Alright, I admit it. I made a kid cry today. Here’s what happened.
I went walked into Columbia Elementary at little late today, and when I went in, I sat down in my usual spot in the Lifeskills room, on my chair made of giant puzzle pieces. I did my usual routine of making the children grab a piece of paper off of velcro that says “popcorn” on it, which is basically their way of “talking” to us. While I was doing that, I glanced at Jorden (the one who can’t swallow) a few times, who was over on a swing, looking absolutely depressed. A few moments later, a heard a gentle whining, and when I looked over at Jorden, I noticed he was crying. I pointed it out to one of the teachers, who said, “Yeah, thanks for noticing.” One of the other teachers told me that she would get a book for me to read to him (since she was the tallest and put the bins up high above cabinets where nobody else could reach them >.>), and as soon as I stood up, Jorden stopped crying and had this HUGE smile on his face. He always does when he knows he’s going to be read to.
The teacher handed me a book titled, “Peek-a-who?” (or something similar–I can’t really remember the title), and I walked over to Jorden, who was kicking and laughing like he does when he’s excited. I sat down and started reading the book. There were cartoon animals in the book, showing their arms covering their eyes. “Guess who? Peek-a…” and then you unfold a flap and it brings down their arms, and on the inside, it says, “Moo! says the Cow.” “Guess who? Peek-a… Baa! says the sheep.” Jorden was sitting there, laughing and kicking, when I came across a page that was missing a flap. The page was ripped out. So I made a makeshift one. “Guess who? Peek-a… cluck cluck! says the chicken.” and I removed my hand. He enjoyed it so much. I continued on to the last page, where there’s a little baby and the words, “Guess who? Peek-a…boo! Says you.” And I unfolded the flap and he enjoyed it. So I went back to the beginning and started all over, and when I came across the chicken, I did it again, putting my hand over its face, and I said, “Peek-a… Quack! says the mouse. Peek-a…Quack! says the mouse. Peek-a…Quack! says the mouse.” He seemed to enjoy this so much that I kept doing it and doing it… and when he finally lost interest, I went over to the last page and did it with the baby. “Peek-a….boo! Peek-a….boo! Peek-a….boo!”
Ah, what fun it was. In the middle of it, I thought about what had happened in the beginning, when he was crying, and it made me felt like crying. I mean, the lack of attention was understandable; there was an almost-full house today, with a new boy named Danny (who happens to be the only white boy there). The kids require so much attention that it’s easy to forget about other ones.
It was such a simple act of moving my hand back and forth across the page. It was so entertaining for him. Yet he was so forgotten.
So, after I had played this “peek-a-boo” game with Jorden for about half an hour, I saw that I had made him laugh so hard that he was crying. I felt good down inside for making Jorden happy, but I also felt rather guilty because I didn’t want to read to him when I first got there. When I read to him, the teachers make me stay longer, preventing me from going to the library on time, not having me take the other kids out to the school bus, because apparently I’m the best they’ve had work with Jorden. I doubt that’s true.
On another note, have you ever met a person who drives a short bus? They’re so awesome, dude. They know their kids by name (probably because there’s only one or two), but they treat them so nicely. I wish I could be friends with the short bus drivers. I mean, I reaaaally don’t like the normal bus drivers. The one I had in middle school was an absolute [female dog].