I looked down at my pocket as I was tucking away something the boy had thrown into the flowers when I informed him that we can’t take it into the cafeteria. We don’t allow our kids to carry toys of any kind (that can be thrown) and especially not long cords (in this case a shoelace) that can be used to strangle other students, teachers, or other innocent passers by that do not know to be wary of some of our children if they are not in a sunny mood. Then I repeated the instruction that we walk on the sidewalk, not in the grass. (Silly school rules, right?)
I broke an unwritten rule (mine!) about this boy–never, NEVER look away! He hit me hard enough to drive my glasses into the bridge of my nose, creating a cut that started bleeding pretty freely. I reeled backwards off balance, almost going down. I was taken completely by surprise. He immediately jumped at me, kicking, hitting (several more face hits) and attempting to bite simultaneously. I kept pushing him back. Frustrated at not tearing chunks outta me, he yanked his shoe off and whacked me across the nose again while I was fending off the teeth. *sigh* I’m gettin’ too slow at this! Shoes were taken away and tossed aside, and he was marched back to the classroom.
I don’t think I got injured in the military breaking up bar brawls with the kind of regularity that I do in the classroom. Self defense, I find, is a little more tricky when I absolutely cannot do any kind of damage to a child that would happily chew through my carotid or femoral artery and who was, in fact, making very spirited attempts to do so, along with a mastectomy by teeth. In the military I was issued a sidearm and a club and had carte blanche to use them on attackers. The military was better.
A lot of people were concerned about my injury (which looked worse than it was due to facial vascularity) but I had to tell them, like I told you, that it was my fault for not being sufficiently alert. I took my eyes off and I know better. Luckily this time none of the other children were injured, and I just have a *very* sore nose and the possibility of two black eyes tomorrow that will remind me to stay hyperalert.
I never did find the shoelace that I was pocketing when he whacked me. He probably retrieved it when I was reeling backwards off balance and will use it on me tomorrow.
Three and a half months until school break!