Today at recess, I was mindlessly watching children scurry about in the noonday sun, batting away the boy who was clinging to my wrist and asking me what time it was every minute (really, no exaggeration), and answering various questions about my preference for ice cream flavors. Then, the sound carried to me across the playground by the breeze, I heard my name: “Mrs. Cooooonnnnnnnoooorrrrrrrrs????” and saw a boy, facedown in the sand, two or three other boys huddled around him. Not the sand in the sandbox, but the enormous amount of sand that is directly to left of the sandbox (sandfield? It’s huge) from where weather and wee ones have spread the sand out across the grass. There was no arm waving in assurance that he was fine. (Kids wipe out all the time, they find it hilarious, but if I don’t get a signal, I dash over to see if everyone is okay.) As I took off, I muttered substitute swear words under my breath; I’m pretty sure I used the word shillelagh.
Our victim, let’s call him Samuel, was sprawled like a chalk outline at a crime scene, his right cheek pressed into the sand. I asked him if he was okay, as literally 3 other boys started talking at the same time describing the incident. I told them to run off, Samuel was conscious and he could tell me, but allegedly they had been racing around the perimeter of the sandbox and he tripped. Or maybe he collided with Tripp, it was confusing because they were all talking at once. He looked up at me with one not-quite-crying-but-almost brown eye. I knelt down and patted his back between his shoulder blades and asked him if he was okay again. No answer. It seems to me that if I had just fallen on my face in front of 30 or so of my peers, I would also choose to just stay on the ground for a minute.
Naturally, a concerned crowd gathered. “Is Samuel okay?” “What happened?” and some where genuinely concerned, others, just nosey. One boy said, “he fell” which caused a nearby girl to say in a shrill voice, “How?!” and to me, it sounded like a seagull. This gave me an idea. I explained quite loudly that Samuel did not accidentally fall, as others were claiming, but that he suddenly decided to take a nap. Very suddenly. The watery brown eye looked back at me. I continued, “He’s pretending he’s at the beach, which is perfect because you all sound like seagulls CAWW CAWW!” Sure enough, that triggered a chorus of gull-wannabees, and I switched to making swishing ocean sounds. Meanwhile, I asked him if anything hurt or tingled, and if he could move his arms and legs. He flopped slightly. I then, at the top of my lungs, sang
ROCK A-BYE SAAAAAAMUELLLLLL, ON THE SAND PILE
WHEN YOU HEAR MY SIIIIIIINNNNGGING, YOU CAN’T HELP BUT SMILE.
WHILE YOU ARE DOOOOOOOWWWWWN THERE, WATCH OUT FOR ANTS,
IF YOU’RE NOT CAAAAREFUL, THEY’LL CRAWL…..UP……YOUR………
(and then everyone nearby joined in on the obvious last word) PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTS!!!!!!!
By this point, Samuel was moving again and other children were singing their own riffs on lullabies with Sam’s name, so I wandered off. A moment later I saw him back up and running again. I win.