At the end of the day on Tuesday at work, one of my students, a very short little guy with more energy than you could imagine packed into his little body, walked up to me. I had my student ready to go on the other side of the room and was getting my things together. The student who walked up to me put his hand on my arm and said (he’s a little hard to understand so you really have to concentrate and sometimes repeat back to him to make sure you have things right). He was wearing a Pilot’s cap most likely belonging to a dress-up set we didn’t have all the pieces to.
Him: You’re under arrest.
Me: I’m under arrest?
Me: You can’t put me under arrest. Pilots can’t put people under arrest. Unless maybe you’re an Air Marshall. But I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t wear the hat. That’s what that means, the little wings on the hat, that you’re a pilot.
Him: (something I couldn’t understand) under arrest.
Me: (Note that through this whole conversation it never occurs to me to ask what I’m actually supposedly ‘under arrest’ for. I thought of that afterward). (As he starts to put me in “Jail.”) You can’t put me in jail. I’m just getting some things over here. I need to be with my student over there. I can’t leave him by himself for very long.
I thought he would just give up and go away at this point. He didn’t. He took my hand and led me (he’s a strong little guy) through the classroom and put me next to my student, who started to watch what was going on.
Me: What? Now we’re both under arrest? What did he do? Are we under martial law now? He does have to go to his bus. So do you, by the way.
Him: (Very imaginatively drawing bars of a jail cell, locking the imaginary lock and throwing away the key, then walking away quite satisfied while my student was laughing hysterically.)
So that was Monday. Also the longest interaction I think I’ve had with that student that he actually sought me out for. Interesting that it was to arrest me. Not sure I want to think about the implications of that.
Tuesday and Wednesday were fairly normal. Well, our normal. I think that differs from other people’s normal. Our Disneyfied student changed my name to Alice from Alice in Wonderland on Tuesday. I tried to get her to clarify (although I pretty much already knew it was the animated version) if it was the new one so I could fight the Jabberwocky, because I thought that would be sort of cool. She just gave me a funny, sort of pointed look. I was pushing it. In her mind, princesses do not fight. They are just princesses. So I stopped. I didn’t want to invoke a scene ending in her throwing herself to the ground (she tends toward melodrama–example, watching an animation short on groundhog day, when it talked about the groundhog crawling into a hole and sleeping all Winter, she climbed under a table, took off her glasses, and pretended to be asleep. She was promptly told by one of the other IAs she wasn’t a groundhog and given the choice of coming out from under the table by herself or with help. She did come out on the count of three on her own. When the count got to three).
We did have a fashion show on Tuesday, courtesy of an activity put together by our Speech Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist, who work as a team and are awesome together. I’ve been in a class they’ve worked in the first three years in elementary classrooms, but not last year, so I was happy they were going to be in the classroom I’m in now. The teacher filmed it on the iPad, and it is soo funny and awesome to watch. One little guy pops in and out–I said like Beaker, but she said like the little squirrel in Ice Age, which I haven’t seen but I do remember the clips with him in it, and that does seem more appropriate. All of a sudden, he’ll just run across the screen with his long satin gloves and mardi gras necklaces on. And sunglasses. It’s pretty awesome.
And then came Groundhog Day. Personally, I’ve never taken it seriously before and never really cared much about it. Cute little rodent (except for this year, as the Mayor of that town in New York found out when it bit his finger–“Wake me up, will you?”). I finally saw one for real when I visited my sister in Maryland a few years ago near the side of the road. They’re bigger than I thought. We did all kinds of Groundhog Day activities in our class. One was to make a groundhog on a popsicle stick that popped up out of a paper cup. It was very cute. We watched the aforementioned groundhog video. Then at lunch I fell off a lunch table bench with another student (trying to keep him from falling and he took me with him, and we both went over, him lying on my arm–one of the stranger and more bizarre things that’s happened to me at work–lying on the floor after landing on my butt on the lunchroom floor and laughing because it’s so ridiculous–sort of how I would imagine Humpty Dumpty). Did tweak my back. Neck tweaked earlier in the day because another student unexpectedly lunged at me and grabbed my clothes and necklace (that I finally started to wear because all our kids are so mild-mannered) and pulled me over sideways and tweaked my neck. He was honestly just playing–I’ve known him since before this class. Then had to deal with mostly non-verbal student student getting very angry with me because she’s a slow eater (I have to make her eat slow otherwise she eats too fast and is at risk of choking so have to tell her to put food or fork down after every bite) basically yelling at me in the middle of the cafeteria and me trying to remember enough ASL to sign to her (works best when she’s angry) that the other students have gone back to the classroom and that we can go back as soon as she dumps her tray. Lots of waving arms around and chest thumping with one hand (means me or I to her) and she hit my hands once when I was signing (so I stayed out of her range after that). We finally got back to classroom after I tried to remember the rhyme/song one of the other IA’s uses with her about her (student) working in a cupcake factory that I don’t know all the words to and was getting pretty creative with as she walks slowly and it’s a ways back to the classroom from the cafeteria–a couple of minutes. I was talking about putting Marshmallow Peeps on top of cupcakes by the time we got back. I was getting desperate. If this is the way Groundhog Day is going to go every year, I may call in sick next year!!
Today (Friday–I am taking a preplanned) personal day because I made an appointment that had to be rescheduled one time already while I wasn’t working that is at noon. I think I need the recovery day.