Monday, December 14, 2009

MWMM: Meet Charlie

Due to Parent Conferences, I've been totally swamped lately. We're down to the last few days of school until Ms. Molly gets a nice loooooong vacation. Thank goodness for year-round schools!

For today, I don't exactly have a "funny story," but more of a fun description or collection of stories about one child. We'll call him Charlie.

Charlie is the cutest little guy ever. I have to admit that I am so in love with him. It has to be his quirky personality (or quite possibly his accent) that makes me so drawn to him. He is bilingual, but he mostly speaks English at school. His voice is a mix of Spanish & a thick African accent. Ah, I just love it! Another reason I think I am so drawn to him is his slightly obsessive tendencies that in many ways I can relate to (he likes everything to be perfect!).

For instance, while most kids come barreling into my room every morning, Charlie takes his time. He stands inside the door for a good minute or two just checking everything out. I believe he likes to transition himself from home to school in this way and make sure he knows what to expect (i.e. if centers have changed, we have a new VIP, etc.) He needs lots of coaching to take his bookbag to his cubby, sign in and get settled.

From there, one of our morning rituals is to "put your happy heart in the bin." The kids came up with four classroom promises (some would call them rules) that we keep everyday. Putting their "happy heart" (it's a heart with their picture in the middle) into the bin symbolizes their willingness to keep our promises. The hearts stack up on top of each other and we talk about it in the circle time that morning. Charlie doesn't dig the fact that people can put their happy hearts in after him. I have to remind him to put it in (although I know he's scheming to keep it out) and then I watch him because when someone else puts theirs in, he RUNS over and moves his back on top. I frequently remind him that "he can handle it" and we let other people put theirs on top. I've started shaking up the box in the circle and his face is priceless. He'll say "oh no!" and just stare at it like it's the worst thing ever.

Another thing Charlie loves is the color green. More than anything. Green markers, green pegs, green paper, green paint...whatever! We had done some patterning at the "Math and More" table one day with these colored people (red, blue, green, and yellow). One of my TAs announced, "Ms. Molly...all of the green men are missing from Math & More." Sure enough, I knew where to find them. Charlie had them stashed away with him at another center. I've also found him in the bathroom with a green peg in his pocket or one morning he came to school with one of our green pegs in his lunchbox. Anything green he likes! One day he colored an entire piece of paper green and someone took an orange crayon and put a big mark on it. Big problem! He said (do this in your best accent)... "Miiiiiiiisss Molly, looooooooook!" He got through it, but it was traumatic!

During naptime, Charlie has another quirky trick he's done a few times. His towel that he naps on is a "Diego" towel. On the towel, Diego is like swinging from a tree with his arms and legs spread out. When Charlie takes a nap, he likes to line up his entire body with Diego's. It has to be perfect. This only happens after he has spread and re-spread his towel on his cot perfectly for at least 10 minutes.

Ok, last thing. Charlie has a semi-crush on this other little girl (we'll call her Suzy). Charlie likes to follow her around and we've been working a lot on using our words and asking her or inviting her to play instead of just standing beside her (this doesn't go over well with Suzy). If he asks her, she will definitely play with him, but it doesn't work when he follows her around. The other day outside, this is the conversation I overheard (remember, folks...ACCENT):

Charlie: "You like transformers?"
Suzy: "No"
Charlie: "You like spidaman?"
Suzy: "No"
Charlie: "You like ionman?" (this should read ironman but he leaves out the "r")
Suzy: "No"
Charlie: "You like cars?"
Suzy: "No"
Charlie: "You like pink?"
Suzy (smiles): "Yes"

Phew - Charlie figured that one out. Who knows, maybe pink will be his new favorite color ;)

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