Each morning as the children get ready for their day, I call for "ANY ANYTHINGS." Children bring absence notes, deliver love notes, or share a quick story with me. It's a lifesaver time since it delays the rush of twenty or more children crowding me as soon as they walk in the door. It's proven very effective . . . but occasionally, a child forgets. Thomas forgot.

Thomas stopped in front of my desk and began to tell me something. I looked at him, but he prattled on. I had not yet called for ANY ANYTHINGS, so I made no response and continued to stare at him. I figured he'd soon figure it out. He didn't. I raised my eyebrows, just a bit. Thomas stopped talking and stared at me. Then, to my surprise his eyebrows raised just slightly . . . to match mine and a knowing grin spread across his face as he realized he must wait for ANY ANYTHINGS. I thought, "Okay, he's getting it, now." But not Thomas. He stood his ground and he continued to look at me with his eyebrows raised. I was going to wait him out. So, I cocked my head to the right. He moved his to match mine. Then I slid mine to the left and screwed up my mouth. I scrunched up my forehead, knitted my brows together, and pasted a questioning look on my face. Then I just stared at him. He slid his head to the right, screwed up his mouth, scrunched up his forehead, and knitted his brows together. He pasted that same questioning look on his face AND he placed his hands on his hips. I quickly added my hands to my hips. Several minutes passed as I tried out different positions. His face mirrored mine each time. Finally, I leaned over and stuck my neck out towards him. He did the same - mirroring my every movement. I tapped gently on the tip of his nose, invading his space and I knew I had him then. He would NEVER do that to me. But, he reached out and tapped the tip of my nose, too, and sent me into a fit of giggles. The rest of the class was silently watching our impromptu performance and they started laughing, too. Thomas, with head held high, walked away a few steps, but soon doubled over and his laughter mingled with ours.

This scene took longer than if I had simply said, "Thomas, save what you have to say for ANY ANYTHINGS...but it wouldn't have been as much fun.
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