Growed-Ups Is Weird

Lunch was over. We were walking back toward the classroom. Kelly was holding my hand. “Whad’s negst?” He asked. “Naptime? I no wants to sleeps.”

I said, “Yep. Naptime. And today I just might take a nap, too.”

Kelly laughed. “You no can nap. You bigs.”

“I can’t nap?” I queried.

Kelly said, “No, silly. Only boys and girls.”

“Why only boys and girls?” I demanded. “Why can’t I nap?”

Kelly stopped and looked up at me with the incredulous disgust only a five year old can muster and demanded, “Why you wants to?” Then he walked off shaking his head.

Later, as the kids spread their blankets and pillows on the floor Kelly looked over at Cass and said, “Jou know somethin’? Growed-ups is weird!”

Cass continued to arrange her stuffed kittens just so and didn’t even look at him. She just nodded her head and said, “Uh-huh! Yeps, I knowed.”

I Don’t Know Where He Learned This!

Kelly, though he is only four, is a bit of a smart-alec.  Today I gave him his velcro backed uppercase alphabet letters, but forgot to give him the board he’s to stick them to.  He said, “Yo!”  And when I glanced down he was giving me that look.  I didn’t immediately see the problem, so I said, “What?”

He rolled his eyes.  “Fine,” he said.  Then he picked up his alphabet letters and began placing them on the table like he was matching them to their lowercase counterparts on the board.

“Oh!”  I exclaimed.  “Sorry!”  I grabbed the board and handed it to him.

As he took the board he responded sweetly, “Why thank you.  You shouldn’t have.”

I raised my eyebrows at him.

He grinned at me and wrinkled his nose.

Instilling Fear & Table Manners

Friday’s school lunch was cheese pizza. As I cut each child’s pizza in half I said, “You may eat this with your fingers.” One-by-one they looked at me hesitantly as they picked the pizza up and took their first bite — all of them except Kevin.

When I told Kevin he could pick his pizza up in his hands, he jammed his fingers into his arm pits and glanced around frantically for Ms. Alyce. Upon spotting her, her watched her very carefully. She was giving children extra napkins and telling them they could pick their pizza up with their fingers. Kevin brought his hands back down to the table, but he didn’t grab his pizza. He picked up his fork and continued to watch Ms. Alyce. Finally she sat down at the table in front of her own plate and she picked up her pizza in her bare hands.

Kevin’s eyes grew huge. He put his fork down and slowly, carefully picked up his pizza. He took a bite, never once looking away from Ms. Alyce. She looked up. Their eyes met. Kevin froze like a deer in headlights, his little teeth sink deep in the pizza. Ms. Alyce grabbed a napkin and shoved it toward him. “Be careful,” she scolded. “It’s hot.” Then she turned back to her own meal. Kevin devoured his lunch then licked his fingers.

Counting Hungry

Four year old Gordy can’t count.  The concept of quantity escapes him completely.  Twice a week he and I tackle the problem and twice a week he doesn’t get it.  We sit together at the table.  On a cardboard cut out of the number one, I have placed one fruit loop.  On a cardboard cut out of the number two, I have placed two Fruit Loops.  This continues through number 5.

I used Gordy’s finger to trace the number one and I said, “One.”  Then we “counted” the one Fruit Loop.  I did the same with all the other numbers.  We returned to the number one, traced the number, counted the Fruit Loop and I allowed Gordy to eat it.  We also repeated number two, complete with the munching of Fruit Loops.  Then we counted one nose, two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, two shoes …. finally I put two Fruit Loops back on the number two and I said, “How many Fruit Loops, Gordy?”  And he queried, “Five?”

Sigh.

We’d been working 10 minutes.  Really much too long for a four year old to remain at a task he isn’t successful with.  I said, “Thank you, Gordy.  You worked very hard.  You may go play now.”

Gordy looked at the Fruit Loops still on numbers 3 through 5 and pointed.  I asked, “You want more Fruit Loops?”

He nodded his head and said, “Yes, please.”

I queried, “How many?”

He shrugged and said, “One?”

I handed him one Fruit Loop.  He looked at it.  He looked at all of the others, and then he looked at me with a little frown on his little face.

I touched the Fruit Loop in his hand.  “That’s one,” I said. “You asked for one.”

He frowned at his hand, then looked at me and said, “Want more.”

I queried, “How many?”

His eyes grew wide as he stared at me.  I could see the little cogs and wheels turning in his head.  He suddenly realized that whatever he said was going to effect how many Fruit Loops he received.  Finally he answered, “Three, seven, two!”

I said, “Three.  That was your first number.”  Then I counted three Fruit Loops into his hand.  He touched each of them and repeated back to me, “Three.”  Then he placed one, along with his finger, into his mouth and went away smiling.

Learns TOO Well …..

Happy tries so hard to please that he even complies to instructions given to others. For two days he has listened to breakfast and lunch conversations with Kevin. Happy watched as Kevin learned to handle a fork. He repeatedly heard, “We don’t eat with our fingers!” So today at lunch he cut his sugar cookie into pieces and ate it with his fork.