Last week, one of the teachers I work with brought in some extra lego pieces from her house to add to our classroom bin. This included four ninjas and their assorted weaponry, and as you can probably imagine they were an instant hit. So popular, in fact, that all of them went missing within the first ten minutes of their debut. After successfully intervening in at least 6 attempted kidnappings last week, I thought things would calm down and the novelty would fade.
Yesterday, from across the room where I was working with a small group of students, I heard loud yelling from the lego table. In the ten seconds it took me to cross the room, I watched in horror as one boy yanked his arm away from the grasp of the other and brought his hand up to his mouth. I knelt down and made intense eye contact with the boy, saying “SPIT IT OUT RIGHT NOW!” as sternly as I could (holding back a snort of incredulous laughter).
He looked back into my eyes and opened his mouth - revealing no toy. His face quickly fell from triumph to regret.
"I swallowed it," he said, voice ridden with guilt. The expression on his face was just as shocked - if not more - than mine. I could see the gears turning in his head as he realized the flaw in his 5-year-old logic.
I can imagine his internal monologue as he did the deed and felt the satisfaction of beating his opponent in the battle for the ninja skull - “Hah! Now you’ll never get it!”. I can also easily imagine the “oh shit” moment (no pun intended) when he realized “Now I’ll never get it…”
[Side note - he was totally fine. The piece swallowed was smaller than a dime and quite round, so the nurse was very much assured that things would pass through without a problem. She called home to alert the parents, which I can only imagine was a hilarious phone call to be privy to. He came back to school today, with nothing injured beyond his pride. Oh, and a week-long hiatus from legos.]