one hundred cubes

This week, the 2nd graders got their 100th...square. Cube? Whatever, it's from the base ten magnetic block set. Ten ones make a ten. Ten tens make one hundred. It serves three purposes: it submerges them in tens and ones even when they're not thinking about them, it encourages good behavior, and it's just crazy exciting to be the one to move the cube over on the board. And when one thinks "Mrs. Mudd", one thinks "crazy exciting" (not really).

We were in our meeting this morning, having already voted on what we would choose if we got 100 cubes. We had decided on dress down day for just our class.

Today's meeting began like this:
"I'm sure the question on everybody's mind is when are we going to have this dress down day?"
And behind the crazy sock day and the jack-o-lantern contest, this question was a solid third.

Student: "Ms. Mudd? Where are your crazy socks?"
Me: Today my socks are crazy for two reasons. One: I grabbed them out of the drawer in the dark and Two: They actually match.
Student: That's not crazy.
Me: Oh it absolutely is. Because Mrs. Mudd does not match socks. You know how your mom folds your socks in your drawers and you just grab a pair out in the morning? If I was your mother I wouldn't do that at all. I would just throw them in your drawer and you would have to fend for yourself. And that would be your life."

So. Moving on. We decided on Monday. Monday for the dress down day.

Me: So I will send out a note to your parents to let them know that you are supposed to dress down on Monday and you're not just making it up."

They laughed and I spoke out loud as I wrote in the margin of my planner.

"Send note to parents...that...you are lying about Monday."

"No!" They yelled.

"Wait... That's not what I wanted to say." And again:

"Send note to parents...about...your rotten behavior."


"Send note to parents that we don't want to have sweet snacks anymore."

"NO!" They insisted and I went on, pretending to write: "Only vegetables..."

And, friends, I could have gone on.

Send note to parents that we will never eat in the cafeteria again.

Send note to parents that I've canceled Christmas.

Send note to parents that...

But just then one of them said to me from the back of the carpet:

"Mrs. Mudd? Can you just stop being silly?"

They are so over me already. And not even yet Halloween.

~originally published October 2019

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