Saturday, February 13, 2010

The first year Jim and I were married I worked at a day care. We were both in college eeking our way through on a tiny wad of money so when the job opened up for afternoons, I took it for three reasons: all my classes that semester were in the morning, Jim was playing football so most days I never saw him until 8pm, and we needed the extra cash.

Spending my afternoons with three year olds was a lot of things but boring was not one of them. Kids that age haven’t learned to run things through a political correctness grid so they say exactly what they’re thinking.

One day after my last class I ate a couple of tacos in the car on the way to work. When I was hanging up my coat a beautiful dark haired little girl with huge brown cow eyes hugged my leg. I picked her up and smiled and asked how her day was going. She winced her nose and said, “Miss Suzette, you stink.”

How can something that precious be so brutally honest and literal? I lasted just under three months with the kids. After getting pink eye in both eyes, two colds, the flu and pin worms I realized I was paying to work there because the medical bills were more than my pay checks. I resigned.

My grandson Owen is in three-year-old preschool two mornings a week. I was the parent helper recently. I shuddered a little as I walked in remembering my previous experience in a three year old classroom. I relaxed when I remembered I’d had all my shots and Purell was in my purse.

Mrs. Bolger is a master. Ten three year olds have the potential of resembling fascinated squirrels set loose, but what ever Mrs. Bolger said, the kids did. It was intriguing to watch her work.

The theme for the day was Humpty Dumpty. We made Humpty Dumpty cut outs, we read the nursery rhyme and looked at the pictures. Then Mrs. Bolger brought out the eggs; one hard boiled and one raw. She was even working in a science lesson. Finally she asked the big question. “Boys and girls, what do you think is inside this raw egg?”

With all the conviction of a game show contestant one little boy raised his hand as he jumped out of his chair yelling, ‘Humpty Dumpty!”

Without saying a word, Owen flashed me with one of those “are you kidding me?” looks. I’m guessing he was thinking without saying, “That’s so silly. Egg is inside of egg. Besides Humpty Dumpty was kind of clumsy and he’s no where near as cool as Batman, Robin or Spiderman.”

I love a masked crusader who’s already learning the art of tactfulness.

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