Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All in the Name of Public Health

This morning during the lunch count, one of my boys sneezed. As if auditioning to be the poster child for the "new" technique for covering, he thrust his elbow toward his face. After completing the lunch count, I called the students' attention to this, saying "boys and girls, I noticed something very important while I was writing down your lunch choices..." and proceeded to compliment the student on his good example, particularly during this time of heightened concern about flu, etc.

Almost immediately, a girl stood up and said, "when my nana sneezes, she does THIS--" and then covered her mouth and nose with her hand while whipping one leg across the other.....

There she stood, eyes wide, hand covering her nose and mouth, and legs tightly crossed. Removing her hand, she asked oh-so-innocently, "why does she do that?"

Thinking it wisest to ignore the leg-crossing part, I simply said, "well, when your nana was little she was probably taught to cover with her hand, much like I was when I was little."

"But why does she do this?" she asked, renewing the urgent leg cross.

"Oh, it's probably just a habit she has, " I offered, concealing an embarrassed grin, and hoping against hope that she'd settle for that.

Not so simple. Up goes another student's hand, followed by "when my nana sneezes, she does that so she doesn't pee her pants!"

By then, my well-intentioned reminder about covering with the elbow faded away in a ripple of giggles about nanas peeing pants.

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