By: Deb Gauldin, Singing Nurse, Speaker, & Therapeutic Humorist
Elementary school teachers amaze me. Their ability to improvise is second to none … even Second City! Teaching children is not my forte. I never recovered from a time I was working with a group of preschoolers when a child raised his hand and declared that his family cat ate its own afterbirth. He wanted to know if I ate my afterbirth. The other adults in the room found this question simply adorable. I found it “off-topic.”
Even so, I volunteered to be an elementary school “Room Mother” and served hard time as a “Den Mother”. While I never mastered the skill set needed to keep classroom order, I did learn to recognize and appreciate the humor all around me. I volunteered to help my son’s first grade class write stories phonetically. My job was to circulate around the classroom and encourage students to write regardless of the correct spelling.
There was a group of girls illustrating stories about Ukrns (Unicorns). Their drawings were of colorful flowers and rainbows. There was a table of boys who were writing about Ftbl (Football) scratching out stick figures arranged in various formations.
Then there was my son.
The teacher warned me that what Chris was lacking in quality he was making up for in quantity. Apparently, Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the hospital, the result of some sort of fight. He was in room number 189 and Christopher was going to visit him.
On Monday he wrote, “I walked by room 1. I walked by room 2. I walked by room 3.” And so on. On Tuesday he wrote, I walked by room 29. I walked by room 48. I walked by room 57. On Wednesday he continued, “I walked by room 58. You get the idea. The plot never thickened.
Finally, I leaned over and suggested Chris cut to the chase, but he would hear nothing of it.
That’s when I saw for myself. Scrawled across the first page, I learned that Arnold was in the hospital because he got... “kicked in the balls.” What? We hadn’t allowed him to see Terminator and we certainly hadn’t taught him to use the term balls! No decent trained nurse would. Through clenched teeth, I insisted he was not to say “balls” and needed to change this part of story.
The next week, his teacher came to find me. She carried Christopher’s paper and was informed me he had finally made it to room 189 where he promptly addressed the patient. His paper read,
“I am sorry someone kicked you in the PRVTS, Arnold. The End."
“He knew exactly what he meant,” said his teacher with a wink. Chris did not have enough time to illustrate his literary masterpiece with a 6-year-old interpretation of injured private parts. For this I was grateful. After all, it’s hard to do a damaged scrotum justice, at any age.
About the Author:
An obstetric nurse and community health educator for over 20 years before becoming an avid student of the neuroscience of humor and laughter, Deb has particular expertise in the way gratitude and appreciation impact workplace and personal well-being. She is passionate about helping women build self-compassion and recognize their own beauty.
Deb served as the President of the National Speaker’s Association-IL Chapter and is a multi-term board member and publication editor for AATH.
Deb’s products and music are used in nursing education settings around the globe. She is a contributing author to numerous books and has written and illustrated humor columns for a variety of professional journals.