Today a second grader hid in my recycle bin. She just literally climbed on up in that big blue bin and copped a squat. It was so big and she was so tiny that all I could see sticking out were these little eyes and the top of her head. She sat there and watched me teach, and even allowed it when the other students did a project and brought their scraps over and sprinkled paper on top of her like confetti. She was content, and so was I.
Just so you know, I wouldn’t let just any student of mine walk over and get in the recycling. This was a special case. This little girl has a lot of emotional issues, and she frequently melts down over things that most second graders wouldn’t bat an eye at. When she is losing control emotionally, her coping mechanism is to hide. On most days I can count on her hiding under the safe seat (which is where kids go when they need to figure out how to be safe and make good choices), under my desk, or under a table. Today it was the recycling bin.
Maybe I let her stay in there because I was a little jealous. This morning at my house was rough. We were quickly jerked back into our stressful morning routine where hair was not combed, shoes were not on, and water bottles were not filled. Rogue ice cubes flew into the sink as adult voices yelled, “GET YOUR COAT ON!” “BRUSH YOUR TEETH!” “TURN THAT LIGHT OFF!” “HURRY UP AND GET IN THE CAR!” By the time I dropped my kindergartener off at the house where she gets on the bus and drove toward school, I was already on the verge of having a meltdown myself.
Some days are hard. Some days I wish I could hide too.
Just like the little girl in the recycling.