Every job has its occupational hazards. Here are mine.
1. I’m never clean. Today a little one wiped her nose on my shirt, and another one ran grubby hands (covered in mystery substance) on my nice clean capris. It was impossible to get off. I will never be clean again. It’s like when you first have a baby, and you go back to work with baby barf on your shoulder and you don’t notice. I rarely notice how dirty I am until I go somewhere where I’m expected to look like an adult… and not one who lives in a box under the bridge.
2. Carpal tunnel (from all the data I have to collect, and all the reports I have to write).
3. Being peed on (I’ve only been barfed on once, and since I know for a fact I’ve barfed more often at work than I’ve been barfed on, I won’t count that). Or accidentally sitting in pee (I’ve done both just this week… Bet you didn’t know that after eight years of University, you’d get out of school to get peed on and run lessons on why we don’t pick our noses. And yes, I do run month-long booger picking lessons, complete with social stories).
4. Parents who make you cry because they’re so mean.
5. Parents who make you cry because they’re so nice.
6. Falling in love with a kid just have them break your heart when they leave. Or you can’t fix them anymore. Or you’ve actually fixed them and have to dismiss them (though this one is a fun meeting).
7. Getting stuck in a preschool chair. When I was nine months pregnant with my son (just a couple of days before I had him), I was in a meeting with some parents in the preschool room. When the meeting ended, I tried to stand up to thank the parents for coming in and couldn’t get out of the chair. The principal had to help me up. I basically required a crane. It was awful and embarrassing. But not as bad as the time I got stuck in a bounce house.
8. A very sweet kid asking you, “You’re having a baby?” (No, no, honey. I’m just fat.) Or asking, genuinely concerned, “You have pock?” (No, no, honey, those are freckles. Not chicken pox. I look like this naturally. Sad, but true. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am a ravishing beauty. Honestly).
9. The Germ Factory. When you work with kids, for the first year, you get sick all the time. It’s not as bad after that, but I basically get exposed to EVERYTHING. I’m sick right now, in fact.
10. War wounds. I managed to get beaned in the eye by a flying shoes yesterday (I’m really not that fast, and by the time I realize something’s flying at my head, it is usually too late). So yeah, on top of being chunky and pocky, I also have a black eye.
Yeah, I really am a ravishing beauty.