Out of Control

A couple weeks ago, I was staying after with a rather awkward child whose main fault is that his vocabulary and “worldly” knowledge far outweigh his social graces.  This is a child whose main obsession is one day becoming a paleontologist and to this end, will gladly draw you any dinosaur you request.  He also shows an unusual talent for turning the tin foil wrapper of his daily sandwich into all varieties of dinosaur.

Despite his great obsession with this rather academic centered career, he strongly dislikes school and anything that reeks of work turns him off.  For this reason, he was in my room making up work that he had just not “[felt] like doing” on the day it was assigned.  He leaned over my desk as he labored over a worksheet and chatted with me as he worked.  After a few minutes, I noticed his feet were doing a jig and his whole backside soon took up the dance while he continued to work.  Knowing this child’s tendencies towards scatterbrained qualities and based on the fact that I’d had a child with… productive gas… earlier in the day, I shifted the conversation.

Mrs. C:  Umm, R, do you need to go potty?

R:  (suddenly, and slightly offended) What??  NO! (jerks upwards and stops the dance)

Mrs. C:  Are you sure?

R:  Yes!  (pause) Wait a minute.  Is it because I was standing like this (bends over in half as he just was standing over the desk)

Mrs. C:  Perhaps.

R:  And could it have been because I was also doing this (still bent over, starts moving his butt and legs around frantically without holding on to anything)

Mrs. C:  That could have been part of it too, I suppose.

R:  Oh.  Well, that’s just how I calm myself down so I can focus.

Mrs. C:  It’s good that you know that about yourself.

R:  (nonchalantly) Yeah.  But also, I gotta just keep movin, see.  (grabs midsection and jiggles) I’ve gotta get the pounds off.

Mrs. C:  Oh yeah?

R:  Oh, yes.  I weigh too much for my age.

Mrs. C:  So do you exercise?

R:  Of course.

Mrs. C:  What do you do?

R:  Oh, you know, I just gotta keep movin’ all the time, you know.

Mrs. C:  And are you trying to eat healthier food?

R:  (appalled and slightly insulted) Mrs. COOKIE!  That is simply out of my control.

Mrs. C:  How come?

R:  I cannot be expected to eat food that is good for me.  See, food that is good for you does NOT taste good and I can not be expected to eat food that does not taste good.

Mrs. C:  What about food like bananas?  Those are good for you.

R:  (absolutely disgusted now) No they are not.

This is also the child who, on another occasion when there were a lot of kids in my room, decided to burst out in the Lollipop song while retaking a quiz (lollipop, lollipop, oh lolly lolly lolly).

Then, yesterday, this other kid (keep in mind I teach 6th grade) who we privately compare to a squirrel because he’s, well, tiny and never stops moving (and has the sharp, inquisitive movements of a squirrel), informed me that “If I get another “F” my dad told me he would put me in construction!” Yikes!  He better start bulking up.  He’s got a killer sense of humor, too.  One day in Science class, the teacher told him to take a seat under one of her newly hung inflatable planets.  A couple seconds later, he raised his hand, and when called on said “I might get in trouble for this, but… I thought you should know I’m sitting under Uranus.”  He was right, of course, and he did not get in trouble.  🙂

Some days, these little anecdotes get me through the day.


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