Thursday, February 9, 2017

Habit of the Week ~ Patience

Patience: To accept or tolerate delay or problems,  without becoming annoyed or anxious (or barking or going bonkers).

What in the world do Peanut Butter Girl Scout Cookies have to do with PATIENCE?  Most 1st, 2nd, and 4th Graders at Almond Acres will be able to tell you the connection ~~  because it has to do with their buddy, Chester.

Here's the story~
When Chester was 2 years old, he met a Jr. High girl with long brown curls named Melissa.   During the three years that Chester helped Melissa with her physical therapy, they became best friends.  BEST FRIENDS.   One day Melissa, who just happened to be a Girl Scout,  brought Chester a gift. Melissa knew Chester loved peanut butter .....  and so she brought her best friend a box of Girl Scout Peanut Butter Cookies.  His very own box!

Before Physical Therapy started, Melissa gave Chester a sample bite. Chester went BONKERS. He climbed up in her lap, stuck his nose in the box and wanted more cookies. A cookie monster for sure.

It was time to get to work, not time for cookies.  Melissa needed to practice balancing.  Chester needed to practice patience. She set the cookies aside, stood tall and strong on the blue disc, and threw the green tennis ball for Chester. Chester started to run after the ball, then urchhhhhhhhhh, he stopped. He sniffed. He ran to get the box of cookies.  And Melissa fell over laughing.

Chester was not being patient...not one little bit.

Melissa's Mom hid the box in another room.

Melissa threw the ball again.

Chester ran after the ball.  Then urchhhhhhhh, he stopped. He sniffed. He ran through the doorway and stuck his nose in the Girl Scout Cookie Box.  And Melissa fell over laughing.

He was not being patient, not one little bit.

Melissa's Mom put the box of cookies in another room and shut the door tight.

Melissa threw the ball again.

Chester ran after the ball. He stopped. He sniffed. And sniffed. But this time he could not smell the cookies, so he ran to get the ball and brought it back to Melissa.

We all cheered and clapped.

Obviously, Chester needed to learn about patience when it came to Peanut Butter Girl Scout Cookies. First work, then cookies!

Here is a picture of him today.  Look at the progress he has made!

Watch me .... Good boy!


 P.S. Thank you to Chester's 1st grade friend, who just happens to be a Girl Scout, who brought him a box of his favorite cookies today.  Of course we opened the box right away, and of course it was the perfect time for a taste.    Oh Happy Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sensational 4th Grade Moments

In one of the 4th grade classes, 2 brave students volunteered to help Chester.  It's been awhile, but my buddy was going to demonstrate "over" and "under" --- using two human-bridges-on-hands-and-knees.  It took a couple of tries, and a whole lot of laughter, but it wasn't long before Chester soared over, and scooted under his two new friends, incorporating ALL 5 SENSES in the remembering process. Sensational!

While Chester was working on remembering exactly what "OVER/UNDER" meant, I remembered another Chester story ....which of course I had to share with the 4th graders.

I was speaking to a Cub Scout Troop and their parents, demonstrating this very same trick. I chose a volunteer from the back row ~~ an eager little Cub Scout in crisp blue uniform.

I asked him to get down on his hands and knees and make a bridge for Chester. With a few giggles and silly expressions, he quickly made a dazzling bridge. I commanded Chester "OVER!"  Chester ran, jumped, planted his front paws on little Cub Scout, sort of using him like a spring board,  and flattened him like a pancake. The crowd erupted with laughter, the smashed cub scout got to his feet, a little embarrassed but thankfully no harm done.   I looked at Chester (who was sort of smiling) and whispered, "What is up with this smashing the cub scout thing??"

Because Chester needed to make things right with his little buddy, and do the trick correctly,  (strive for accuracy),  the courageous Cub Scout somewhat reluctantly made another bridge.  I once again gave Chester the "OVER" command. ...The Cub Scout braised his arms and legs, scrunched his eyes closed --- and this time Chester soared like an eagle over his little friend, not even touching a hair on his head.

The crowd roared --- Chester took a bow, the cub scout sprang to his feet and took a bow!  We shook paws and hands with our brave new friend, apologizing for Chester's mistake and thanking him for being such a terrific and patient helper.

Here's the rest of this story....  Right before leaving, the Cub Scout Leader approached me.  He went on to tell me that the boy I had chosen for the "bridge trick" just happened to be a young man who struggled greatly with bullying other boys in the troop.  While rubbing Chester on the head, he grinned at me and said, "Do you think Chester knew?"

I don't know if Chester knew :) , but I do know this little Cub Scout had a wonderful teachable moment ~~ hopefully he had ears to hear and eyes to see.

Chester, you are a  Sensational teacher.