My Teacher Sat on My Couch
I’m participating in Mommy’s Piggy Tales Record Your Youth. Over the next 14 weeks (13 actually – I missed the first week) my Thursday posts will feature brief stories from when I was little. I hope that in writing and reading these posts, I can both be better about sharing my stories with my kids, and also have a more empathetic response in the moments where they are acting their age.
This week is “a story or highlights from your preschool-kindergarten years.”
When I was five, I got mumps. Twice. The first time was when our entire school welcomed St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas) as he visited our school. The second time was during our class’s Christmas breakfast. Which I would later learn was not to be missed because there were candles on the table and each kid got a clementine. And if you’ve never squirted the rind into the candle, well, you haven’t truly lived. But I didn’t know all that. I was home, resting. The doorbell rang. My teacher walked in. My teacher!? What was she doing here? Why did my mom serve her coffee? She was visiting? Why would she do such a thing?
I remember feeling tired and having a headache. I did not want this confusion. My teacher sat on the loveseat, but I didn’t yet know that that was what it was called. I lay on our larger couch, and since my mom had nowhere else to sit, she scooched me over a bit and sat down. I did not want to be sociable. So I crawled deeper into the sleeping bag and hid behind her. “Aww, is Jane being shy?” My teacher said, with a knowing look to my mother. I wanted to scream: “get out of my house! Teachers belong at school and my head hurts!” But I didn’t, I turned over and went to sleep. When I woke up, she had left.