Thursday, November 10, 2005

Color Stories

I thought we all needed a lighthearted (for you, not me) post after yesterdays heart wrenching and politically minded rant.

It should be noted that the three following stories are true:

The Yellow Corner

It unnerves me how ballsy children are becoming.
Particularly the kids I work with.

Yesterday, one of my four year olds told me “No.”
I calmly and politely asked her again to put the blue bears in the blue cup.
Again, “No,” this time a bit more adamant.
“Sweetie, I AM the teacher and you have to do your work. We are doing this so you can learn your colors and go to big school like your sister. Don’t you want to go to big school?”
“So put the blue bears in the blue cup.”

Ummm . . . so there are a lot of things I will put up with, but a 4 year old dictating to a 25 year old what she will and will not do is NOT one of them.
“Put those bears in that cup RIGHT NOW or you will go to time-out.”

Silently I counted to 10. I started to get up from my criss-cross applesauce condition, thought better of it, and counted to 10 again before rising.
“Stand up.”
Amazingly, she did as she was bid.
I gently grabbed her hand and pulled her to the corner of the room. I turned her to face the wall and I placed her forehead on the cool plaster.
“You will stand here until you decide to do your work.”
“No, I’m not!”
“Yes, you will. You’re not moving.”

So, and I kid you NOT when I say this . . . she found a way to be allowed to move.
You could actually SEE her thinking about it.
Then you saw the intense look of concentration and I swear you could see her tense her muscles for the push.
This four year old in her skirt and panties and tennis shoes with no socks PEED ON HERSELF TO GET OUT OF THE CORNER.
Niagara Falls emerged from between her legs in rivulets of wetness into her shoes, into a puddle on my carpeting and even ONTO THE WALL.

“Why did you do that??????”
“I ain’t gonna be in time out!”
We travel at the speed of light out of my office, down the hall (her shoes are literally SQUISHING the entire way), down the stairs and into her classroom where I very loudly state:
“Deedra, I’m NEVER having children!! I’m calling the doctor today to schedule an emergency hysterectomy tomorrow at 4 AM and I will gladly pay him 2 trillion dollars to do said surgery so that I will never, and I mean NEVER, have children of my own. I would be driven to homicide, suicide or genocide if had them, I am SURE of it! Oh, and by the way, ******** (child’s name) has decided that after two years, she is no longer potty trained.”
Deedra (classroom teacher) can’t decide whether to laugh out loud or be as LIVID as I am.

She takes her to the bathroom, removes her wet clothing, cleans her off with a soapy rag and exits the room to get her new panties and a change of skirt. As she is walking into the bathroom, I put my foot down.
“NO! You will NOT put panties on that child. If she is old enough to decide to wet herself to SPITE me, then by God she is old enough to have to feel the humiliation of wearing a diaper.”

Plus, deep down, I knew the SECOND I got her back into therapy she was going BACK to time-out and was NOT going to be able to find a reason to get out this time. If she wanted to soil her clothing BY GOD she could sit in the wet mess without ruining my floor. If she thinks it’s SO cute to pee on herself, let’s see how cute it is for her to sit in it for an hour.

And I wasn’t disappointed. Back in the therapy room, in the corner, you see her strain and then yell “Ms. Meghan, I gotta go change!”
“Nope. You should have gone to the bathroom. I hope you’re happy.”
She wasn’t too pleased to sit in urine for the whole session, but you know what, I think the little shit learned her lesson.

What else could I have done??? What ever happened to the world of corporal punishment?? Do you know why I never peed on myself to get out of time-out?? Because I was never bad!! Okay . . . so as you can imagine, judging on my present personality alone, I was sometimes a willful child. But I was broken of that right quickly. My father had to spank me just TWICE. TWICE! When I couldn’t walk the next day, I didn’t think telling people No was the best option. Suddenly I was obedient beyond measure.

That child needs her ass beat.

The Black and White of It

As though pee girl weren’t enough . . . I had another willful child yesterday.

After 8 months of therapy progressing smoothly, normally and successfully, we had a hiccup. Apparently, XXX’s dad is back in the picture. And he’s pissed. You will see why I believe this in just a moment.

The goal is : To increase expressive language ability, XXX will answer simple to moderate complexity level Yes/No questions with 80% accuracy over three consecutive sessions.

