I've been substitute teaching a lot lately and the funny/strange stories have been piling up. That's why I've decided to share a couple of things with you before I forget them.
The first, and probably most comical, happened recently while I was subbing in a Kindergarten classroom. For someone who is not used to teaching kids under the age of twelve, I always get a bit nervous knowing I'll be the only adult in the room with twenty or more five-year-olds who sometimes pee their pants or worse. I love hearing the things that come out of the mouths of babes and that day during "Morning Meeting" was pretty classic. I had gathered the class to sit in a circle on the mat and the kiddos were taking turns sharing something from their weekend, that morning, where they were going on vacation when they turned six, or how their dog pooped in the kitchen and their mommy stepped in it. You never know what will come out of a little kid's mouth. While I pretended to listen to a riveting tale about legos, little Johnny (obviously a name change), interrupted the speaker to ask a very interesting question.
"Is it true that hot girls get pregnant easier?"
Well who wants to hear about legos after a question like that? As fun as it would have been to entertain an answer, or start a debate, I explained to little Johnny that a good friend doesn't interrupt when someone is telling a story about legos. Nice diversion right? That would have been one heck of an interesting conversation.
The second story I have for you isn't as funny as it is perplexing. I don't want you to think I'm making fun of this kid when I tell this story, so I'd like for you to get in the right frame of mind before I go into detail. Think back to when you were say, eight or nine. What did you look like back then? Did you have a super cool haircut and awesome 80's or 90's clothes purchased by your mom from the kid section at Sears? My clothes, size 6X corduroys that fit me for three years because I didn't grow, were actually from the same J.C.Penny where I had my bangs permed. That's right, just my bangs. Before you go picking on my mom, it was my idea, and against her better judgement she caved. Anyway, do you have a rough visual of what I looked like when I was nine? Kelly green cords, a white turtleneck, black and orange high tops, and kick ass permed bangs. I rocked the fourth grade.
Now fast forward 21 years and I'm a substitute teacher taking attendance in a fourth grade classroom. Not much has changed in terms of nine year olds being awkward. What has changed, as I discovered during roll call, are names. Apparently unisex names have been trending with parents these days. In this one class of nineteen, there was a Bailey, a Mason, a Peyton, and a Hunter. Before you say those are all boy names, think again. Bailey, Mason and Hunter were all definite girls. Peyton however... I still don't know.
I went the entire day waiting for Peyton's friends to utter a simple pronoun. Nothing. What did the kid look like? Well, with short hair and clothes that could go either way, let's just say the physical appearance didn't give anything away. I literally have no idea. Have you ever seen the movie, It's Pat? Well this was real life and I was/am equally perplexed. The kid wasn't funny looking. I'm honestly not making fun of the child. During recess Peyton played with one boy and two girls. When I talked to Randsome about it he asked about the voice. "Girly voice," I said. But honestly, how many nine year olds have masculine voices?
I'm sure if I spent more than seven hours with the kid I'd eventually figure it out. I also may never figure it out. I substitute teach in over fifteen schools in four districts, I may never see this kid again. I may always wonder if Peyton is a boy or a girl because his/her parents decided to give their kid a unisex name, cut his/her hair short, and then dress him/her in clothing that could go either way. Think about that before anyone gets offended by this post.
Okay, let's end this with a joke provided by a fifth grade boy. It went like this:
Q.)How do you make a tissue dance?
A.)You give it a little boogie!
Kids are hilarious.