Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Washing Waddles Away

Ravioli was on the menu today. That meant that at the end of the meal Byrne still had, even after copious wiping with his napkin, a spot of sauce remaining on his nose.

“Byrne, you need to go to the restroom, use it, and be sure to wash your face.” I pointed to my nose, trying to indicate where in particular he needed to clean.

“Oh, yes, Ma’am,” he replied. Troublemint Twins are at the very least polite.

He headed off to the Boys’ restroom in a walk that signaled this was the first of a long routine. It was a combination robot lock-step, arms-waving, Home Alone-faced (“Ahhhh!”), waddle. It was unique to him: The Byrne Waddle.

Two minutes latter her returned, sauce still in place. “Byrne, did you remember to wash your face?”

“Ahhhhh! No, Ma’am! I forgot. I mean, you didn’t tell me to. I mean… I forgot… I mean… I didn’t do it. Ahhhhh! I’ll go do it.” He took off with the Byrne Waddle.

Three minutes later he returned, sauce adhered firmly to his nose.

“Byrne, I’ve asked you twice to wash your face. If you can’t do it, I reckon I’ll have to do it for you.”

“No, Ma’am! I can do it myself. I don’t want you to do it for me. No way!” Once more we were treated to the Byrne Waddle. As with the smirk, nothing much gets accomplished as long as the waddle is foremost on Byrne's agenda.

When he rejoined us, we were in the classroom. I let him settle into his seat before I spoke to him again. By now the other students were quite interested in the proceedings, especially Jacob, who noticed the evidence immediately as Byrne waddled into the room.

“Byrne, did you remember to wash your face?”

The slap on his head told me what I needed to know.

I took him by the wrist and headed for the door.

“C’n I come, too?” Jacob called out gleefully.

I didn’t need any voyeurs. “Nope. You sit still.”

Between my classroom and the K-4/5s is one used for the after school program. As we grow larger it will be used as a regular classroom. Conveniently, it has a sink and is stocked with paper towels. It is much closer than the Boys’ restroom. It was all I needed for the intended purpose. I soaked a paper towel and went to work.

A bit later Byrne walked back into the classroom, where the other students were waiting with bated breath.

He was grinning from ear-to-ear.

“Don’t ever let Deaconess wash your face. It’s funny, but don’t ever let Deaconess wash your face.”

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