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

Birdman

Beauty in the day: checked my moon phase app today. Nope. No full moon until Wednesday. Checked it again later in the day to see if it was Wednesday yet. Nope – still Monday. It may be a long week… So lucky it’s Teacher Appreciation Week! (whew!)
Oh yeah – the beauty – right – – –
After school I remembered to ask my boss a question I’ve been trying to remember to ask him, but have continued to forget. – – WHY does Chas put a half-eaten apple core behind his tire each morning? It’s not like he’s parked on a hill or anything….😂
“Oh THAT,” he said. “Well, after I came to work here, I was eating my apple on the way to work like I’ve always done, but I used to throw the core in the bushes, where deer would come and eat them. But I can’t do that here, because the bushes belong to people’s yards. So the first time, I just laid it next to my tire, and figured I’d take care of it later, when I went home. But after work, I noticed that the apple had been pecked at quite a bit by birds. I started leaving it out there for the birds, but they didn’t really eat it all, and I realized it was just too big an item. So I started putting it behind my tire, so that when I leave after work, I back over it and crush it, and then the birds can easily eat it.”

No – for reals, you guys.

#feedthebirdstuppenceabag

Spirit Week

Beauty in the day: you may possibly recall that last night I recounted a happy “Teacher PD” session on FB. A portion of that brilliance centered around teachers suggesting – nay, PROMISING to send students to me with chairs (it’s important to note, that I work with a group of people with a high level of integrity. A promise made, I discovered, WILL be kept).
Now, this week has been Spirit Week at Ardmore. For the “uneducated” on this point, let me explain that Spirit Week is a wonderful, fun, exciting sequence of events that will bring joy to your heart, and drain the energy from your body and mind. Today, Friday, was the proverbial “cherry on top” – you guessed it – Character Day. This is when you get to come in costume, depicting a favorite character. Think Halloween, only in February, and without all the candy (whew!). Suffice it to say, there were a great many distractions all week, and today was the pinnacle. I was working feverishly away – there was much to do on the Friday before Mid-Winter Break.
It was time for Kindergarten Music, and as the teacher (a promise-keeper) led her cuties to the Music Room (which is perpendicular to the office), she made a sudden detour, directing her learners to my desk, each of them carrying a picture of a chair, colored in and labeled with lovely messages. They were delightful, and a few could not contain themselves to follow the (assumed) direction of silence (based on much whispering), but instead burst out in salutations and “I loves you’s”. 🙂
Yet, the day was not over.
I think I have also mentioned before that I work in a “fishbowl” of an office, surrounded by windows. I looked up from an email to discover a small student in front of me, a student chair at her side. “My Teacher told me to bring you this chair,” she said soberly. I thanked her sincerely, and showed her where she should deposit it. Smiling to myself, I went back to my work. But Lo, approximately 6 minutes later, I viewed a little boy coming down the hallway, a chair in tow. Again came the sober pronouncement. This happened two more times, and I halted child number four to wait while I wrote a note to the teacher. “Dear Teacher, Thank you for sending down the chairs! It’s wonderful! Unfortunately, I don’t have a table to put them around.”
It may have only taken 2.5 minutes to look up and see two first-graders lugging a student desk to the Office.
Spirit Week isn’t only for kids.
Oh – and there was a giant Scaredy Squirrel.

Moonlighting

Beauty in the day: Snow Moon, penumbral lunar eclipse, and the New Year’s comet. For some, these things are celestial delights; for some, they are warning signs of possible difficulties. For educators, these things are the events that give allowance for “ah-ha” and “make it work” moments. It’s funny how a tough day can really get stacked up until you discover that there is a full moon. Then it’s, “okay, cool; I’ve got this”, and sleeves are rolled up with a sense of purpose. Full moons bring out all the color and character of the night sky, and it seems to do the same for schools.
It’s a grace-giver.
Who wouldn’t want that?
#bringonthesnowmoon

Glory Days

Beauty in the day: his teacher brought him in to the office. He’d been there before, more than once (more than twice) under less-than-optimal circumstances.
“Ms. Nordstrom, if you have a minute, My Friend has something to show you.” I did have a minute, and I could see the news was good. I took a minute to tease him a bit, telling him not to smile while he told me his news. Naturally, this was a terribly difficult command, but he did try. He was unsuccessful, both at not smiling, and at getting the news out, since it’s hard not to smile when you feel very happy, and it’s hard to get the news out when your teacher is so proud she beats you to it. “My Friend has had a very good day!” She started to show me his chart, all filled up with goodness, and Her Friend was turning every shade of happiness, as his teacher used descriptions like, “he CRUSHED his math!” Letting inspiration take hold (and having whooped and hollered and high-fived, and used other exclamations like, “NO WAY!!!), I got out my phone to take pictures of his proofs to send to the principal, who was out of the office for the day. “OmiGOSH! I can’t wait for him to see this stuff, dude!” I told him. “I’m going to text it to him right away!”
They left the office then, and I sent the pictures. I know my principal, and tomorrow Her Friend is going to get another shower of glory.
THIS is school. And I can tell you’re all jealous.

Coco-In-Charge

Beauty in the day: making plans for Spring Break to be the “Coco-In-Charge” while the Littles’ mom and dad go away. Besides the fact that it’s always sweet to be with the grandkids, mine have been racking up points lately. My daughter’s birthday is just a few days after mine, and Jaffrey said, “Oh Mommy! It’s your birthday? Are you going to invite Coco to come?” 🙂 This was in addition to her exclamation upon seeing the colorfully wrapped gifts I had sent: “Oh, Mama! Coco LOVES you!” Everett was caught a few days later talking on his mommy’s phone to a poor, unsuspecting man. Not realizing it was “live” and not “memorex”, Bree asked who he was talking to when she found him, cuddled on the couch with his blanket and her phone. He sighed a long contented sigh and replied, “Oh, I’m just talking to my Coco.”
It will be a good visit.