only help my unbelief


Eeyore evolves
July 7, 2007, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Posts

When I was in high school, I distinctly remember a conversation with some friends regarding personality similarities between each of us and Winnie-the-Pooh characters. Without any hesitation, I was unanimously voted as ‘Eeyore.’

“You’re so serious all the time,” they would say.

I was, in fact, voted “Most Serious” as a freshman in high school during our Honors program superlatives.

Now, at the ripe old age of twenty-one, with only a year of school in between me and the real world, I’m beginning to suffer from the implications of those accusations.

Last year I worked with a little boy named Winston who had autism. While I think his mother was happy with the job I did as a therapist, the one recurring criticism was that I wasn’t enthusiastic enough, and that I should try to be more excited about things, because Winston responded well to that. It wasn’t really that I wasn’t excited. It thrilled me when he mastered a concept. Rather, I just wasn’t expressive enough.

This summer I’m the official babysitter for a family with four little girls, five and under. They embody enthusiasm. It exudes from every one of their pores. I just got back today from four days with them up in the mountains, spending basically every waking hour with them (and some hours when we should have all been sleeping). I’ve gotten frustrated with myself over the course of working for their family because I just haven’t felt like I’m expressive or creative enough when I play with them. However, I think that these last couple of days taught me a lot about winning points with preschool-aged children.

Apparently, any word ending in “-ooty” is automatically hilarious. For example, “booty,” “tooty,” “hooty,” “doody.” It also helps if the word is in any way related to any kind of bathroom function or bathroom-related body part. Bonus points if you use multiple words, stringing them together.

I realized after the first day or so that most of my time was spent telling them what not to do and trying to avert any and all potential disasters, including but not limited to: Margaret getting her head stuck in the railings of the balcony; Mary Thomas falling into the fish pond; Frances getting stuck between her bed and wall in the middle of the night. I thought maybe I should try better to be more fun, to be more “enthusiastic.” So I implemented the above rule regarding word endings. What follows is my best remembrance of an actual conversation with Frances.

Frances: Goodnight, booty-pooty-hooty head.

Chelsey: Goodnight, tooty-hiney-bottom.

Frances: See ya, doody-hairy-bald-headed.

Chelsey: Sleep well, silly-willy-tooty bottom.

And so Frances and I became, as she declared over ice cream last night, “best buddies.”

Maybe Eeyore can evolve.

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