I was driving to my fiance's after school today thinking about the "Ricky Story' I had for him. You see there is a child in my class who I will call Ricky. I have many stories about Ricky and my fiance has gotten into the habit of asking every day "Do you have any Ricky stories for me today?" I don't want to disappoint so I make it a point in my day to remember a good Ricky story for him. Sometimes I don't, maybe he was particularly "normal" that day, and I have something from another kid in my class. But a good 3 out of 5 school days I have a Ricky story.
So here I am driving to my fiance's after school and I'm giddy, I have a good Ricky story today! I'm praying that traffic is mild and I can make it to his place without too much of a hassle when I am inspired. I hear " You know Sarah, plenty of people have blogs and you love to read them. What about you? You should make a blog, primarily of Ricky stories. You have enough hilarity in your life to make people laugh. Share the joy" And then a rush of stories from past small children flood into my mind and I think "I don't even know where to start!" And the voice (which I am sure isn't God's but my own, PROMISE I'm not crazy...) says "Start with your inspiration." So Ladies and Gentlemen......here is your first Ricky Story, so you too can start asking every day..."Do you have any Ricky stories today??"
Let me set the stage for you. It was a beautiful Friday morning in Virginia. The sun is shining, its almost 80 degrees at 10:15 in the morning and my class is preparing to go outside for their morning recess (yes, be jealous, we have TWO recesses a day). My kids are all scrambling to clean up their snack mess to line up, every last one of them asking 85 times if they need a coat, me yelling above them "NO you don't, it's gorgeous outside", and threatening lost recess time if they don't stand in line quietly so we can get outside already. So we finally head outside. Everyone is playing great together (as usual, really, I have a great class that typically plays very well together) when all of a sudden Ricky runs up to me with tears in his eyes.
"Teacher (he really said my name but to protect my true identity we'll keep it at that) Paul (again name changed to protect identity and my job, haha) took my things!"
"Ricky, it's okay, what did Paul take?"
At this point I am racking my brain for things that Ricky could have brought out in the first place. We didn't wear our coats, so maybe he had something in his pocket that he snuck out? Then Ricky starts rattling off this long list of things.
"He took my motorcycle, my airplane, my boat..." And he continues to go on and on. I'm trying really hard to figure out how in the world he got so many things outside without my noticing when i dawns on me.
These "things" that Paul "took" are IMAGINARY.
So I try very hard not to laugh and look Ricky straight in the eye and say:
"Ricky, its okay, just go take them back."
"But I can't! HE has them!!"
"But Ricky, those things are pretend, so pretend to take them back."
"But I can't, HE CAN SEE THEM!!"
At this point I'm at a loss of what to do. How do you convince a five year old to take back his imaginary things when he alone controls where he can see them and who has them?? It is not like a physical object that I can take back and give to him.
So I tell him.
"It's okay Ricky, you can take them back and go play some where away from Paul." He nods and as he walks away I hear him mutter
"I don't like Paul."
And I can see why, Paul knows how to push his buttons. Like he realizes and understands that Ricky sometimes (most of the time) lives in an imaginary world and he knows how to get into his world and throw him off.
So, my dear Ricky, this blog is dedicated to you. Little you who proclaims to the other kindergarten teacher every day before school when you pass her in the hallway "Hey, I know you!"