I stood in the hall monitoring my third grade students as they went in and out for a class bathroom break. It was one of those necessary parts of the day which has nothing to do with teaching, but falls under the ‘other duties’ category. I didn’t mind too much, because it was a chance for all of us to get out of the classroom, stretch our legs, and take a small break. After a few minutes, Travis came out of the bathroom with a very concerned look on his face. I had learned over the years that a student coming out of the bathroom with a concerned look on his face was never a good omen. He motioned he had a secret to tell me - an even worse omen.
I bent down so he could whisper in my ear, “Uh…Mrs. Ladd…I went in the stall to. . . ya know. . . use it. And there was. . . um. . . it’s. . . there was some. . . brown business. . . all over the stall.”
My eyes got big, and I was horrified but stifling laughter as I said very seriously, “Oh. Goodness. That’s a situation. Why don’t you go use the other bathroom at the end of the hall, and then go ahead to the office and tell Ms. Anna about it so we can get that cleaned up.”
As he hurried off doing a bit of an urgent potty dance, he shouted down the hall behind him, “Oh great! Then I can kill two birds with one stone, because Ms. Anna is a Dallas Cowboys fan, and I’ve been meaning to tell her that I too am a fan of the Cowboys.” I was glad he’d found a silver lining in the brown business of life that day.