Volunteering for Vomit
So today was Duty Free lunch at school, where the teachers get to have a nice, quiet lunch while the parents sit with the children. I look forward to these days because I get to spend time with the kids without schoolwork being involved.
I sat with my son's 4th grade class first. Right off the bat, I was told they were on 'Silent Lunch'. (That means they did something wrong.) Now, when that happens the adult in charge has to babysit these children to enforce the Silent Lunch rule. That's not really my idea of fun, but I signed up for it. For the most part, the short 25 minute lunch break (at 10:30 in the morning which is ridiculous) went fine. One child tried to push me as hard as he could, and ended up being separated from the group. Other than that, lunch was pretty uneventful.
Then I moved to my daughter's 2nd grade class, who were very well-behaved. They moved quietly to the lunchroom, sat in their seats and weren't on Silent Lunch (yay!). We were enjoying the beginning of our lunch when one of the girls spoke up, "Mrs. Chaos," she said, "my best friend just found out she has cancer. She's coming over this afternoon to tell me all about it." My heart sunk. I volunteered to hang out with them during lunch and goof around - not for therapy! Not a minute later, a girl on the other side of the table said, "Really? My aunt just found out she has lung cancer and has to have surgery on Tuesday." I tried to figure out what the right thing was to say, but not being trained in that sort of thing I was pretty much stumped. But 2nd graders - they've got it figured out. One of the other little girls said, "We should pray for them."
I sat there, looking at that precious little girl, thinking how wise she was - when I heard a familiar, awful sound. I turned and looked to see another child throwing her lunch up on the lunch table. She continued on down the hall to first aid. She was so sick, so embarrassed, I felt so badly for her. I just wanted to clean her up and wrap her up and rock her until her mom got there - but I had a table full of kids waiting on me in the lunch room!
Again, not my idea of fun, and certainly not what I signed up for- at all. But so much easier to deal with because the children had been so sweet and easy while in my care.
So the moral of the story is: be kind to your parent volunteers - you never know when you might have to gack on them.