The Substitute Call

I had the pleasure/torment to be the Pre-K substitute teacher at my children’s school yesterday.  I say it was a pleasure, because I love the interaction with the children.  However, I felt a little tormented because one of the Preschool children is my son.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love my son or want to be around him.  It’s just hard for my 4-year-old to see me as a substitute teacher, because I am his mom.  So when I am trying to get the kids down for a nap, who do you think gave me the biggest trouble?  Yep, my son.

When we were reading books, who do you think had to sit on my lap?  Yep, my son.  I love that he loves me that much, but it is hard to be a substitute teacher to a class of a dozen or so children who range from 3-years-old to 5-years-old and have your son want to follow you everywhere.  Thankfully, Pre-K has two teachers, so I had an extra teacher there to help me out.

When I say “help me out”, I mean I had another teacher there to step in and instruct my son if he wasn’t listening to me.  Or even detain my son when I had to take another child to the office for a band-aid.  It’s even more helpful that the other teacher just happens to be my son’s Godmother.

So you can imagine the additional challenges this recent work assignment had.  Not that I haven’t helped out in his class before, I have a few times this year.  It’s just comical how I can get one of his classmates to go back on their mat for nap before I counted to five, yet my son would still be dragging his feet by the time I counted to fifty.  That is because the other child doesn’t know how far they can push me, yet my child knows he has tried pushing me to the limits before and I haven’t snapped yet.

It was a good day, all in all, although a little more intense than other substituting jobs.  However, it was later that day that I got a real treat.  I was putting wet laundry into the drier while Christopher was snacking at the kitchen table.  This was the conversation we were having:

Christopher asks, “Where are we going tomorrow?”

I replied, “You go back to Preschool tomorrow.”

Christopher asked, “Where are you going tomorrow?  To Preschool?”

I tell him, “I don’t know.  If they need me to be a sub again, then yes.  But they have to call me first.”

“I want you to be my teacher again.”  he says.

I explain patiently, “I will, if they call me to.  Otherwise, you will have your other teacher back tomorrow.”

“But I want you to go to Preschool with me.”, he says.

“And I will IF they call me.”, I reply back.

Then I hear his little 4-year-old voice call in a sing-song way, “JoAnn, I want you to be my Preschool teacher tomorrow.”

At that moment, I stopped what I was doing, glanced over to my son and started to bust out laughing.  The fact that he called me JoAnn, instead of Mom was the funniest part.  I didn’t know he even knew I had a first name.

Marie walked in about that time and wanted to know what I was laughing about.  As I explained to her the recent conversation I just had with Christopher, I could see my son sitting there at the table, looking very pleased with himself.  He had this grin on his face that showed pure satisfaction for the good job he had just done.  I just love that little man to death.

I would be more than willing to substitute for his class again.  But that is something that is in the school’s hands, not mine.  Besides, if I am his substitute teacher again, then he will most likely have a second day in a row without a nap.  Yep, you guessed it, my son was one of the kids that would not take a nap.  I don’t know why he wouldn’t.  I was more than ready to take a nap that day.  🙂

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