Sunday, 28 May 2017

An Ode to Two-Year-Olds


Two-year-olds get a bad rap.

Sure, they react to mundane tasks with a disproportionate level of disgust and their reactivity does not distinguish phrases like "Please put on your shoes" from  "Please chop your foot off."  They scream, they yell "no!" a lot, and they flail on the ground.

However, there are a lot of amazing things that two-year-olds do that people forget to talk about.  Like when they say "tank you" for giving them medicine they hate, just because its over.  Or when they giggle when you say "I'mmmm going to get yooooou."  Or when they notice someone is crying and immediately offer hugs.

They are just so honest and sweet.  The other day Malcolm told me I was his best friend* and he melted my heart.  By the end of conversation, he decided Nevin was his best friend and I was downgraded to his birthday cake maker, but I still took it as a compliment.  Two year old love cake more than people.

They also do all sorts of weird and random things.  Today he closed the toilet seat, used it as a table, sat his almost naked bum on the floor, said "me read to you Mommy", and started doing his very best recitation of Eric Carle's Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?  It was fantastic and hilarious.

Two year olds have their ups and downs, but I think overall its an up situation.  Its just a temporary state of mind, a phase, a rough patch at worst.  After all, all my favourite people have been two at one point or another, and they are currently living in the "Awesome" column on my imaginary chart of People I Know.  So stop painting the twos with such broad negative brushstrokes, and pause next time you see a two year old being honest or hilarious.

*Only it sounded exactly like this: "Mommy my bess fenn," which is even better.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Fridays Nights, Working Late and Toilet Paper

A few weeks ago, I was working late on a Friday night.  I find lesson planning is more efficient when I can work on a series of lessons for a few hours at a time without distractions, so in that way, I love working late.

But on this day, Scarlett cried as she said goodbye to me and it was Friday, so things felt a little upside down.  I got a ton of work done but, of course, its never enough and as the minutes ticked closer to the pre-arranged time that my friend was supposed to pick me up I became more and more frustrated.  Why am I not home with my family?  Why can't I get things done faster?  Why, almost half way through my career, do I still have so much to figure out?

When my work time was up, I shut down the computer, stood up and cursed myself for not having stopped sooner to leave time for a bathroom break.  Now I'm going to be late, I thought.  I threw my stuff together, and having left now room to spare, realized that I was going to have to use the student washroom across from my office instead of the staff room.  The filthy room undoubtedly would be covered in graffiti about all the things I don't want to know about their lives.

I rushed into the dingy unknown with a sigh of frustration.

Except it wasn't dingy at all.  I was bright white with sparkling faucets and fully stocked soap dispensers.  There were no crude messages scrawled to loopy teenage script.  As I went to grab some toilet paper, I found the only little piece of graffiti in the whole place scratched into the plastic toilet paper holder:

Remember to breathe.
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