Bring your fiancé to work day.
"You want Owen to stay?" I asked.
He nodded, but someone had to prepare the materials.
"What if I go and Owen stays?"
"Yes," came the earnest whisper.
How easily replaceable I am.
After morning snack, we introduced the kids to the old cornstarch and water experiment. If you don't know how this goes (I pity your lost childhood), it basically involves mixing the two, little-by-little, until they reach the consistency of a firm clay when squeezed in the hand, or compressed in some way. The fun part is that as soon as you relax your hand the clay morphs into a runny goop that is difficult to contain.
I say fun. It is, but it is also an experiment that is best attempted in a space that can handle mess. One of my kids repeatedly told me to "Look! Miss Amanda!", which I did only to find him standing right next to me, green slime oozing out of his palms and onto the desk, my shoes, the carpet (we apologized in advance to the school's head of maintenance).
What was most amazing about the project was to see how each child reacted to the materials. Interestingly, the child who is usually the most orderly in our room made the biggest mess, while the one who is known for making mud pies, splashing in puddles, and regularly dining on the contents of his nose could barely bring himself to touch the slime. I made the mistake of not having the water ready to go when the boys rocked up to the craft table and by the time I had prepared their cups, it was looking like some kind of surface used to prepare illegal substances. One of the boys was so enthralled by the cornstarch that before we even started he had completely covered his arms, up to his elbows in the silky powder. Clearly they craved the sensory stimulation.
It wasn't only the children in the ASD room that enjoyed having a visitor. Mr. Owen made quite the impression at 2nd grade circle time and was a hit in the Ga-ga ring during afternoon recess. At the end of the day one 2nd grader, who had barely spent any time with him peered longingly into our classroom and called, "Goodbye Owen!"
I thought that they might move on over the weekend, but today that same child asked me, "Hey! Where is Owen?".
I explained that he was at home, but that he might be back on Wednesday morning, to which the child replied, "Can't he just come back and stay forever?"
I know how you feel, kid. I know how you feel.