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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I look forward to the day when green, ooey-gooey slime is not constantly cascading out of Bret’s nose. Bret is one of my music class students. He is three-years-old. Today was the fourth class – that’s FOUR weeks where every time I see the child I wish I was wearing a haz-mat suit…or at least a gas mask. How a child can even have that much body fluid-mucous to leak is beyond me. When will he ever run dry?

Bret adds a lot to class (not just snot and not necessarily all good). He’s the kid who, once he knows every word, (or even if he doesn’t), sings every single song as loudly and as monotonely as possible. He’s also the one that at least twice a class I have to tell, “OK, Bret, move away from ___ because obviously you can’t sit next to ___ without constantly caressing/slash/fondling/slahs/harassing ___.” Ahh, Bret. He’s one of those. [And, no worries, I don't have a visual aid for this one either].

Then, in my second class, there’s Raven (a girl…named after a bird). She’s got the attitude of a “tween” and knows how to use it. Last week, the little lady just could not keep her shoes and socks on. If I asked her to pick them up (as they were in the middle of the path for our marching in a circle), she gave me an unbelievable amount of ‘tude. I’m surprised it wasn’t accompanied with a snap, zig-zag head and “No, you di’nt.”

Also in my second class are: Daria, Anastasia, Ayla, Amana, Ella, Ela, and Sophia. I’m not kidding. Try keeping those straight. Ayla and Amana are sisters. Ayla just had her birthday last week and turned five. Amana is 4 but much taller than her older sister. When I pointed that out to them (as I was trying to get them straight – “OK, so Ayla, you’re older, but Amana, you’re taller”), they looked at me ever so seriously.

Ayla (the heightedly-challenged, elder sister) said, “Yes, Amana is taller because she eats chicken.”

To which Amana added, “Yes, Ayla doesn’t like chicken. That’s why she’s shorter than me.”
Right. I can see clearly that the parents want both daughters to eat their poultry. And these girls really have the equation down: Eat Chicken = Be Tall. (No wonder I find myself having more of it lately).

Finally, there’s Sam. Sam has a special place in my heart. Sam happens to be the son of Kari who happens to be a music teacher and is the daughter of Susan who is a teacher at the school where I am now teaching. (Did you follow that?) All sorts of broo-ha-ha and drama went down because I ‘swooped in’ and got the job that Susan felt was meant for Kari. I won’t get into it…but needless-to-say, I went into my first class knowing that there was a teacher there who was furious with my presence and would be watching and analyzing my every move. I was the woman that stole her daughter’s job. But then, the plot thickened, when I saw that Kari had not only signed her son, Sam, up for my class, but for both sessions – a full twelve weeks of Little Ditties Music Academy tutelage. This woman can’t be that mad about my presence if she’s paying me $120 to teach music to her son.

Anyway, back to Sam. Poor, sweet Sam. Sam has the most horrifyingly cruel bowl – should have been outlawed in the ‘80’s – hair cut that I have ever seen. It’s as if they cut it with a rusty machete…while drunk. Sam makes up for his rough ‘do’ in his sweetness. Unlike the other 4-5 year old boys, he doesn’t suddenly start whacking himself on the head in the middle of class and thinking it’s the funniest thing in the whole wide world. (Matthew would fit in perfectly with these boys. Ahhh, slapstick, body humor – nothing else makes a 5 year old boy laugh quite like it).

After class, last week, I was alarmed to see that Sam was the only child still on the rug (all others had left with parental units) AND that he was crying. I was about to approach him when Ms. Susan (his grandma) and Kari (his music teaching Mama) come flying out of no where. (Great, I thought, it looks like I’m just sitting over here picking my nose while her son/grandson sobs his little heart out).

Ms. Susan came over to me after comforting Sam and leaving the rest of the comforting to Kari. She smiled and said, “Sam’s very upset that class is over.”

Sweet Perfection. I rule. Rave reviews. There is no compliment greater than a kid breaking down after class because he’s devastated it’s over. I love it when I make kids cry…in a good way.

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