Today was my friend’s last day. My friend with the Fire Truck.
This morning, he saw me when I walked in. He showed me the book he brought for the center and then he followed me to the office. He noticed I have a backpack and he said, “You have a backpack too? Like mine?” I said, “Yes, I have a backpack.” I told him it was cool that we both had backpacks and we went into the classroom. His mother was still there. She stayed for a few minutes to talk to us and then said goodbye because his dad was coming to pick him up instead of her in the afternoon.
They didn’t have our usual play-dough out so we sat down at a table and he looked at the book he had brought with another teacher. After that, we started lacing spools. They had pipe cleaners and shoe laces that they were threading through the holes in the spools. He did most of them fine, but there were a couple of spools that he had trouble threading so he asked for my help, but he was pretty quiet for the rest of the time. I was told to go outside and help with the other group of kids which made me miss his little snack party.
When I saw him again, he ran over and sat in my lap during story time. After that we went outside and he pretended the caterpillar tunnel was a train, played in one of the houses for a while and then I had to take him inside. He started talking about fire safety from last week. He noticed a smoke detector and made the beeping noise. He told me that when there’s a fire that you have to leave. I said the word, “Exit.” Then he said, “Yeah. You exit.” He talked about how if you can’t get out the door you have to go out the window in the classroom. I asked him where we’re supposed to go once you get outside and he pointed to the door that leads to the parking lot. I said, “You know a lot about fire safety.” He said, “I know a lot about fire safety.”
We watched a short movie and then it was lunch time. The kids nap for a while after lunch, but he’s one of the ones that wake up early so I brought him back to the classroom. We played with play-dough for a while, but we had different molds to use. Some were dolphins, starfish, and lobsters and there is this thing that the kids call, “Crazy hair.” You push it down on to the play-dough and long stringy pieces come out of it. It’s like an extruder for clay. He made a few shapes, but he was back to being quiet again. Some of the other kids thanked him for bringing his book and he decided to play in the kitchen area with a telephone. I asked who he was calling and it turned out to be his dad.
A woman came in to do Tyche with the older kids and he didn’t want to participate so he brought his stuffed hedgehog over and sat with me. I always have called it, “igelkott” ever since his mother told us what the word for hedgehog is in Swedish. When I first said that to him, he laughed probably because I said it wrong. Then I got the other kids saying it and he’d laugh even harder at that. He finally started to look out the window until his dad drove up and he ran out of the classroom. The director stopped him and told him to make sure to get his lunch box. I ran after him because I didn’t want him leaving with out an adult. He almost forgot, “igelkott” so the director ran out to give it to him. When we got to the door to the lobby, his dad was there getting the rest of his stuff. He thanked another teacher and me for taking care of his son. Then he ran out the door and almost to the parking lot. I caught him and had to bring him back to his dad, but at first he wanted to stay in the entry way. Eventually, we were able to say goodbye to him and give him a hug. He was happy to be going home with his dad and quickly went out the door. I know he probably won’t remember me later, but I’ll always remember making big pancakes and counting eggs with play-dough, arguing about more pushes on the swing and, “igelkott.”