Friday, April 13, 2012


       My niece is teething.  Her mom didn't tell me.  I just knew.  As I held her on my lap and tried to dam the steady flow from her nose with a tissue I had my suspicions. Then the drool started, as did the "mamamamamamamama" chorus.  Sometimes you just know.  These are the signals of a teething baby.
      At school we can learn the signals of our kids.  A furrowed eyebrow, agitated rummaging through the desk, a hood pulled over the eyes....all indicators of "something wicked this way comes."  We can ignore these signals.  We can wait for the child to reach boiling point and then redress him for the outburst we knew was coming.  Or maybe.....
    We can acknowledge the signal.  When the agitation at the desk begins we can offer a fidget toy and space away from the group.  A quiet check-in can detect what's bothering the furrowed eyebrow child.  The hood over the eyes can often be defused with a little humor and gentle encouragement.  The better we know our kids, the faster we can intervene to help everyone has a successful day.
    Think of it this way, you can ignore the low fuel signal while driving, but you're just going to end up out of gas on the side of the road.  Take the time to fill up your kids, it'll make for a smoother journey.

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