Thursday, May 15, 2008

Punked

They don't pay me enough for days like this. I was punked by a kindergartener today.

I was doing my usual lunch patrol, walking up and down the lunch pavilion like an officer doing her nightly checks at the county jail. Walkie talkie in hand, I look over the sea of children silently eating their food. There is no talking allowed in the lunch pavilion. 

My peaceful pavilion crumbled when a parent volunteer yelled, "GET OFF THE TABLE!!" My eyes dart over to see one of the parents yelling at a kindergartner who is sprawled out on top of one of the lunch tables.

I walk over thinking I could de-escalate the situation. Instead, I was bitten and scratched with a tetanus shot to show for it. Long story short, in order to keep the child from causing further harm to herself or others, I had to physically pick her up and bring her to the office. She took a bite out of me and dragged her nails up and down my forearm while en route to the office. I was bleeding and since she broke skin, the school nurse and other co-workers suggested that I get a tetanus shot. 

It took everything inside me to not lash out at her. I kept repeating to myself, "She's the child, you're the adult. She's 5 years old." Instead, I let her help me by handing me bandages and tissues as the nurse was cleaning me up. 

Here was a child who doesn't know how to handle anger and if I don't give her a way to rectify the situation, she'll just always choose anger without the tools to make the situation right. 

I'm not going to lie. I cursed the little girl out in my head while my doctor was administering the tetanus shot. I'm cursing her out now, as site of the injection is growing sore. 

But I will go back to work tomorrow.

5 comments:

Winnie said...

WHOA. This is insane! I can't believe a 5-year-old would do that :X

But wait a minute . . . why aren't kids allowed to talk during lunch? Aren't lunch periods supposed to be fun?

dapotato said...

oh man. [tenderly hugging you and avoiding the injection site and that arm that must be sore today.]

i really admire people that have jobs like you.

i am really saddened by this, too. :(

MissMissy said...

That's crazy! I'm so sorry! It's so sad the issues these little kids have at such a young age. Heart breaking. Bless your heart. You are a saint to work with little ones.

venn said...

If she doesn't have medical reasons for her behavior, then I'm sad to think about what goes on in that girl's home for her to think that THAT is the right way to deal with anger.

Big hugs to you.

wan-nabe said...

my goodness. i'm really shocked at this post. my first thought as i read it was "holy good god, what on earth must this little girl's home life be to create such anger in her, at that age?"

and now i want to give you a pretty hello kitty band-aid for your shot and hand you a big cupcake for your efforts.