In Australia, we have a van, called ‘Life Education’. It promotes healthy living and educates all children (younger children more subtly) about drug use and its dangers. The younger children engage with a giraffe named Harold. The van is AWESOME and I loved visiting when I was a kid.
The visit can bring up feelings of worry and concern as it discusses smoking and how bad it is for you. Children who have parents who smoke usually want to talk about this after the visit.
A child asked me,
“Have you ever smoked, Miss Rainbow?”
Before I could tell them that no, never have I smoked a cigarette, I was told,
“No, you’re too pretty to smoke.”
And that was that!
Today, while discussing siblings and the sizes of families, one child announced,
“Well my Mother has five children and she delivered them all naturally. Dad had enough once she had me, so she’s got the clip in her belly to stop the babies getting in!”
Good to know, child. Good to know.
While playing a gam of ‘Round the World’ with my class one child became quite anxious. Initially, as the competing children came closer to her, she said she had butterflies. Then, as the child approached her chair to stand behind, she announced,
“Oh it’s just too much! I need to go and do a nervous wee! I’l be back…’
And off she ran to the bathroom before her competing turn arrived!
Today, we were on an excursion and the toilets were unsavoury to say the least (I wouldn’t let my dog sniff them…). I had pre-warned the children to try to go to the toilet twice before we left, as well as not to guzzle the water in their water bottle. At the end of our exploring, one child came to me and said, ‘Miss Rainbow, I know the toilets are bad, but that seriously doesn’t even matter to me right now. That’s how much I’m busting.’ I told her I explained that I understood her ‘busting’ feeling (I actually did) but I really would prefer for her to hold it until we got back to school (on a nice, bouncy bus).
One child had a better suggestion,
“She could just do a bush wee!”
In Australia, that’s the equivalent of taking a squat (for a lady) in a forrest or any sort of nature-like setting.
Yesterday afternoon, the clouds darkened as playtime drew to a close (while in the staff room, all the teachers prayed for no rain until the bell went!). The children commented about the huge storm that was coming. I checked online and could report that no warnings for a storm existed and perhaps some showers, but no storm.
Five minutes later, the loudest, most sudden and angry clap of thunder shook our quiet, hard-working classroom. At the time, I was writing on the whiteboard. The pen kept going on the board as I jumped with fright. Out of nowhere, a child exclaimed,
“Lordy be, that frightened me! I nearly wet my pants!”
I asked, “Who says that in your family?”
“Nanna, she says it all of the time!”
Poor Nanna. Poor little kid!
Today we talked about how much we loved our siblings, cousins and family. One child said, ‘It is really hard to love my sister. Somedays I don’t love her at all.’ Aware the discussion had moved to shaky ground, I said, ‘Surely you’ve loved her a little bit on some days…’. The child paused for a moment and said,
“Yeah, somedays I love her as much as I love a bird.”
That’s real, true, deep love.
Today, a boy, all of six years of age, held a door open for me. At my school we have ‘First Class Friend’ tickets that are handed out to children who are being ‘First Class Friends’. They can be handed out to children who are being helpful, showing good manners, showing kindness, showing a positive attitude, playing fairly and a few other things.
I wrote one for the boy who held the door open for me. While I was writing it, he said,
“You know I didn’t do it because I like you. I did it because my Dad said you should always do that for ladies.”
At least he called me a lady…