Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You Know What Would Really Piss Me Off?


You know what would really piss me off?

It would really piss me off if a large, strong stranger snatched me from my pleasures, carried me into the bathroom, laid me on a table, pulled off my pants and removed my underwear.

It would really piss me off if she robbed me of that familiar warm pungency that had been, from time to time at least, a part of me since before I can remember.

I would rage and rail at her, let me tell you. I would kick my legs and arch my back against her efforts, and it would only piss me off more to realize that fighting back was futile, she was going to do this to me solely by virtue of her greater strength. I would scream so that my voice pieced through doors and cinderblock walls, all the way to where the others were still playing while I suffered this outrage.


And even after she forced me back into my pants and stood me back on the floor, I would continue to bleat my complaint with every fiber of my being, showing hot red cheeks to the world. I would rage until my blue eyes showed red as well, swimming behind a volume of tears that would run down my face and drip freely to the ground. I would take my complaint outdoors, back to where I was first accosted, venting my righteous fury to the heavens.

I wouldn't stop when Teacher Tom beat his drum, boom-boom, boom-boom-boom, boom-boom-boom-boom, but my body would at least respond to its by now familiar message, even while I protested my recent indignity.

I wouldn't be myself again until we were seated on the blue rug, singing familiar songs.

Man, that would really piss me off.

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21 comments:

Deborah said...

I am with you - that would piss me off too and I would make sure the world heard about it! Doesn't it break your heart when we lose empathy for the children we care for or never have it in the first place?

Nikoli said...

LOL! Wait, I mean, that's HORRIBLE! :) Great post!

dulcie said...

Do you teach workshops? I would love to come visit you and your school.

Deborah said...

Hey Tom - I think you need this today:) http://www.stressfreekids.com/articles/reduce-anxiety/

Alicia said...

Teacher Tom, I love you. :)

Anonymous said...

And wouldn't it be nice if she stopped and took a moment to explain to you what was happening and gave you a choice of now or in 5 minutes and then heard and empathized with your outrage and helped you come back to center. Thanks for the reminder Tom.

Scott said...

I agree with Anonymous. She should at least talk to me. I might still be pissed off, but maybe I'd hear her say she understands.

Thanks for the post, Tom. Always making me think!

Beansprouts said...

Agree with Anonymous and Scott! Talk me through it. I always compare it to when I go to my dentist. My new dentist explains each detail of what he is doing, and it is amazing how that comforts me enough to cope with the drilling, poking and prodding. Even though I know what those sounds are, I still need that verbal reassurance.

Teacher Tom said...

Oh, believe me we all talked, cooed and reassured. We might have helped him understand, but it didn't change his feelings.

I have nothing but respect for his rage and felt no compulsion to help him get over it. It was a righteous feeling, I'm glad he let it fill him up. I'm glad it ran it's course. And I'm glad he got to the other side where we were singing songs.

Michelle said...

Becoming a Big Kid can be pretty darn hard sometimes. And where they learn to work through that indignity & rage, they also will begin to realize that going to the potty themself is a whole lot easier :) And sometimes, just sometimes, the adults do know better than to let them stay in that state for their own sake as well as the sake of their classmates, even if they don't agree.

Sherry and Donna said...

You know what? ... if a "strong stranger snatched me from my pleasures, carried me into the bathroom, laid me on a table, pulled off my pants and removed my underwear" ... that would more than piss me off! In fact I'd have him arrested!
Perhaps adults in the 'care' of children really do need to take a step back and think about how they would feel about a other issues too, like being told when to play, when to eat, when to sleep, what to wear, when to smile, who to kiss, how much to talk ... well you know what I mean, because being told when to do all of that would really piss me off too!
Donna :) :)

Jen Widrig said...

Tom, I almost did the same thing to a kid last year. I had worked in daycare for years and nearly went into that mode. At the daycare, what the parents would think if they saw a kids with wet pants was more important than the kid's feelings and right to decide what happened to his body. It's shocking to me now to realize how little care we had for kids' feelings at that place. They learned over and over that what parents think is all that matters. No wonder young people in our society are so filled with rage!

Art Project Girl said...

So had that sort of day too! I think my student was too scared to be pissed off though! Great writing!

Melly said...

Love your perspective Teacher Tom - he has a right to his emotions and you are so great for respecting that. Kudos

Kate said...

I found your site from Pumpkin Delight. I love it. I’m going to poke around a little bit, but don’t worry I’ll put everything back where I found it!!

kristin said...

i'm thanking all things Good and Right that you are in the job you are.

GianneCurry said...

Thanks again for being so right on the money! I have often thought this. And how about when they are even smaller and are moved from room to room not knowing what will happen next and at times bummed they are moving away from something they wanted to explore some more?

Anonymous said...

How absolutely true and how very well written!

Sadly, I think teachers get stuck in the mode of 'got to get this done', rather than letting it happen at the child's pace. Also, what would really piss me off, is if someone walked up behind me, without me knowing, and looked down the back of my pants to see whether I needed a nappy change!!! Grr!

toasted said...

I love that you posted this. A nice reminder of the essence of the matter.

I recoiled a little because I know I have been guilty of this. Stressed out, too many children wanting to do things at their own pace, me the one in charge needing to get some things done (and I don't mean insignificant things like 'clean the house' here, I mean 'provide food' type things) ... I never thought I would be this disrespectful, but I hadn't figured on patches of having too much pressure in my life and having no breaks from parenting small children.

... and yet I know if I can just check the bigger picture, everyone will be happier more of the time if i can just keep the respect.

Early Childhood Education and Common Sense said...

Tom, you have wonderful empathy for and insight to the inner world of young children.

Sometimes I can be concerned with what my director thinks and what the parents expect, and rush to try and change the diapers, without taking into account the feelings of the child. (In my group they are very young and mostly in diapers)

Giving choices is a good way to help this situation, and empowering the child is so But as you point out the child has the right to his/ her outrage.

The Knitty Gritty Homestead said...

As a parent, I learned early to talk to my children before, during, and after diaper changes...my mother is always amazed that my 2.5 year old has ALWAYS cooperatively laid herself down to be changed, without struggling to get away. I wonder if it's because she always knew what was going on? You have expressed this so eloquently; as parents and teachers, we can all do with reminders to be conscious of our little charges as individuals, worthy of respect and dignity, and to remember that their bodies are THEIRS.

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