School Daze

It’s one of those situations where delicacy is most required.
And something that needs to be done within full view of other adults.
I was mentoring Friday, reading a few books over a school lunch of pancakes and eggs.
“Look, we got new milk,” Seth said. “It’s cookies and cream. And it TASTES like it, too.”
(It is an “acquired” taste, let me tell you.)
Anyway, we’re halfway into “Snow & Ice,” a book about, well, snow and ice, when Seth said, “If you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom.”
(He is a very well-mannered 8-year-old; when we get together, I make sure we shake hands as an introduction and ending.)
Few seconds later, he comes back.
“Uhh, I have a problem, I can’t get this knot undone.”
He’s wearing basketball warm-up pants, the kind that tie with a shoestring. And there’s a tight little knot in the string.
And instantly, I’m not sure how to deal with this catastrophe.
(And I’m feeling severe discomfort.)
Other tables with mentors and kids look up, smile.
I take out my Leatherman.
“You’re not going to CUT it are you?”
(Now I’m thinking, ‘Mess with a kid’s pants AND bring a knife to school, Oy.’)
“No, bud, watch this.”
And I take the needle-nose pliers and work the knot loose.
“Can you get it now?” I ask, hopeful.
“Yeah, I got it.”
And he bolts for the bathroom.
“Whoosh, that’s better,” he said on his return.
And a weary sigh escapes from my smile.

2 comments:

Shadow said...

well this brought a smile to my face... how ingenious of you.

Dominic Rivron said...

Can't beat a good school-life anecdote. (One of the great things about working in schools is the demand it constantly places on you ingenuity).