David 2.0Posted on November 1, 2023
The last time we heard from David was Meet The Teacher Night on Thursday. With a cheerful "See you Monday!" David danced out of the room.
Now, it was Monday! Guess who was the first child there? Taking a moment to glance around the room, anxious for the new bulletin boards, centers, and other displays, I met David and his parents at the door.
"You need to take David to the cafeteria to wait with the other students," I told his harried-looking parents.
"He'd rather stay with you." his mother pleaded.
Knowing I would be wasting my breath to argue, I agreed and his relieved parents left.
"Come on David." I mumbled, "Let's go get the rest of the class." So we walked to the cafeteria.
Thinking David was right beside me, I took a moment to greet the students and their parents, especially the ones who did not come Thursday night. When the bell rang, only a few minutes later, I turned around for David. He was GONE! The monitors, my aide, and I looked all over for him. But with no luck. Praying his parents were still in the building and David was with them, we headed back to the classroom, only to meet a smiling David hand in hand with my very angry principal. Placing David's hand in that of my aide, he had three words for me.
"MY OFFICE! NOW!"
Returning to the classroom, I anticipated chaos. What I found instead, were twenty students, including David, busily at work! I don't know how she did it, but my aide had them coloring the pictures I had left for them. She was sitting with David, who was happily peeling the wrappers off his crayons. Oh well, I thought, at least he wasn't destroying the classroom! I looked a question at her and she just shrugged and smiled. She didn't understand it either, but was grateful, as was I!
Somehow, we made it through the rest of the day.. David seemed content to play with the centers, play outside (though he did play a bit rough with the other students.) Once it was time to come in, however, we hit a bit of a snag. David did not want to get off the playground.. Finally we were able to get him back inside..
Thankfully, the day ended without anyone being hurt or the room being destroyed (again!) When his parents came to pick him up (almost 30 minutes late) I found out why he didn't want to stop playing on the playground. He had never been on any of the equipment. Everything was brand new to him. I had never heard of such! A child who had never been on a swing, a slide or a merry-go-round? I had a merry-go-round in my own backyard!
HIs parents explained that they had lived in apartments with no playgrounds close by. Since they didn't own a car, they had to take public transportation. Evidently, they moved around a lot.
When I asked about his rough play, his mother explained that the only child David had ever been around was a cousin who used him as a punching bag. David thought this was the way children played with each other. When I asked why they allowed their son to be so mistreated, I was told that since they now lived with her husband's brother, they were afraid they would be asked to leave if they complained too much. They had no form of income at the moment, and could not leave. I understood David a little better now, and felt great sympathy for him AND his parents.
Realizing I had survived the first full day with David, I had a small amount of hope. With lots of prayer and the help of my superhuman aide, I thought I might just make it through the year. Little did I know that the worst was yet to come!!
By: Gail Lindsey
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