So I'm trying to get the Criminals settled down for reading today, and I notice Luis' math tool kit sitting open on his desk, his empty pencil basket beside it. Each child in my room has a basket to himself for his bits and bobs, or there is unrest amongst the natives on the subject of pencil ownership. However, I digress. Thinking that the tool kit full of plastic pennies, dice, cards (this is a first grade math tool kit, not a gambler's tool kit) will shortly be all over the floor, I pick up the bag and attempt to place it inside the (almost) empty basket. The other three children at the table simultaneously scream:
Table 4: MISS VICTORIA! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
Teacher: What's the problem?
Table 4: (pointing to basket) Look!
Whereupon I notice a small ant making its way slowly across the floor of the basket. I look at the group, waiting for an explanation. I get it.
Destiny: It's his pet.
Teacher: Luis has a pet ant?
Destiny: Uhhuh for like two DAYS Miss Victoria
Teacher: I see. He's going to die if he doesn't get something to eat.
Penelope: (rolling eyes) Miss Victoria, it's a SHE.
Destiny: She's a princess.
Teacher: Oh. Well she's going to die if she doesn't get something to eat.
Penelope: (rolling eyes) Her NAME is Sabrina.
Javier: Do you have anything to feed her?
Teacher: How about if we put her up in the plant and she eats from there?
Penelope: She doesn't like leaves.
Teacher: Well I'm sure there are other things to eat in there, and then Luis could use his basket for his pencils.
Involved miniature parties: OKAY!
God help me if I didn't find myself hauling out my stepladder to climb up and dump this damn ant into the philodendron so he...excuse me, HER ROYAL FREAKING HIGHNESS, could get a decent meal. The Criminals all milled around the bottom of the stepladder, much like ants themselves, anxiously watching to make sure I deposited her safely into her new home.
Children: "Did she make it? Is she okay?"
Teacher: Yes, she's fine. Luis, can you put your tool kit in your basket please?
Luis: I can now.