Small Talk

Beauty in the day: she is 3. We were out in the playground during an after-school event, and she was in the sandbox, digging.
I asked her what she was making, and she said she wasn’t making anything, she was just digging.

I can appreciate that she likes to call a spade a spade, so I left it there. I made some comments about what a fantastic digger she was. This apparently led her to sort of feel compassion for my efforts, because she switched gears suddenly, and announced that she was cooking.
I seized on this new information with much exclaiming, and asked her what she was making. She told me without looking up that it was stew.
I could have left it at that, but I didn’t. She was sharing, and I was enjoying the attention. “Wow, stew, huh? Are you making it for yourself, or for your whole family?”

Clearly having the realization that this conversation might continue beyond the current small talk, she looked up at me with a bored expression and said blandly, “it’s just sand.”

Note to self: enthusiasm is great, but know your audience. If it’s a very precocious little 3-year-old with edge, know that she is so on to you.

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Little Big Man

Beauty in the day: he is little. Teeny-tiny. He’s one of those teeny-tiny packages that pack a wallop. He came in before school with a nasty scrape on his forearm, the wound bright red. He was HOWLING. My poor assistant was trying to dab at the spot, which only made him howl more. Those little packages can make a lot of noise. 😉
I jumped in, if only to rescue my assistant and put and end to his misery. I grabbed some gauze, and got him to look at me while I counted loudly out loud, “1, 2, 3, 4,” and made some quick work of wiping away the redness.
“Here, buddy, hold this,” I told him, and grabbed his free hand to hold the fresh gauze over the scrape (at this point, it was medically unnecessary, but emotionally necessary).
His trauma scale was now at a 7 from the original 10, evidenced by the heavy breathing coupled with the FIERY level look he was aiming at me. I began to open a bandaid package. “I do NOT want a BIG bandaid!” he informed me in no uncertain terms.
I set down the big bandaid with great pomp, and grabbed up a medium one. I didn’t wait for his opinion, but started talking my way through it rapidly, having sized up my foe and determined the best course to confuse him. I placed it over his wound, and he took 3 even breaths, and then turned on his heel to head to class, muttering loudly to himself as he went.

At lunch, he returned. “Take it off,” he said regally and with great importance.

“Oh, no. No, we will not take if off, friend, because you have a scrape under there that needs to heal.”

“It is better now,” he dictated. “Take it off!”

“Nope. Sorry, buddy. Not taking it off. That needs to stay on.”

We had a short argument then, him wrangling to remove the bandaid, and me standing my ground. I came up with a compromise. “Okay, we can take it off so you can look at it, but then I will cover it back up with a new one.” He felt this to be preposterous (which it was), and opted to leave it on.
“Make sure you show it to your mom when you get home, and she can decide if you can take it off.”

I’ve never seen a 5-year-old master the technique of the double-take…until now. He screwed his face up tight and looked at me with the scoffing-est of scoffing looks. “I will NOT show it to my mother!” he said over his shoulder, as he exited the office with the swiftness of one who isn’t interested in getting caught up and any more ridiculous conversation.

It’s important that our jobs are not around the clock. I can likely use the down time to restrategize.

To Catch a Thief

Beauty in the day: the story goes that there was this kid – a 2nd grader. She lost a tooth, and was the happy recipient of a little plastic treasure chest from the school nurse to save it in.
So, she put the tooth under her pillow and drifted off to sleep. Her dad went into the room with a dollar in his hand, and went to trade it for the tooth. Because he is a mere apprentice, and not the real tooth fairy, when he picked up the tiny treasure box, the tiny tooth inside rattled a bit, and the 8-year-old kid WOKE UP.
That’s not the bad part, actually.
She spoke in her sleepy state: “Daddy, Why are you stealing my tooth?” He assured her that he wasn’t, but she began to cry bitterly. Her dad was trying to STEAL her tooth. He put the tooth back, and left the dollar there.
In the morning, the 2nd grader showed her mom the tooth and the dollar. “But mom, something really bad happened. Dad tried to steal my tooth!”
Her mother assured her that this was not the case, but to no avail. The girl was convinced otherwise. Feeling that desperate times call for desperate measures (and realizing that it was a school day, and that her daughter might tell her friends a very bizarre and somewhat dastardly tale), she decided to tell her daughter the real truth. “There’s something I have to tell you,” she began. “You see, the truth is, Daddy is the tooth fairy.” Not surprisingly, this fell on deaf ears, and the 2nd grader began again lamenting the distressing and unswayable thought that her dad would STEAL her tooth. Somewhat exasperated, her mother queried, “WHY would Daddy ever steal your tooth?”
The child shrugged her shoulders and gave the only plausible answer: “Maybe he wanted to make some money for himself.”

#stillrollingonthefloorlaughing