Days and Preschool Days, Too:
A treasury of anecdotes culled from my work
and play as a preschool worker and an elementary school after- school
BY HAPPY CHANCE
Last week was
Daycare week, meaning school was on Spring Break, but several staff
members were present each day to supervise children at play. We do this,
of course, as a service to the many families with two working parents.
It was around 3 pm on Friday. I'd just helped
serve ice cream to the elementary school children as a last-day snack
Finishing that task, I took a moment to go to use
the boys' bathroom down the hall and around the corner. I pushed open
the door, only to find a diminutive kindergartener named Bret lying
down, 3 feet in the air, across the tops of a couple dozen folding chairs
that were packed into a cart and held tightly in a standing position
by bungee cords.
Bret said to me in a whimpering, terrified
voice, "Mr. Max, I got locked in here!" Lifting him off the chair-tops,
I held and comforted him as he cried.
The door hadn't literally been locked,
or how could I have gotten in? But I realized what had happened. So
that just such a situation won't occur, that portal is always kept propped
open with a thick metal hook that anchors it to a ring on the bathroom
That hook had somehow gotten displaced.
It was much too heavy for Bret to pull open, although he had been able
to exert enough leverage to push it from the outside to get in.
Bret said he'd only been stuck in there
for about five minutes, and he appeared to recover quickly from his
trauma. By the time I told his dad, who picked him up, what had happened,
he was fully himself.
The world can certainly be perilous,
though, when you're small.
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