Twelve of the thirteen darling angels I teach at Vacation Bible School were happily playing with play-doh today, sitting primly in their tiny chairs, talking quietly, sharing. The thirteenth was not interested in the play-doh, so he had my permission to play with legos on the carpet.
This happy arrangement worked for ten-ish minutes before, out of nowhere, Thirteen got up from his place on the carpet, walked over to a pint-sized kitchen table and SPIT ON THE TABLE. It was a LOT of spit. Like a tablespoon. From a three-year-old.
Now that I think about it I am sure that this was a premeditated act with much pre-attack in-mouth spit-stockpiling (holy hyphens).
So there it was, the line in the sand. The two teenage helpers stared and then began giggling. The kid regarded me nervously, standing several feet away from the DNA covered table.
I swallowed the urge to yell his name sharply, followed by "What the HELL?" Not behavior becoming of a preschool Bible teacher.
Instead I picked up a bottle of table cleaner and some paper towels. I knelt beside the tiny table and looked into the kid's eyes.
"We do not spit. I want you to help me clean this up" I said in my calm yet don't even THINK about not doing what I am telling you to do voice.
"You're lucky you're not MY kid!!" is what I was thinking.
I sprayed the spit with the cleaner and handed him the paper towel. Then looked at him expectantly. He wiped up the spit. I threw the towel away. I led him by the shoulder back to the table and encouraged him to get involved in the play-doh again.
He spent the rest of the day having progressively more hysterical meltdowns over seemingly insignificant things. His mom picked him up early.
What will tomorrow bring?