Oh man, just when I think I've found a way to control hysterical outbursts of laughing. I try hard to not laugh when my kids bust a move, just because I really don't want to have to manage with 24 kids trying to be funny. Have you ever experienced a child who is trying way too hard to be funny? Yeah, it's sad.
Octopus Child and I were perusing a book entitled The Desert. He picked it out and proudly told me it was about "'Piders." We glanced through the book together while high school students, members of the elite "Key Club" were "reading books" to my kids.
[Which meant, one teen girl was enticing my kids to race chairs, another sat with her head in her hands while my bewildered kids instantly resorted to cannibalism, and the third actually (hey, how about that?) read a book.]
After being Mean Mrs. Clarateaches and giving these young impressionable ladies the evil eye, Octopus and I returned to The Desert and looked for the elusive 'piders. He called each cactus in the book a spider, and when we found a photo of a coyote, happily wrapped one of his chubby tentacles around my head and yelled, "It's a werewolf!"
"It's a coyote," I patiently explained while extracting myself from his grasp. "Say 'coyote.'"
"It's a coyote werewolf. I don't like them, they hump on you," he explained, turning the pages to try to find more werewolves. Gotta love those teachable moments.
Actually, you have to love those moments when kids learn something the hilarious way. After three days of telling Quiet Instigator to stop stealing the Fun-Tac from the back of the posters I stuck to my walls, I found him sitting miserably at the rug as the rest of the kids dashed off to Centers (aka, "Destroy The Room Time.")
"Q.I., why aren't you going to your center?" I asked, wondering why his hand was on his head.
He slowly lifted his hand to reveal that he had stuck about a good half-dollar sized blob of Fun-Tac in his hair, which was sticking straight up in a blue spike. I forced myself to look really grim while I struggled with trying to not laugh. I sent him to the nurse, just so I could die laughing when he was out of the room. My students gave each other the "I-told-you-she'd-crack-before-Christmas" look, and carried about their business. Five minutes later the nurse marched Q.I. back into the room, blue spike still intact.
"Boy, I don't know how to prepare for what you kindergarten teachers send me; first a giant woodchip in a kid's ear, and now this..." the nurse said. She and I mulled the situation over until we discovered that the maintenence man had Goo-B-Gone, and a Fun-Tac-free Q.I. with an oily patch in his hair happily bounced over to the Legos to end his day.