A few nights ago I got to be a kid again.  My eight-year-old son asked me to play “school” with him.  He, of course, got to be the teacher.  I was a kindergartner named Libby (a name chosen by my son).  The classroom was in Yawlin’s bedroom.  My desk was an extra thick coloring book placed on the floor.  I was provided with two lead pencils, a bunch of colored pencils, some crayons, and some erasers.  “Libby” had been printed carefully on a post-it note and taped to my “desk.”

Mr. “R” began class by handing me three coloring pages and telling me to color them and then hand them to him for correcting.   I was a dutiful student and began coloring.  I stayed in the lines.  I chose my colors carefully.  And I began to forget about all the stuff I still needed to get done.  The laundry in the dryer, the dishes in the sink, the grocery list that needed to be written, they could all wait.  I was at school.  And I was coloring.

I handed my papers to Mr. “R” and was told I could have free time.  I chose to play with magnets while my papers were being corrected.  I received a check mark and a smiley face on all three of my papers!  I proudly put them in my “cubby” (a story book).  Mr. “R” handed me two more papers to color and then told the class (me) to keep working, he would be right back.  He then went downstairs to the “teacher’s workroom” (Hub’s office) to make more copies of more coloring pages on the printer/copier.  I was a model student.  I didn’t get out of my seat or throw spit wads or talk to the stuffed orangutan with the afro seated next to me.  I colored.  I matched the colors of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger perfectly.  I colored the grass and the sky.  I added polka dots to the honey pot.

Mr. “R” returned.  The dog was with him.  I raised my hand.  “Um, Mr. ‘R?’  There is a dog in our classroom.”

“He’s not a dog, he’s the principal.”

“Oh.”  A pause.  “Max is the principal?”

Mr. “R” nodded his head authoritatively and said, “Yep.”

“Oh.  Okay.”  The principal came over and sniffed me and then my desk.  I went back to coloring and the principal decided to take a nap next to the stuffed orangutan with the afro.

I colored three more papers.  Mr. “R” corrected them all.  Yes!  More check marks and smiley faces!  My school day lasted for about thirty minutes and then the principal decided to park himself on my desk and Mr. “R” decided to go see what his sisters were doing.  

Thirty minutes of coloring.  Thirty minutes of pretending.  Thirty minutes that my son had Mom all to himself.  Thirty minutes he got to be in charge.  Time not wasted.