Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kids will be just kids - right? RIGHT?! Tell me I'm right.

I have a slight aversion to kids' spit, slobber, boogers, germs, cooties, pee, poop and throw up. Unless it's Mateo's. Well, except for his throw up. I still have a hard time with his throw up, especially when it's cottage cheesy and smells funkalicious. Okay, now that I've gotten everyone all grossed out, I'll proceed with my story.

I dropped Mateo off a bit later than normal due to him waking up at 3am and not wanting to go back to sleep until he had a belly full of milk, which was at 4:30am, and then he slept a luxurious additional 2 hours after that while I tried to get ready and start working.

When we got there, there were three other toddlers already sitting at the “food” table, eating various snacks. Mateo is used to being dropped off when there are either no other kids or one or two wandering around, so he acted a bit shy at first, then he walked over to the table. There was one empty chair so I grabbed his snacks and poured him some on a paper towel.

While he was quietly eating, like the innocent child he is who never ever stands on top of tables, bookcases or toys, or pushes or hits other children for that matter, I went over to the desk to fill out his day form. I turned myself so I could see what the innocent one was up to.

Right when I turned, a little girl sitting next to him reached over, grabbed a puff from Mateo’s pile, and put it in her mouth. He got upset because he’s too young to get that sort of thing, and gestured at her mouth like, “Hey!!! You stupid girl! Give me that back!!!! MINE!!!” The little girl saw me eyeballing her.

What did she do?

That’s right, because no one will ever notice this move; she reached into her mouth, pulled out the soggy, wet puff and put it back on Mateo’s paper towel, next to the pile of dry, fresh, untampered puffs. Mateo, being the 16-month old that he is, reached toward the wet, soggy puff. I was rushing in slow motion, saying, “Noooooooououououououoouuou...
….ddddddoooonnnnn’tttttttt doooooo tttthhhhhhaaaattttt!” without trying to look too crazy.

I got to the table faster than Mateo could pick up the soggy puff and put it in his mouth. The little girl looked at me all innocent-like. She was told by a teacher to move her puff-stealing butt and go play. She refused. I said that she took one of Mateo’s puffs and he’s a bit weirded out now (Okay, maybe I was. He seemed perfectly content eating a soggy puff like the little baby bird he is.).

The teacher then said that she thinks she can do anything she wants because her mom lets her do anything she wants.

Ahhhh, I replied.

While this may sound like a mean thing to say to another parent, I happen to really like this teacher because she tells it like it is to the correct people (my husband and I). As long as she’s not saying mean things about Mateo, or as long as I never hear them, then I’m good.

The little girl was then removed from the table. She ran off in a crying huff while Mateo sat innocently (he’s an angel, really, he is), fearing that some other brut of a toddler was going to come along and steal his puffs, eat them, regurgitate the puffs and plop the soggy mess back on his paper towel.

I plunked a puff in his mouth, kissed him goodbye and left before he flipped out over my departure.

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