Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Great Entanglement

Ever have one of those days, where everything seems to be going completely wrong? Where people are mad at you for no reason? Where you have a ton of things to do, and seem to get nothing done? Where people try to run you over in the parking lot (ok, this one might be unique to me)? THAT was my last Thursday. Just when I was ready to throw in the towel and sit at my desk, pouting for the rest of the day, the following happens:

I'm teaching my second-to-last class of the day. My first graders, who always cheer me up, are rip-roaring, ready to go, dancing and a-singing with me in a circle. Everyone but one little guy, who is hopping around, but not really dancing. Now, having taught for 7 years, I happen to know this particular look - the one where the knees are close together, hands are usually in the pockets, and there is a look of panic in the face. Add a couple of little hops, and very little eye contact.

Now, I know from past experience that when you see this little dance, the best course of action is to excuse the kiddo, and FAST. Let them go the restroom immediately, because, by about now, they'd held it longer than they should, and REALLY have to go.

SO, I excuse the little guy to the restroom, and he proceeds to HOP to the door. Yes, HOP. Not dash like the rest of the kids do...HOP. Only then do I notice that he doesn't need to use the restroom at all. Rather, he is doing the new "I've Tied my Legs Together with my Shoelaces and can't seem to Pry the Knot Apart" Dance. It's all the rage. He has literally taken the shoelace from one shoe and tied it around his other leg, rendering him less-than-mobile. It took everything in me not to laugh out loud. Part of me wanted to watch him hop over to my desk, but decided against the all-class humiliation. My mood was certainly improving, however. I got the class going on a partner activity so they were occupied, and went and swooped up the little guy to bring him to my desk for some serious knot-untying.
Apparently, right after lunch (which mind you, is 3 hours prior to my class), my little friend was playing around with his shoelaces. By the time he made it to music class, his legs had been tied together for hours, and were rubbing a raw spot in his leg. Poor guy! After struggling with the knot for a while myself, I finally removed his shoe, un-threaded the lace, and freed my entangled friend. He gave me this big old sheepish grin for setting him free. Off he scrambled to catch up with his classmates, happy as a clam. Seriously, who could possibly be grumpy after that!?

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