Monday, June 8, 2009

Lunch Conversation at Preschool

Our little preschool offers an after school program, where children can stay for an extra two hours after the school day is over. They can play on the playground, do crafts, and generally just have fun. They also get to eat lunch, which they bring from home.

I had the privilege of working Stay 'N' Play this year, and got to eat lunch with the students nearly every day. This is always fun. A highlight for the kids is when they ask me to help them open their fruit cup or yogurt. Because, inevitably, without fail, I would spill whatever it was that I was opening down the front of me. By the end of the year, I could seriously rock the "yogurt down the chest with Dole peaches splashed on top" look. My own kids absolutely loved it when I picked them up from their school sporting this look.

One of the best parts of working Stay 'N' Play for me was simply talking with the kids. I love listening to how they interact with each other, the things they say and how no matter how outrageous the lunch conversation might be, no one under the age of 6 ever bats an eyelash. Those older than 6? Well, I for one have blown Diet Pepsi out my nose on more than one occasion.

The following is a lunch conversation that took place during the last week of school....

Lynn: I haven't pooped in a long time.

Kobey: I pooped just now. It stank.

Lynn: My mom says I need to poop everyday. She said my poops are all stuck in my butt.

Lilly: Why would they want to stay in your butt? Mine always want to come out.

Lynn: My mom says I need to eat different food to make the poop come out. I have an apple and a bagel (holds them up for all to see). She said if I eat these the poops will come out.

Me: Well, go ahead and eat them.

Lynn: But I don't want them to come out here!

Me: It will take at least an hour for that food to make the poops come out. Your mom will be here before then.

Lynn looks at me doubtfully as she begins to munch on her apple.

Lilly, to me: Do you know Zack?

Me: Yep (Zack is Lilly's older brother, and one of my former students)

Lilly, to everyone else: Well, Zack, he is my brother, and he is a dude. Dude means he is a boy.

Everyone else: nods in understanding and agreement.

Lynn: I don't have a dude for a brother. I only have a sister. Who's a girl.

Lilly: Well, since Zack is a dude, he has a penis. And I am not allowed to touch his penis because that is his private place. Mom tells me over and over to respect his privacy.

Bob: I have a penis - does that mean I am a dude?

Lilly: Yep. Only dudes get to have a penis.

Bob: You know what I have? (I am expecting the worst here) A new Lego set.

Kobey: Cool!

Lilly: I don't like legos.

Lynn: My dad likes Legos.

Me: I love Legos, but I can't make cool things out of them

Bob, with exasperated eye roll: No, you can't, Mrs. Velarde, Legos are for KIDS.

And so the conversation continued in that vein. I think they eventually jumped to Star Wars. What struck me about this whole exchange is that I was the only one freaking out about the topic selections. Everyone calmly ate their sandwiches and drank their juice boxes while I was was mentally trying to figure out how to delicately change topics without anyone's feelings getting hurt or causing some other emotional damage. But my intervention was not needed, because, to little ones, talking about their body is as natural as talking about their toys.

Gosh, wouldn't it be nice to have that ability as an adult?

Colleague: Wow, you seem a little off today.

Me: My poops are stuck in my butt.

Colleague: Did you eat an apple? That always makes my poops come out.

Me: No, but thanks for the advice!

Yeah, that will never happen.....



Amy H said...

I would still love it if we lived in a world that appricated big chunky thighs on babies in adults! LOL
Have I told you lately how excited I am for Max to be in your class???

I really can't wait!

I can picture you calling roll and Max responding MARIN... I AM OVER HERE!!!!

Erin Dahl said...

Oh Marin, that's some funny $^#&! :) Yes, pun intended per the conversation topic. Thanks for relaying what my daughter and her friends discussed at lunch, although, I am not too proud to say that those similar topics tend to be discussed in our home at any time. Good times. And yes, you definitely can rock the spilled on look. Take care.