The question is “Are you a boy?”
“You’re not? Are you sure you’re not a boy? You don’t have a tail, so you’re not a puppy. You don’t wear a dress, so you’re not a girl. What are you?”
“No isn’t the right answer. XXX, you are a boy.”
(I am seeing a pattern with this word today.)
“Yes, you are a boy.”
And then, this THREE YEAR OLD says to me: “No, I not answering you.”
“XXX, what do you mean you’re not answering me?”

This is getting no where fast, so instead of wasting the next 15 minutes, we move on to another task. The goal is: To increase receptive language ability, XXX will identify objects with 80% accuracy over three consecutive sessions.

“XXX, can you go get me the ball?”
“Let me rephrase. XXX, go get me the ball.”

By now, my exasperation limit has been exceeded. In fact, if my exasperation limit were a height . . . it would be 5 feet from the floor up. By this time of the day, mostly due to Your Highness of Urine earlier, the exasperation height of the day was about 28,000 feet. FAR beyond my limit. FAR BEYOND!

“Oooooooookkkkkkkkaaaaaayyyyyy. Why won’t you get me the ball??”
“My daddy said I ain’t gotta listen to you cause you white.

Side note – all my children are black. Save one. One is Hispanic. But I work with lower socio-economic daycares with at-risk kids. The majority of them are entirely black and Hispanic populated.

“Ooooohhh, he did, did he?”

Wow, he answered a yes/no question appropriately. Don’t THINK I didn’t count that in his daily accuracy rate.

“Do you have to listen to Ms. Kim?”
“Why do you listen to her and not to me now?”
“Cause she black.”
Large sigh.
“Your daddy doesn’t like me?”
“Daddy said white people put black people in jail so they can get our stuff so we don’t listen to them.”

Remind me to kill myself.

The Black and White of It – Part II

This one is on a MUCH lighter note and was easily the highlight of my day.

The goal is: To increase receptive language abilities, MMM will identify colors with 80% accuracy over 3 consecutive sessions.

Normally I approach this goal as follows:

For several weeks, present child with a choice of 2 pieces of construction paper at a time.
Have him/her point to the color named.
Eventually increase to a choice of 3 pieces to eliminate the 50/50 chance.
Have him/her point to the color named.
It doesn’t always have to be construction paper. Sometimes it’s colored shapes. Or plastic bears. Or Play doh. Or crayons. But you get the point.
When the child gets about a 75% accuracy over three consecutive sessions, I switch it up to see if they can generalize the color to something other than paper/crayons/etc and to find something without my giving them a choice of options.
This is where we were today.

“MMM, go get me something that’s Red. It can be ANYTHING that’s red.”
“Okay.” And off her little 2.5 year old feet scamper to search the room for red.
“Here.” She brought me a plastic apple.

“Woo hoo! Girl, you got it! Give me a high five! Now . . get me something that’s . . . Green.”
Off she goes. She returns with a green plastic turtle.

“You are on a roll! I am so proud of you!!! Now this is a hard one . . . Go get me something that’s brown.”
It’s hard because EVERY one of my kids mixes up black and brown. Two of the black teachers think it’s because they are “black” kids but when they use crayons they realize that they aren’t really black (though some are really, really black) but closer to brown. I really don’t know and try not to subscribe to that belief because I don’t want to be considered a racist. But . . it could be true.

She returns dragging a small wooden children’s sized chair behind her.
“That is MOST definitely brown. I just can’t trick you today, can I? Hmm . . I’ll have to try harder. Are you ready? Go get me something white.”

Note: I fully expect the child to return with something glaringly white.
There are ANY number of options around the room.
There is an entire stack of crisp white “Drawing” paper on my desk.
There are white bottles stacked on a shelf that contain Tempura paints.
There is a big fluffy white teddy bear on the ground at her feet.
There is white Kleenex lining a table where we had earlier made Ghosts for Halloween out of Tootsie Roll pops.
There are white puffs of cotton balls on the table where we glued a snowman together on construction paper.
There is a veritable plethora of TRUE whiteness at this child’s disposal.

She returns with . . . A Barbie doll.
A very peach skinned, but naked (she took the clothes off her to be CERTAIN she was white all over) Barbie doll.
Now, by definition this doll is NOT white. She’s peach. She’s tan. She’s any color but WHITE as in total absence of color as in glaringly WHITE.
But the logic is something I can’t argue with.

“Yep, honey, she’s white. Good job.”
I laughed harder than I had all day.


Steph said...

All the reasons why i would never work with children.

Is it wrong that i liked the spunk of the first little girl?? She sounds like me! w00t!

Adam said...

And look how you turned out...