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
TEACHER AS TRUCK MECHANIC
Three young boys especially enjoy playing
together with toy trucks. Their typical ritual is to get identical,
or nearly identical, trucks and wheel them together, single file, all
over the play yard.
The other day two of the boys were happily
playing in the sandbox with identical orange, two-piece cab-and-trailer
trucks that lock together. My attention was drawn as the third child
began throwing a fit. I was puzzled to see a third truck that looked
exactly like the ones the other two boys were playing with, sitting
untouched in the sand.
"Why, Martin," I said. "There's a truck
just like the one William and Calvin are playing with! Why don't you
just use that one?"
"It's broken!" Martin wailed.
Picking up the truck to see if I might
be able to fix it, I found the body intact and the wheels fluid. The
whole truck appeared fine. "Look, Martin,
it works fine!" I said, thinking this news might make him happy.
"The headlight's broken!" he sobbed,
jumping up and down. "The headlight?"
I repeated. I hadn't even realized these toys had headlights.
I took a look at the front of the truck. Small square, yellow decals,
supposed to represent headlights, were affixed to each side.
"It looks ok to me," I said.
"No it's not, it's broken!" Martin shouted,
coming over to me. "See?"
As I watched, Martin pointed. I saw that
each headlight decal had a thin, black outline. The outline of one of
the headlights was worn away in one place about 1/4 inch long.
"William, will you please trade trucks
with Martin? This truck's really fine," I said.
"I'm not using that truck!" William said.
"How about you, Calvin?"
"That one's broken!" Calvin replied.
I looked helplessly from child to child.
Suddenly, I had an idea. I pulled a pen out of my pocket. Carefully,
I cradled the truck in my arms and drew in the missing line.
"Martin!" I called. "Look! I've fixed
Martin skeptically walked back over and
took another look at the truck. A huge smile broke upon his face,
and I swear, I could see his imagination at work! It looked like the
headlight on the truck actually switched on as he became aware of the
The three boys zoomed merrily away, their
caravan of identical orange trucks barreling over the sand and then
over the wooden railings that support our play area, all the way down
to the other end.
continued back contents title
"What Remains Is
the Essence", the home pages of Max Reif:
Hall of Famous Jokes", whimsical
prose, paintings, spiritual
recollection, and much more!
the stories? Have any of your own ?
Please introduce yourself:
send an e-mail
sign my Guestbook