preschool a couple of weeks ago. She is doing great. She always says “I’m a little nervous” on the two mornings a week when we’re walking to drop her off, but when we arrive, she’s happy to trot into her classroom and get busy with an art project or game, or cozy herself in the reading nook with her favorite picture book (about snakes!). According to her teacher, she is pleasant and cooperative during preschool (what is that teacher’s secret!?) and gets along great with the other kids.
The very first day of school, as she proudly marched out of her classroom at the end of the day she told me, “There’s a boy named Jacob in my class, and he’s not listening to the teacher.” Hmmm, I thought, feeling amused and a little smug that my child wasn’t the one goofing off in circle time.
Bridget’s reports on the antics of Jacob have continued. “Jacob lays down on the rug when we sit criss-cross applesauce.” “Jacob does not share the toys.” And she always adds the original indictment – he doesn’t listen to the teacher.
I finally decided to scope out this kid. When I dropped Bridget off last Thursday, I scanned the other 11 cubby holes. I did not see the name Jacob. I read through the sign-in sheet. No Jacob. There is no child named Jacob in this preschool.
My husband and I have been discussing theories about the mystery of Jacob. Maybe there is a boy whose name sounds like Jacob. Maybe he’s in the other class. My favorite – maybe Jacob is Bridget’s alter-ego, who lives out in her imagination the misdeeds that she would secretly like to do. That would be the funniest explanation, although, as I think about it, also the scariest.
I’m going to ask her teacher tomorrow.