Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Flying Food Particles OR Kids Are Gross

Monday is my volunteer day at the girls' school. I start with Writing Workshop in Vida's classroom, move on to 3rd/4th/5th grade yard duty (where I try to even things attention-wise by over-chatting with Risa), and finally head over to Lea's classroom to help with reading groups. I find all of this enjoyable and rewarding, with the pronounced exception of the 40 minutes I spend supervising the lunch tables.

Kids are gross.

They are so, so gross.

Unleashed after more than 3 classroom hours, they are like rabid feral beasts. They have no sense of personal space, and despite the fact that there is plenty of room to keep a good ten inches between their butts, they prefer to sit on top of each other the better to push and elbow and tickle and lean. They also like to scream directly into each other's ears. Everyone touches everyone else's food, and they are laughing and guffawing in a way that encourages semi-chewed food particles to fly out of their mouths and land, let's say, behind the ear of someone else.

Last week one of the kids picked up a handful of tater tots, smooshed them on top of his hamburger, and then covered the whole thing in two packets of mustard. The worst part? HE ATE IT. Someone didn't want their carton of milk, so I walked amongst the tables asking if anyone wanted it. This set off a frenzy between two boys, and I was only able to quiet them down when I told them they'd have to Ro Sham Bo for it (Ro Sham Bo works in a variety of situations, actually, and because there is always a clear winner when using the "best of 3" option, there is never any argument afterwards). One kid asked me if he thought he needed plastic surgery. I told him I'd get back to him next week. Another scowled when I said I liked his haircut. One kid's garbage was free floating all over the place. "'Scuse me, Mister," said I. "Can you please pick up your garbage?" He then rolled his eyes, which ignited a stare-off between us.

I won.

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