The N Word

I can’t tell you how great it feels to be back in my own bed tonight.  Dennis apparently has something he wants to tell you all.  He’s very interested in the blogging process this evening.  Ouch!  Now he’s grooming my chest hair with his little sandpapery tongue.  It tickles pretty good but I think he might soon draw blood.  If he goes for the nipple I’m going to have to make him stop.  OH!  Speaking of nipples, (how’s that for a segue?) We had a little “nipple” incident at school today.  No, don’t worry, none were exposed or anything like that.  Here’s how it all went down:

Before I even get to my reading groups, the first thing I do is go the cafeteria to help wrangle the kids through lunchtime and then I go out to the playground with them to monitor their recess. Now bear in mind that I had gotten up before 5am in Philadelphia,  sat for another four and a half hours on the window seat almost to the back of the plane, knowing all the while that I was going to be landing half an hour before time for me to be at Edison.  We actually landed a few minutes early.  (Hey maybe I was wrong about Delta.)  Nope, we landed early so that we could sit on the tarmac until we were ten minutes late to the gate all the while having to listen to the Captain come on the PA every few seconds to remind us that we landed early.  But I digress.  Adam picked me up and dashed me to work, which thankfully is pretty near the airport.  We came rolling in to Edison on two wheels,  I ran inside, clocked in an went straight to the cafeteria.  First kid interaction of the day, I feel a second grader tugging on my blue jeans, “Jose said the N word!”  This caught my attention fast.  I spend most of my time in the cafeteria reminding the kids about the importance of good nutrition and occasionally mediating in some kind of disagreement.  But here was some real-life racist shit!  Here was my opportunity to talk about the toxic nature of racism and how it injures us all. I was a man on a mission. I stomped down to that end of the table to which the reporter of the incident had returned.  “Who’s Jose?!”  Twelve accusatory pointy-fingers aim at one dirty faced, chipped toothed little boy.  “Jose, did you say the N word?”  Defiance swept over his face.  “Yes. So?”  “Why would you say something so hurtful?”  I asked him, trying to appeal to his sense of compassion.  “I’ll say it again, nipple, nipple, nipple!”  The entire table of his classmates gasped collectively.  I literally had to stare at the floor and bite my lip to keep the kids from seeing me try to hold back the laughter as I realized that the “N word” was “nipple.”

“We must be respectful about our bodies, Jose.  Go stand with your face to the wall until you think you can sit and eat lunch like the little gentleman I know you are.”

I never thought I’d be so relived to hear an eight year-old say the word “nipple.”

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