Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Importance of Pants

Did I ever tell all y'all about the time I was subbing and a kid took his pants off?


Well, one day, I was filling in for Garrett's teacher. There I was, sitting up at the front of the class, reading a book to the students. As I paused to turn the page, I glanced in a particular child's direction. It took me approximately six seconds to assess the situation and begin processing what I should do about it. There, in the middle of a kindergarten classroom, sat a child wearing no pants. He had his knees pulled up to his chest, his shirt stretched out and pulled over his legs and down to his ankles where his pants were resting comfortably. For the briefest of moments I thought he still had his underwear on but, no such luck. I quickly realized I was staring at the naked tukas of a six-year-old.

Come to find out, I was one of the last people to realize this kid's wardrobe malfunction. And I use the word malfunction here very loosely. I use it exactly the way Janet Jackson did to describe her Superbowl exposure. As in, yes, clearly I chose to expose myself willingly but we'll go ahead and call it a malfunction. My own son explained, later in the day, that several of them had been pointing to the pantsless wonder and whispering, "Naked!" Apparently I was very enthralled with the book I was reading and missed all of that. It's moderately concerning to me that the district allows me to monitor classrooms.

I remember feeling hot and angry very suddenly. I had no idea how I was going to get this kid to put his pants back on before the rest of the students or, more importantly, I saw him in all his natural wonder. I set the book down, instructed (in a measured and eerie voice) the class to continue facing forward (this kid was in the back row), walked over to the little hooligan and quietly hissed, "Pull up your pants right now."

He looked at me with big eyes and whispered, "I can't." I understood his dilemma. How was he supposed to pull up his pants without the entire class seeing his, er, self. Of course, I was wondering how this hadn't crossed his mind before he'd wiggled his clothing down to his ankles. I spun around and faced the wall.

"Everyone face forward," I said loudly. "Pull. Up. Your. Pants." I whispered. Once they were up I turned back around and gave the kid a lecture on the importance of keeping ones clothes on and never, ever do that again and oh boy are you ever losing your stamp today, Buster.

I explained the episode in a note to Garrett's teacher. I emailed her and gave her more information. Honestly, I didn't know if I was supposed to send him to the office with a note, "I'm in trouble for taking off my pants." Or if it was something that had happened before and there was a specific punishment for it. Or...what. I asked her to please let me know how I should handle something like that in the future. Although, I sincerely hope never, ever to have to deal with that in the future. Needless to say, we shared a pretty good laugh about it.

Fast forward to today. Garrett had a field trip to the children's museum. Since we parents are all about holding our babies hands for just a minute longer, there were massive amounts of us on this trip. Garrett's class had 20 students who went and there were eleven parents. We're pathetic awesome like that. His teacher assigned us our own child and one other. Of course I got Sir Pantsless.

As we sat eating our lunch, I talked to several other moms, Garrett's teacher, and another teacher. Suddenly, I realized that it had been a few minutes since I'd seen my other student. "Hold on," I interrupted. "I need to find Billy*"

"Yeah, you've gotta keep an eye on that one," Garrett's teacher said.

"I know," I paused. "You never know when he might take his pants off."

Garrett's teacher laughed out loud and then regaled the other teacher with the story. Once I'd located Captian No Pants I turned back to the conversation. "There's a reason I put him with you," she smiled.

"I figured," I said. "Thanks." I guess when you become a district employee you get charged with making sure everyone keeps his clothes on. To be fair, he was perfectly fine and I never had to remind him of the importance of wearing pants.

*Not his name. You have to do something to protect the innocent--naked as they may be.

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