Last Friday I volunteered with a fellow kindergarten mom to watch our kids' class during the teachers' luncheon. That's right, 18 extremely excitable mini-minds for an hour all to ourselves. It's been a long time since I was a teacher, but when I walked into the room and saw those fresh faces light up (even though I knew it was just the novelty of having new "teachers" for a brief spell), it felt so good.
Until my eyes met his. All of the excitement and exhilaration of being back in the classroom flushed away like a stinky Kandoo wipe. It hadn't occurred to me weeks ago when I agreed to work with the class that we would meet face-to-face today. There he was. Ed-not his real name, but that's what I found myself calling him back in October. (You may remember him by his full alias, Edward Scissorhands.)
He did not smile when he saw me. Just looked me over and then went back to making his turkey puppet. On his table I spotted the sharp scissors lying next to his pencil box. What else was in there? I pondered briefly. A poky compass? Extra pointy markers? Heaven forbid, a metal paperclip which we all know could quickly transform into a wicked weapon with one tiny twist?!
Get a hold of yourself, Sabena! Fortunately it was just a fleeting moment that I had such suspect thoughts about Ed. I've coined these brief attacks as PMS (Protective Mom Syndrome). Since the cut capri incident, I've decided that occasional PMS is okay as long as you A) don't act on your momentary fantasies for revenge, B) remember that in most instances the immature offender is just that, a kid being a kid, and C) always be mindful that the he/she is someone else's whole world. Ed's mom (or dad, aunt, grandmother, etc.) probably has a raging case of PMS herself. She proudly displays every piece of artwork his chubby hands create. (Even the ones that require cutting.)
So as I walked around the room assisting the little turkeys in making their own, I made sure I stopped by his table several times. I wanted to know as much as I could about this little felon, I mean, fellow. The more I stopped by to check his progress, the more Ed seemed to warm up to me. At my fifth or so visit, he told me why he picked each color for the various puppet parts. When he was done, he proudly smiled at me and held up Tom the turkey. And it was terrific.
BTW, I looked. Just a few dull-tipped crayons and a nontoxic gluestick.