Friday, August 26, 2011

because of zombies.

Four-year-olds are seriously the best EVER. Sometimes my job makes me crazy. But at the end of the day...well, I spend my days surrounded by four-year-olds. It doesn't really get much better than that. I can promise you that Matt, who spends his days surrounded by grown-ups doing grown-up work stuff, does not come home with any stories NEARLY as enjoyable as the ones I do. Like this one.

So we just completed the third week of school. My kids are starting to figure out school, starting to get used to strangers telling them what to do all day, starting to realize they WILL go home at the end of the day...starting to get it. Most of them still don't speak English (Matt asks me many days after school: did you get to speak any English today?), but we're making progress. We're starting to have fun.

But then there's the bathrooms. School bathrooms. Kids either love 'em or hate 'em. Most of them seem to love them, seeing as how the minute they enter them they completely lose their grip on reality and run wild, like a bunch of loud, cracked-out monkeys. There's always a few kids, though, who are scared of the bathrooms. They're loud. They're echo-ey. The toilets make a LOUD flushing noise. The toilets themselves are rather big for a tiny little four-year-old's bottom...definitely have some kids that are convinced they might fall in and drown. I can't say I blame them, really.

So I have this one kid, and I'm really sad I can't share her name because it's awesome, but this girl is just...perfection. She is the CUTEST, TINIEST, FUNNIEST little thing on this planet. She's smart and witty and I could absolutely just eat her up.

She is not a fan of the bathrooms.

All year (three weeks, that is), she's struggled with this. Obviously when you're at school for 8 hours, it's going to become necessary to use the bathroom on occasion. That's tough when you're scared to death. She usually needs someone (a student or a teacher) to be RIGHT THERE with her so that she will get up the confidence to use it. It's okay. She's not the only one. They're only four. But eventually, and it better be sooner rather than later, they're gonna have to be weaned off. I'm not spending the whole year standing in the bathroom.

So today, she drags me in because she really really really has to go potty. "Okay," I tell her, as I wander over to the mirrors to inspect The Beast. "Go potty!"

"But I need you to come stand by the door [to the stall]!! I'm scared!!" she replies.

"No, sweetie, I'm going to stand right out here next to the sink, okay? I won't leave the bathroom. But you can go into the stall by yourself."

"But I can't!!! I'm scared!!!"

"Why are you scared, sweetie?"

"Because of the zombies!!!!! I can't go in there!! The zombies!!"

I march over to that stall and give it a thorough once-over.

"Sweet girl, there are no zombies in there. I made sure. You can go in, and I'll stand right out here and make sure no zombies come in, okay? You can do it!"

With much trepidation and anxiety, she uses the bathroom. Immediately upon finishing, she runs back out of the stall and dashes across the bathroom into the hallway.

"HEY!!! Hun, you need to go back and flush that potty and wash your hands."

"I can't, it's scary! The zombies!"

"No zombies came in. Go flush."

She stands as far away as a three-foot-tall person possibly can and still bend over to reach the flusher. Immediately after flushing, she sprints back out into the hallway.

"HEY!!! COME BACK!! Wash those hands, girlie."

"No, I'm okay!! I'm all done!"

"Nope, not with those nasty hands you're not. Wash 'em!"

"But...the zom..."

"Zombies love dirty hands. If you don't wash your hands, those zombies will definitely try to get you on the playground. Wash em."

Perhaps one of the best things about four-year-olds is that there's not much of a distinction between real and make-believe yet. Zombies can be both my friend and my foe, all at once. Today, as we left the bathroom with an empty bladder and clean hands, they were both. Maybe next week we'll try to wean off the zombies and talk more about germs, but today-- I was glad they were there for me.


  1. That's awesome. And you are a saint for hanging out with 4 year olds all day!

  2. ha! too funny! Hayley took a kitchen whisk for show and tell in her 3 year old program today. She might give you a run for your money on, after hearing me say it at least 50-million times...she looked at me and said "mama, you're making me nervous!"

  3. I'm envious of your day job... you must have the patience of a saint, but SO rewarding. I 'heart' teachers.


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