We were having an all-school meeting in the cafeteria, and the kids got a little ice cream snack to eat before it started. As they finished, our principal called for silence and started talking. I was standing by the table of our rowdiest 7th grade boys, trying to use my presence to make sure they didn’t speak. I gave them a quick reminder as it started: “Keep your mouths closed and look over at the speaker.”
Of course, I was standing right next to the class clown, who had come in a little late and just started eating his ice cream. He got my attention and whispered, “Miss, how am I supposed to eat my ice cream if I have to keep my mouth closed?” He was trying to be difficult, and I’m happy to be difficult back. I responded, “I guess you’ll just have to rub it into your face and let it absorb through your skin.”
Mind you, he was perfectly aware that I wasn’t being serious. But he’s also a twelve-year-old boy, and they don’t miss out on opportunities to do stupid things. That kid sat through the entire rest of the meeting, using one of those tiny plastic spoons to sloooooooooooowly wipe bright pink ice cream in circles around his mouth. He didn’t make a sound and he rarely stopped watching the principal talk. Every so often, he’d look over at me with puppy dog eyes, silently asking if he was doing it right. I’d keep a straight face, nod, and direct his attention back to the front.
I get so caught up dealing with bad things in the office that I almost forget how much I adore these kids.