I was standing at my doorway talking to one of the other kindergarten teachers about the Halloween parade we would have with the classes on Friday. The children had their coats and backpacks on, and were milling around the room chatting and basically SHAKING with the anticipation of Halloween. I was facing the class and my teacher friend was standing in the doorway. Then, BAM! –in front of us stood Anthony. His pants were around his ankles, his underwear was ALMOST pulled up far enough to cover his private parts and he was SCREAMING at me, “MRS. PATRICK, I FORGOT TO POINT MY PENIS TO THE TOILET AND NOW MY PANTS ARE SOAKED!!”
Now, normally this wouldn’t get too much of a rise out of me. I have been teaching for 20 years, and have been in kindergarten for 7 – not much scares me anymore. However, they were going to be dismissing the kids in 60 SECONDS- and I had a half-naked boy who was not only screaming, his penis was bouncing up and down as he was jumping and begging me to get him some dry clothes. So, I FLEW to my closet, grabbed the clothes, dragged him to bathroom that is actually attached to our room, and threw him AND the clean clothes into the bathroom. “GET CHANGED- QUICKLY!!!!”
I waited for a minute, opened the door and was greeted by a WET pair of underwear in the face. (And it wasn’t water, that’s for sure!) Then, I saw Anthony lying on the floor, naked from the waist down, crying that he couldn’t wear the sweat pants because they “felt funny.” I BEGGED him for about 2 minutes to PLEASE put the pants on. He kept chanting, “No! No! No! No!” Then, as if GOD were speaking to me, I knew just what to do. I uttered these words to Anthony. “I’ll give you a prize from the prize box if you put those pants on!!!!”
And with that he jumped up and with a huge smile on his face said, “Okay!!!!”
I ran back to my closet while he put on the rest of the clothing, and just as he chose his prize the children were dismissed over the loud speaker. Did the other children notice the CHAOS? No. Did they care that a naked Anthony had been a screaming lunatic for the past four minutes? No. Did the teacher across the hall looked shocked by this whole exchange? No. Am I glad I have parents send in an extra set of clothes? You bet I am.
And, might I add, whoever said bribery doesn’t work, has NEVER, EVER worked with children.