Tuesday, November 06, 2012

I Got Up And Went Someplace Else

I was looking for a way to be useful yesterday and plopped myself down on the carpet between Cai and Audrey, each of whom seemed to have been playing in their own little worlds for quite some time. I thought maybe they needed me, if only as a playmate. 

Audrey had collected a number of animal figures, which she had arranged together in a single room of a doll house with which she played. 

I picked up a zebra saying, "I have a zebra for your house."

She looked from the zebra I held in my fingers, to my face, to her doll house. She said, "I already have a zebra," then returned to her game.

I reclined myself on the rug and rolled toward Cai. He was playing with a parking garage, repeatedly making a soft, high pitched sound. I said, "I hear a siren! It's an emergency," trying to join in his game.

He stopped, looked at me blankly for a moment, then smiled as if he suspected me of a joke, "It's not a siren." He then went back to making his sound while pushing cars on the ramps.

I then noticed Audrey standing beside me. Sometimes kids use adults as an avenue by which to enter into play with another child. I thought I'd help that along. I said to Audrey, "I thought Cai had an emergency, but I was wrong." It was then that I realized that she wasn't looking at Cai, but rather at me where I sprawled out on the floor, and I got the idea that I was in her way. "Do you want me to move?"

She answered, "Yes," so I sat up, curling my legs under me. She then went to Cai and asked, "Do you need to go to the hospital?" He answered, "Yes, I'm crashed," handing her one of his cars, which she then carried to her doll house. It was then that I noticed a collection of cars tucked into another room of the house.

I got up and went someplace else.

I found River and Calder in what appeared to be a conflict over a toy "boulder." Oh good, I thought, I can be useful here and took a seat beside them.

Calder had lowered his brows fiercely and in a steady, firm voice said, "I want it . . . please."

River answered, "I'll give it to you when I'm finished with it."

"But you'll take a long time."

There were several other boulders scattered around the rug. This was not a one-of-a-kind item. I said, "I see more boulders over there."

The boys looked at me blankly for a moment, interrupted in their negotiations.

River then turned to Calder and said, "I'll take a short time."

And Calder answered, "Thank you."

I got up and went someplace else.

Connor was playing alone in the corner of the rug with another of our parking garage toys. He looked frustrated, muttering intensely as he attempted to wrest or push or otherwise force something to move that wasn't moving. I dropped to my knees, thinking I could at least use my superior physical strength to dislodge whatever was lodged in there. "Your cars are stuck."

"The cars aren't stuck, Teacher Tom, they're having a traffic jam. That's why they have to drive slow."

"Your face looks frustrated."

"It's a traffic jam."

I got up and went someplace else.

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Jess64 said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm loving reading your interactions with kids.

Annicles said...

Sometimes that's just all we can do - get out of the way! I had that kind of day with my 6-9 year olds today. Nobody needed me. They were all researching their own stuff and other than the odd spelling wanted me for nothing. I went and made stuff. At least I know it will be wanted!

Anonymous said...

This was lovely. Thank you

Kerry said...

The joys of being redundant--I love days like that.