During my long blog break, many things happened. One of the more memorable things that happened was that I was fortunate enough to go on a field trip with my class. Ahem.
Before we went on the field trip, however, something was amiss in Ms. Non-Mommy's classroom. Do you remember Zach, my beloved autistic child? I really do love this kid. He's absolutely hilarious and very sweet. Unfortunately, Zach had a pretty serious accident. His injuries forced him to avoid any situations that may make his injuries worse. These situations include recess.
For those of you not in a classroom, can I tell you how fortunate you are to be able to pee when you want during the day? Don't take it for granted. Because I get two bathroom breaks a day, and that is only if no parents come in to talk to me, call me, or I don't have a meeting. The kids are at recess and I'm usually counting down the seconds until I can sprint to the restroom. For a few weeks, Zach had to stay in at recess with me. This involved him following me around the room asking me the same questions over and over and over again.
"Ms. Non-Mommy, can you print me a picture of a kitty? Can you print me a picture of a kitty? Can you print me a picture of a kitty? Why don't you have any ink? You should get a job so that you can buy some ink. Can you print me a picture of a kitty at home? Can you draw me a picture? Can you print me a picture of a kitty?"
This went on for weeks. Zach even had to come to the restroom with me, because we aren't allowed to leave students alone. So I'd be trying to pee and would hear faintly through the door "When you come out, can you print me a picture of a kitty? Oh, hi Mrs. Dennis. I'm waiting for Ms. Non-Mommy. Hey, can you print me a picture of a kitty?"
Imagine my surprise when a few weeks later, Zach's mother was absolutely insistent that he go on a hiking field trip with our class. The kid couldn't step a toe outdoors at school, but a 2.5 mile hike on rocks was ok? Whatever. I plastered a smile on my face and soldiered on.
The day of the field trip looked bright. It was going to be a great day! And then Zach walked in the room. Something was not normal about the way he was behaving today. How did I know? Because he walked in and announced "Argh, matey! I be a pirate today! Want a drink of my rum?" When I refused to take a drink of his rum, he kept shoving his water bottle in my face insisting that I drink his rum.
I tried to use the secret teacher detection technique. You know the one! The "How was your morning, Zach? Did you eat breakfast this morning? Did you do everything you normally do during breakfast? Did you...take everything you were supposed to this morning?"
Off to the hiking trail we went. I knew he'd be slow, so I kept Zach and I at the back of the line while all the other teachers and students walked on. We stepped onto the trail, Zach looked down and noticed we were on a large hill, and he immediately began shrieking. He was screaming bloody murder and I'm sure that strangers around us were wondering what on earth was I doing to this poor kid?! He was screaming "I'm going to fall! I can't do this! We can't go on a hike! I can't go!" I had to go, and there was no one to stay with him, so I had to literally pull him along.
He kept yelling at me "I'm too old to die! I'm too old to die!" After a while, he wrapped himself around me like a squid and I struggled to carry us both. We continued to walk along and a girl nearby fell on the trail. Her knee was squirting blood and that, of course, set off Zach. Now I had a screaming autistic child AND a screaming bleeder! And of course, everyone else was far, far away. I cleaned her up the best I could and kept plodding along, imagining that I was going to die in the middle of this trail with these two crying children.
Miraculously, we managed to catch up to the line of children only to be stopped by a kid puking in the middle of the trail. The icing on the cake.
As we continued onward, the fat kids slowly trickled to the back of the line. I know that is mean, but listen, I was one of them once. I know how it is. Pretty soon I had all the fat kids at the back going "I'm so hot! I can't do this! How much farther do we have to go? I don't like to hike!" (Yes, that was me.) And along with them, Zach kept shouting "How come you don't want any of my rum, Ms. Non-Mommy?"
Oh, Zach. I did want it. Oh, so much.