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“It Happened at Work”

June 17, 2010

Today I’m taking part in Mama Kat‘s Writer’s Workshop. One of this week’s prompts is “It happened at work.”

In May of 2001 I graduated with my degree in Early Childhood Education, and within the following month found a job as a preschool teacher. I taught children who were three- and four-years-old, at two different childcare centers, until eventually leaving my job to stay home with my son in January of 2009.

Teaching preschoolers is an emotionally exhausting – yet incredibly rewarding – job, and the children I cared for were all too often hysterically funny. Early on in my teaching career I began jotting down the crazy conversations I’d find myself in the middle of, and the amusing comments I’d overhear. I’d share these every afternoon with the parents, but also held onto them for myself.

While cleaning out my desk recently, I found the manila envelop where I had stored all these little gems. Scribbled on scraps of colored construction or notebook paper, or jotted down on torn paper towels, each phrase or comment or conversation had me dissolving in giggles as I sifted through them. I was flooded with memories of little faces and voices, memories of children who have long since grown up and moved on, memories of children who have probably long since forgotten me.

When I read this week’s prompt I knew I had to pull out this manila folder again and share a few of my all-time favorite “Preschool Sillies.”

: : : : :

Child: “Guess how old I am?”
Me: “How old?”
Child: “I’m four and a half and three quarters!”
Me: “Really?!”
Child: “Yup. And after my birthday I’ll be five and four quarters!”
Me: “Five and four quarters? No kidding!”
Child: “Uh-huh. And then, when I’m six, I’ll be six and five quarters.”

: : : : :

Child: “You know what? My daddy’s name is Anthony, and my brother’s name is Anthony, too! Guess who else’s name is Anthony?”
Me: “Who?”
Child: “Uncle Jimmy!”

: : : : :

One little girl obviously took it to heart when told that she could be anything she wanted to be. Her wish: “When I grow up I’m gonna be a cow with brown spots and eat grass!”

: : : : :

While I was changing one little boy’s diaper, another child had just finished using the potty. He watched, fascinated, as the other child flushed the toilet.
“Where does the poop go?” he wondered.
I used my fall-back response: “What do you think?”
He pondered for a moment, then answered: “Hmmmmmm…I think it goes to Heaven.”

: : : : :

One day while out on the playground with my students, two of my girls needed to use the bathroom. This childcare center had a restroom that opened onto the playground, so I let them in there and stayed in the doorway to monitor them as they used the toilets. The smaller of the two girls (she was a little peanut!) hopped off the toilet and pulled an enormous wad of toilet paper from the roll. I said something to the effect of, “You have such a teeny tiny bottom, you really don’t need that much toilet paper.” She just grinned at me, yanked up her pants, and headed over to the sink to wash up.

Her classmate was still sitting on the next toilet, swinging her legs and taking her time. She looked at me kind of quizzically, and asked, “Do I have a teeny bum, too?”

“Well, you’re a kid, so you have a kid-sized bottom, too.”

She cocked her head to the side, looked at me with the most adoring expression, and said with complete sincerity, “Oh, Miss Crystal, when I grow up, I wanna have a great big bum just like you!”

::sigh::  Kids…they keep you humble, that’s for sure.

: : : : :

Mama's Losin' ItWriter’s Workshop is hosted weekly on Mama’s Losin’ It.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2010 1:11 pm

    Love these! I wish I’d kept a list from my teaching days!

  2. June 17, 2010 1:47 pm

    Ha! That’s too funny! I used to work in a preschool/daycare, and it surely provides some enlightening entertainment!

  3. Heather permalink
    June 17, 2010 7:51 pm

    Yes, they do have some gems, huh?

    Today, one of mine said, “Heather…..why don’t you sit down and relax.” (said in a, “You’ve worked so hard, take a break”, way, not in a sarcastic way).

    Made me laugh. If only it were that easy! (Her mom is Shea’s teacher, and it fills me with confidence to see her daughter being raised so beautifully. She’s so polite, and confident, and beautifully behaved! I got the better deal in this trade, hehe, my kid is a handful!

  4. Christina permalink
    June 18, 2010 3:33 pm

    Wonderful! My little girl is only 2, but she came up with this classic recently. She likes to point out her chest and say “boobies…milk” to which I always reply that one day when she has babies she’ll have milk to feed them…or when I have her baby brother/sister later this year, mommy will have milk in her boobies to feed them. The other morning as I acknowledged her recognition of where mama’s milk comes from she affirmed “yes…and cookies!” So darn classic the way their little minds work!!! She had me cracking up!

  5. June 19, 2010 5:44 pm

    I am totally cracking up about the Uncle Jimmy one! I love that you thought to write all those great memories down! Kids are the best 🙂

  6. mommylebron permalink
    June 19, 2010 9:59 pm

    lol I also teach preschool and some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard come from 4 year olds! The teeny bum story cracked me up, because that’s just kids are!

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