There was a kid in Maddie’s old daycare room who Maddie labeled as “the bad kid.” I don’t know how bad this child was, but according to Maddie’s lore he was bad. For the sake of this Slice and to protect the innocent, let’s give him a pseudonym. Nolan Poppy.
Now, many years have passed since Maddie was in that daycare room. But the legend of Nolan Poppy survives. Whenever Maddie and Katie play school, Nolan Poppy is in trouble. Nolan Poppy has to sit in the corner. Nolan Poppy gets his clip moved to red. Nolan Poppy’s mom has to come pick him up. Nolan Poppy sometimes doesn’t get a pretend treat. Nolan Poppy, Nolan Poppy, Nolan Poppy.
Yesterday, Katie was rifling through the box of DVDs to find a movie, and she happened upon Maddie’s Spring Show from the old daycare. She popped it in the DVD player, and the girls sank into the couch to watch it. At the end of the show, each child received a certificate. The daycare director called the names. “Molly Andruch…. Maddie Murphy… Nolan Poppy.”
Maddie and Katie gasped! Nolan Poppy! The looked at each other, wide-eyed. “Nolan Poppy!” they said in unison.
I guess they had forgotten he was once a real child. They had forgotten the man behind the myth.
I sat in the kitchen chuckling to myself. I mean, how bad could one kid really be?