“Teacher, I shi-shi* my pants,” she announces as she stands up from her chair.
“Pardon?” I look at her curiously.
“She shi-shi her pants.” There is a chorus of her classmates repeating what she has said.
“Oh,” I finally understand as a torrent of liquid wets her shorts and streams onto the carpet. Shi-shi means wee.
This is one of those events in life that you must remember because after the initial shock of having a student accidently wet her pants sets in, you sit down and realise … it’s actually hilarious.
The five year old student is fine – I’m not heartless! She returned to class after being cleaned up, came again the following week, and does not appear to be deeply scarred. The other students were very kind, didn’t mention it or taunt her, and played with her without hesitation when she returned in dry pants. I do not laugh at her embarrassment – I laugh at myself.
Things happen in life – they are the Occurrences of Note that you might list in the index page of your autobiography. “I shi-shi my pants” is one of my “career highlights” – nothing says “Yes, you’re teaching kids!” like a little girl losing control of her bladder in the classroom and all along the hallway … and nothing says “Want to break that contract yet?” more than shi-shi on your shoe.
And nothing says “This is what I do.” more than a gentle smile, comforting hug, and almost seamless continuation of the lesson.
*I’m not sure on the spelling of this, but that’s what it sounds like!