Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Words I Never Thought I Would Say Together

"Please don't lick the toilet"


While I have certainly used all 5 of those words separately, I never had the opportunity to use them in quite that way. Especially "lick" and "toilet" in the same sentence. But as the little boy was exploring the toilet orally, I found the need to say that phrase. And funny, I had to say it more than once, with growing exasperation, because he wouldn't stop. licking. the. toilet.

Another one? "Please don't touch your friend's tongue with your tongue". Who would have thought we would be into heavy petting in preschool? Actually it was two girls simply seeing what it felt like, and even as the words rolled off my tongue, I realized how just wrong it sounded.

"Only one girl on the toilet at a time." Four were trying to share.

"Take your feet out of her mouth." Somehow the feet were in the mouth without the owner of the mouth's permission.

Then, yesterday, I had a couple within a few minutes. I walked into the boys restroom to make sure everyone was doing their business and washing their hands, and saw that the boys were...comparing....well, to put it in preschool speak, their privates. I interrupted a lively discussion about color and size. Now, my coworkers tell me I missed an excellent teaching opportunity. That I should have immediately set up a graph and took out rulers and graphed sizes, colors and shapes, and made this into a teachable moment. But no, I missed that teaching opportunity to utter the words," Underwear stays at your waist until you are in front of the toilet."

Eloquence, at its best, right there.

Frankly, teaching the etiquette of the boys' restroom is a little beyond me. My husband and his buddies talk about eyes staring straight ahead while standing at the urinal. Try telling this to a three year old. My husband and his cronies also talk about how crossed streams will somehow cause the end of the world a la "Ghostbusters". My coworkers and I, not really believing these tales the men tell, but at the same time not wanting to tempt fate, came up with the "Privacy Line". A line of tape on the floor that you need to stand behind until your friend is done with his business. A lot of conversations about privacy and respect go on when talking about the Privacy Line. In my class, the space behind the Privacy Line has become the "Let's compare underwear area". This is a highlight in these boys' days. And once, two boys were wearing the same underwear - you can imagine the excitement. This happened in October, and they all still reminisce about that like it was Woodstock or something. "Remember when we wore the same underwear? That was AWESOME!"

So, I guess the natural progression after comparing underwear would be to compare what the underwear was covering, don't know why it caught me off guard. But I try to be very matter of fact about privates and such; I answer all questions and try to handle all situations that come my way calmly and honestly, like I would if they were asking me what color the sky is.

Like the time a little boy raised his hand during a story and said, "My wiener just got really big". I just replied, "Thank you, Michael" and continued with the story.

But all of my matter of fact reasoning went out the window yesterday, when after I threw out the "underwear at the waist" gem, a little boy placed his face against the back of the urinal as he flushed it, so the water ran down his face.

What did I say? Did I take advantage of this teachable moment? Did I seize upon the chance to talk about germs? No....



"Please don't put your face in the urinal while you flush it. Or ever"

Once again...face and urinal, two words that really shouldn't be in a sentence together.


Amy H said...

Oh Marin- I am at work and laughing so hard I am sure they all think I am crazy! I can't wait tillyou have Max in class! I can only imagine the stories that will be....!

palley said...

Hilarious! Modesty is not something you seem to worry about at preschool. Why shut the door? I might miss something. I had a student last year who's good friend was touring the school. Instead of showing her around and introducing her to her classmates, my student decided it was time for her to spend some quality time sitting on the toilet. Why not entertain and take care of business at the same time! She literally sat having a lengthy conversation with the prospective student and her grownups while conducting her business #2. It didn't don on me until about 5 minutes into it! She was floored when I asked her to shut the door! How could she be a hostess with the door shut?

BTW, I admit that it was my beautiful son who Marin requested to stop licking the toilet. It wasn't the first time either!