After lunch each day we have a time where we do math intervention activities. We had completed our math journal and were playing a dice game with partners. Today I needed to play because we were short a person. This is kind of a loose time in our room–kids take care of things like the bathroom as needed. They don’t have to ask me or report to me to leave the room. They just go.
I am playing the game with a friend when I notice a Third Grade Friend enter the room. She makes a beeline for me.
‘Ms. Hays, I need to tell you something.’ Her eyes are ginormous.
She glances around and out of the side of her mouth says, ‘One of your friends ate peanut butter off of the bathroom floor!’
‘What? What did you say?’
‘Yeah. One of YOUR friends ate peanut butter off of the bathroom floor!’
‘Oh my. Thank you for letting me know.’
Friend and I enter into a staring contest. I head her way and whisper, ‘I’m going to need to visit with you a little later.’ She smiles. She thinks I will forget. No such luck, Friend. This I will remember.
When I met with the friend, I started the conversation by asking if there was anything she felt like I should know. Nope. Nothing. She didn’t have anything. Are you sure? Yep.
I sat silently hoping she would confess.
A few moments later, she blurts out, ‘I waited too long to go to the bathroom and I didn’t make it!’
‘Oh ok. I am sorry that happened to you. We can get that taken care of–no problem. Do you have anything else I need to know?’
Looking me straight in the eye, she deadpans me and declares, ‘Nope.’
Decision time. Cut to the chase and call her out? Or continue to play this cat and mouse game?
‘Hmmm. Did you eat peanut butter off of the bathroom floor?’
Smirking, she says, ‘Oh yeah. I did. I did do that.’
She had no idea. No one dared her. She just did it. Oh my. Never, ever in my teaching lifetime have I had to say these words:
‘We do not eat peanut off of the bathroom floor. That’s gross. It’s really very disgusting. Um. Yeah. We do not eat peanut butter off the bathroom floor.’