9.25.2013

A Bloody Mess, or, How Work Became a Horror Movie

I don't know why I wear nice things. I feel like my life's slogan is "This is why we can't have nice things." I've expressed my distress in the state of my wardrobe... stains, holes, the like. And really, why should I expect anymore? I work in a place of perpetual hand washing that doesn't seem to do any good, full of little hands that grab and PULL, if what they see is what they want.

But alas. I'm trying to do this whole "looking older" thing and it's working for the most part, my hair and make up contribute to that, I think, and sometimes my clothes
do as well.

But I just need to stop now.

(Disclaimer: Becca, don't worry. None of your clothing was harmed in the making of this blog post. The above paragraphs are just to express a point.)

I work almost exclusively in the two year olds' class now. It's been... well, it's been a challenge. They don't listen like older kids listen, not because they don't want to, simply because sometimes they just CAN'T. They have diapers, something that older kids don't have... and they don't understand the order of things in this world.

That being said, they are cute, nap time is AMAZING, and I feel really tall in their classroom where everything is even more mini than a usual preschool classroom.

Yesterday, little N was pushing the swing.

N is a solitary dude. He doesn't like cuddles. He doesn't like to "play nice", or play with others at all, really. What he DOES like is getting things his way and getting all of the attention. Which is hard, because there is a girl version of him in that class as well. This isn't at all to say he's a monster, because gosh darn it, he's got the prettiest eyes and an award winning smile.

N was pushing the swing.

He wasn't swinging on the swing, mind you... no one was yesterday, for some reason. Just pushing the swings. Push. Push. Push. I thought it was pretty harmless, it's better than sitting on a strip of rubber three feet off the ground. A piece of rubber that is moving all over the place. So pushing that piece of rubber with your feet securely on the ground can't be that big of the deal.

And then life slowed down as a thought entered my mind, watching N.

That swing is going to come back and he won't catch it. It will hit his face.

That is exactly what happened. He started crying, you know the drill, I picked him up and held him and said "Oh N, I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry..." I don't know why I tell them I'm sorry when they get hurt. I think it just makes them feel like it wasn't their fault that they got hurt, even though usually it is... maybe I was sorry because I knew that was going to happen, but by the time I realized it, it was too late to do anything.

He was squirming in my arms, though. I told you, he doesn't like cuddles. I started paying attention then, and realized that his arms were covered in blood. I turned him around, and so was his face.

COMMENCE SCREAMING.

Not really. I kept my cool and realized the swing had hit him square in the nose, and he had a bloody nose.

I gingerly picked up his arm between my thumb and my forefinger and led him inside, despite his screams of "I WANT TO PLAY I WANT TO PLAY LET ME STAY OUTSIDE I WANT TO PLAY."

This is foreshadowing.

Blood doesn't come off very well, and it was getting all over him. First I tried paper towels, but it was making a bigger mess, so I grabbed his wipes and did the best I could.

Bloody noses shouldn't be a big deal. Clean up, put a tissue on it... but little kids don't believe in tissues. Who needs a tissue when your torso is draped in a convenient cloth that doubles as a kleenex, a binky, a washcloth, and a napkin! He fought my tissued attempts at getting him clean and rubbed his face all over his shirt. When his shirt wasn't doing the trick, he switched to using his arms.

"N!!!! I NEED TO CLEAN YOU OFF! HOLD STILL!"

Oh no. I used the trigger words. Hold. Still. They are words he understands, alright, but he just interprets them differently than the rest of the English speaking population. To him, hold still means RUN AROUND THE CLASSROOM AS FAST AS YOU CAN, DON'T GET CAUGHT, AND SCREAM.

So that is what happened.

Eventually I found a way to pin a toddler down! It was pretty tricky, because it had to meet the following criteria:

Pinning a toddler with a bloody nose must...

   Not get blood on you.
   Not get blood on the toys and ground and walls and stuff.
   Not harm the child in any way.
   Not LOOK like you're harming the child in any way.
   Not look like you are constraining the child, in case someone important walks by (When in fact, you are constraining him with everything you've got.
   Leave one hand free in order to do the cleaning.

Some how I did it. I found a magical move that met all of those requirements. I got him cleaned as he was doing a mix of laughing like a mad man, spitting on me, and screaming at the top of his lungs.

And I got out of this with no blood on my clothes. Granted, I had blood all over my hands, all over my arms, somehow, all over my face... but none on my clothes.

Mission accomplished.

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