Wednesday, March 15, 2017
SLICE #15- In which a kindergarten conversation goes badly
"Dr. Carol, we have a problem," says D.
"You do? Can I help?"
"Yes. There are no paper towels in the boys' bathroom."
Phew. An easy one.
"Oh, I can help with that" I say walking across the hall to grab some paper towels from the art teacher's sink. I pass out a handful of paper towels.
I promise I will tell Mr. Tyler, our facility manager, and prepare to move on. The boys head back to music. D heads the other direction.
"Where are you going?" I say.
"I have to go meet F," she says. "She went to go tell the office about the paper towels."
This problem is getting a little more complicated. The office is the opposite direction of where D is heading.
"Sweetie," I say, pointing to the stairs, "She'll come up right here. The office is right below us. Why don't you just wait here, then when she comes, you can meet her."
She is not convinced. "But I have to meet her where I left her."
"But, D, if she went down to the office, she's not going to be where you left her. She'll come up these stairs."
Somehow this conversation is not going well.
And I have somehow acquired an audience. The sixth grade teacher has dropped her students off at specials and is standing in her doorway, fascinated with our conversation.
Every time D says something, J makes a face at me.
I decide to try another tactic. "D, sweetie, I don't want you to miss any more music. Music is really fun. Maybe they are playing instruments." Behind D, J nods enthusiastically.
I take D by the hand. "Let's go back to music."
"But I am supposed to meet F," she says. I tell her I will go find F, but that I don't want her to miss any more music. By now J is doubled over, laughing so hard that tears are running down her face. And her teammate has joined her.
I shove D in the door to the music class. "She was waiting for F," I say. The music teacher looks confused, but I quickly shut the door and head down the stairs.
J stops me. "How do you do that?" she says. "What was she talking about?"
I wish I knew. I shrug.
And then F appears on the landing. She has another little boy, T, with her.
"Hi, Dr. Carol!" she says. "I had to take T to the office. He bumped his head on the recycle bin. So I took him to the office."
I smile and comment how nice she is to help her friend.
I refuse to ask about the paper towels in the boys' bathroom. I am not going there again.
I run down the stairs.
I can hear the sixth grade teachers laughing all the way from the first floor.