School 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 activities supervisor


   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 treat.
    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 wall.
      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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