|Who DOESN'T need this chair?|
On my first day, one six-year-old fellow, we'll call him "L.," was calm and helpful in the classroom.
But this morning, he walked into the classroom all jacked up on... something. L. was climbing the walls, attempting flips on the Meeting Time rug and standing on his chair in a sort of "O Captain My Captain!" way.
"L!" I barked, bemused. "Exactly HOW much coffee did you drink this morning?"
He looked around at his classmates, stunned. "Mrs. Kain! I don't drink COFFEE!?"
|"Ma'am, I've had too much coffee."|
When L. started "playfully" slapping other children he promptly put himself in the "I Need a Break Chair."
He sat there for several minutes, banging his sneakers against the green stool under the chair, until he trusted himself to re-enter society.
Afterward, I heaped praise upon him for this classy move. "There are a lot of grown men who aren't wise enough to put themselves on the 'I Need a Break Chair.' And by the way, was it a regular coffee, or an espresso?"
"Mrs. KAIN! How many times do I have to tell you?"
"Until you 'fess us to how much coffee you drank, young man."
And for the rest of the day, whenever he caught my eye, I would mime drinking a cup of coffee, and point to him and he'd smile so huge that a black hole was formed inside of his dimple.
As a person who can be "naturally caffeinated" myself, I admire L's ability to rein himself in. I was fortunate enough to tell his father that when he picked up L. from school.
"Hey, L., is that your dad?" I yelled to him, hustling toward the car.
"Yeah, Mrs. Kain!"
"I gotta talk to him about letting you drink coffee."
"Sir, are you aware that your son drank a large amount of coffee before coming to school?"
And L. was jumping around outside the car and grinning. Then I congratulated his dad on having such a good kid.
"Oh, and I heard he ate a squid when he came to your office. He drew a whole story about it."
His Dad denies that squid was presented, much less eaten, but I have the crayon-colored pictures to prove it.
Then as I walked toward the parking lot, L. yelled after me, "I hope you teach me again, Mrs. Kain!"
"STAY AWAY FROM THE COFFEE!"