Dear 3rd Grade Teacher – I blame my grandmother.

Dear 3rd Grade Teacher,

I am quite aware that my son arrived at your class today with a bag of bones in his backpack.  He said you were studying the skeletal system this week and that the bones would be an excellent addition to the classroom experience.

If you must know, the smaller bones are fish bones, probably gar. The larger bones are from a feral pig.

I blame my grandmother. And quite possibly Mrs K, my 9th grade biology teacher. And also my mom. And maybe Mrs B, the kindergarten teacher down the hall. This particular set of bones was my mom’s idea. She was laughing right up to the moment I threatened to turn the bones into a wind chime and give them to her for Christmas.

just bones

(Sadly, I failed to “craft” the bones into anything.  I’m not allowed to use a glue gun and find crafting wind chimes a difficult task without a glue gun.  My husband confiscated my glue gun several year ago after the “incident.”   So the bones  were still sitting on the back porch when watty came up with the idea to bring them to school.  Sorry about that.  Since the glue gun “incident” happened when Watty was in kindergarden and making insects for Mrs B, perhaps you can discus the bones with her.  Technically, she bears some of the blame for this whole thing too.)

It all started back when I was in 3rd grade myself. At the time, my BFF was Mrs K’s daughter – KK. KK and I were having the time of our lives that summer at my grandmother’s lake house in East Texas.

We were exploring the woods one day and discovered an entire skeleton of a small creature. (As an adult, I’m guessing it was road kill – probably raccoon or possum). KK immediately scooped up the head bones and cradled them in her t-shirt to take home to her mom (the biology teacher).

After my grandmother made us change shirts and wash our hands, she calmed down enough to understand that dragging home bones to give to a biology teacher mom was really a nice thing for a daughter to do.  So she sent us back down to the woods to collect the REST of the bones in a bag.

We did, and we proudly displayed the entire collection on the picnic table in my grandmother’s backyard.

By the time my mom came to collect us from the lake house, KK and I were over the bone thing, but my grandmother made us take them with us anyway. We put them in a bag and tossed them into the backseat. Partway home, we realized that the bones STUNK.

By the time we got home, KK and I weren’t speaking. I kept trying to put the stinky bones on HER side of the car, and she kept trying to poke me with them. It was a huge bone fight all the way home. As a result, the bones spent the next two years stinking up my mom’s garage before she finally threw them out.

Fast forward a few (dozen) years to this past Thanksgiving when we went camping with my mom.

My boys were out riding their bicycles with their grandmother (my mom) exploring the State Park. When they came across some fish bones, my mom offered to let them put the bones in a bag and bring them back to the campsite to show me.

Watty is playing with bones, I blame my grandmother

Watty is playing with bones, I blame my grandmother

When I started to object to the idea of fish bones all over the campsite, my mom sweetly reminded me that MY grandmother had let ME play with bones when I was in 3rd grade and that she was merely upholding family tradition. (Now you can see why i think this is my grandmother’s fault.)

By the time we got ready to leave the campsite at the end of the week, the bone collection had grown to include a few hog bones as well.  Apparently, the hog had been shot and left for the coyotes to eat.  One of the bones had evidence of a gunshot wound (proof of the hunting part), but the entire skeleton was spread over a rather large area (proof of the coyote part).  

You should be very thankful that I had the foresight to BURN most of the fish bones (the ones that had stink clinging to them) when no one was looking. I also managed to throw away some of the more disgusting hog bones (the ones with chew marks on them).

I tried to leave the silly bones at the campsite, but my mom came along and made sure they were packed neatly into the car when we left. (Again, it was in keeping with family tradition. My grandmother started it.)

The bones have been sitting on my porch since Thanksgiving. I would have turned them into a wind-chime expect for that whole unfortunate glue gun incident (the one involving balloons and Easter eggs and a few pipe cleaners.)  I’m delighted to give them to you to help further my child’s education and to contribute to the enlightenment of the entire 3rd grade class.

(Be thankful.  When I was in 5th grade, one of the other kids had a relative who was a butcher.  Guess what SHE brought to class for show and tell.  Yup – all the organs in a cow.  Cow blood stinks stronger than an entire class of fifth graders in May.)

Please consider the bones a donation to the school, I do not want them back (unless of course you can convince my husband to tell me where he hid my glue gun).  You don’t need to send me a tax receipt.


Mrs B (watty’s mom)

dear third grade teacher about the bones

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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