This has been one of those weeks. We had a very odd sub come in on Monday, and as far as I’m concerned, she can go be a sub at the bottom of a lake somewhere. A deep lake. Seriously, do not tell any of my special needs students to “stop being a baby.” Goddamn it, if I’d heard her say that, instead of hearing it second hand, I would have told her to shut up. Why the other para didn’t is beyond me.
So that was the tone set for the week, and Wednesday brought out the special effects for the occasion. My boy, Mr. Cheek, loves to watch the buses so we do that every morning. Once the last one has gone and the bell has rung, it’s time to run the gauntlet, which is entering one of the hallways crammed with jostling students, and pushing through while making happy noises.
His happy noises resemble the same happy noises made by goats. Happy goats. Very happy…goats. When we went around a corner, there was a new face in the crowd. A new adult face. It was a visiting teacher (also known as a substitute). This guy looked like a young Justin Timberlake and he smiled as we approached.
You should have seen that smile disappear the moment Mr. Cheek greeted him in a new (to me) fashion. Mr. Cheek did not grope Mr. Young Teacher’s chest area, oh, no. Mr. Cheek went right for the groin.
“Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry! No! You’re supposed to say ‘hi’ to people, not do that.”
“That’s ok,” the gracious fellow said. He couldn’t back away because the idiot was standing with his back pressed to the wall. Note: You should always give yourself a few inches of space to maneuver in middle school halls. Always. Don’t lean against anything and be ready to leap out of the way at any given moment.
I apologized one more time and attempted to distract my charge from the fellow’s private sector. It didn’t work. Mr. Cheek did it again!
“Ok, that’s enough, we need to get to class. Welcome to the school. I hope your day goes better. At least it won’t be much worse.” I looked at Mr. Cheek who was already eyeballing more mischief to get into. “Unlike my day, I imagine,” I muttered as I went after my young charge just before he bowled into a knot of students, scattering them like tenpins.
Later, we headed to the park for P.E. Like many parks in the area, there is a walking trail that makes it easy to traverse no matter how you get around, by foot or by wheel. Our teacher likes to take advantage of the nice weather when we have it, so away we went. Mr. Cheek and I took our first lap, and he decided we needed to take another. It was going GREAT until he saw the squirrels. He stopped suddenly and stared. The squirrels stared back. He made a strange guttural sound and I thought he was afraid.
I am such a nitwit.
Before I could say, “Its ok, Mr. Cheek, it’s just a squirrel,” Mr. Cheek was off and running, chasing the little gray beasts right up a tree. Thankfully, Mr. Cheek does not climb trees. Once again I thought we were in the clear as we returned to our meander around the park, but it was not to be so easy. We rounded a corner and came face-to-face with a woman walking her Chihuahua. Mr. Cheek made that guttural sound again.
“No!” I told Mr. Cheek, “That is NOT a squirrel. You may not chase it. Look! There’s the bathroom! Want to go hang out there and flush the toilets for a while?”