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All That Glitters …

. . . must be blood.

Tis the season.  Our classroom has geared up for Christmas.  One of our first art projects (these are coordination and eye-hand control lessons) was painting, cutting out and decorating cute little reindeer.  Pipe cleaner antlers and red noses must be attached.

Alyce, our paraprofessional works one-on-one with each child, leading them through the steps of the project.  Day one they paint; day two they cut out; day three they decorate.  Lessons must be done in very short time stages because 3-4 year olds have very short attention spans.

Yesterday was day three.  Before the kids even arrived at school, Alyce had the art corner set up with brown pipe cleaner, red glitter and  glue.  As soon as phonics and story hour were complete, she was ready to begin.

Chaz entered the room and sat down to his phonics (out and waiting for them when they arrive).  He has to match letters to pictures — Ally alligator goes with A, Bubba Bear goes with B …..  As he is working industriously (with me sitting next to him prompting) , he spots a tiny piece of red glitter on the end of his left index finger.  He points it at me and exclaims, “Wook!”

“Uhm, glitter,”  I said.  Then I handed him R and asked him to find Robby Rabbit.

He looked at me like I was nuts and waved his finger closer to my nose.  “Wook!”  He shrieked.

I detected a note of panic is his voice and shifted my attention from phonics to figuring out what his problem was.  I looked more closely.  It was still glitter. One tiny little piece.  “It’s glitter.  Don’t worry about it.  Come on, do your work.”

He grabbed his finger in his right hand and squeezed.  “Bweeding!” He shrieked.

“Glitter,” I corrected.  I took my fingernail and gently lifted the glitter away.

“Wha–?”  He exclaimed, then examined the glitter on the end of my finger.  “Otay,” he said, instantly calm.  He returned to his work.

Later Alyce called him to the art table and modeled for him picking up a pinch of glitter and sprinkling it on the glue she’d already placed on the reindeer’s nose.  Chaz complied — missing the glue completely and scattering glitter across the able.  And then he noticed how much was stuck to his hand.  “No! No! No!” He wailed, and flung his hand about wildly.  Alyce quickly calmed him, got him to finish the reindeer’s nose, then took him to the sink and washed every single speck of glitter from his hands.

We thought it best not to mention the little red dots clinging to his face and hair ….

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Had to laugh. I thought it was going to turn out that HE was right, and that it WAS blood.

    All that glitters isn’t blood.

    Rabbit rabbit.

  2. I’m sorry, Nessa. When Glitter Goes Bad” would have been a much better title, but my brain wouldn’t function this morning and what you got is the best I had then.

    Polona — so you’re telling us you were a delightful child? And probably modest, too. 😉

    TLP — truth is, all that glitters is usually already in someone else’s bank account.

  3. Aw. I feel sorry for him. Thinking that something so innocent is going to doom him has got to be rough on the poor guy. Wondering why those awful, sadistic teachers aren’t more concerned about him bleeding…

  4. Brig — I am certain Chaz would appreciate your sentiment. As for me: it is very difficult to show genuine concern while laughing. I’ve been trying for over ten years now and still fail dismally.

  5. I’m curious to know how far it could have gone. If the kid had gotten glitter all up and down his arms, would he have eventually passed out in shock? Now *that* would be funny!

    Would probably also be counter-productive to remaining a teacher though.

    (What’s the point of putting up with other-people’s-children if you can’t tease them for your own amusement???)

  6. Morgan — you’re even meaner than I!

    Pauline — well, he’s got the Christmas “Home Alone” scream down pat.

    Melli — yeah, he’ll get there, too — eventually.

    Dr. John — my laughter isn’t malicious — nor did I laugh “at” him. It is more like joy at his innocence.

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