J and Mrs M have been aware of each other almost since he started attending the school. Mrs M runs a Rosary group from time to time and J amazed me by attending it - even if he did not quite grasp the whole concept. Mrs M also amazed me at around that time .... by grabbing J for a hug one morning and saying "God Bless him he sits so nice and quietly at the back of my Rosary group". I wanted to grab Mrs M and say "J sit's quietly"? And "are you sure you have the right child"? But she DID mean J and he WAS the right child and indeed he DID sit quietly in the Rosary group.
Mrs M is from Northern Ireland with a heavy accent and she never fails to make me laugh when dealing with J. Most afternoons when I collect J, Mrs M will be standing at the door saying "okay, bye bye darling" as he leaves. On other occasions she just stands at the doorway in mock horror saying to me "just take him - take him home". At another time when J told Mrs M he was "going home now" she raised her hands in a "praise the heavens" kind of way and stated "Hallellujah".
Mrs M also understands J very well indeed and is aware of his difficulties in some areas, she asks a lot of J at times and pushes his limits as is needed but is also ready to cuddle and reassure where necessary. Yesterday J went with his class to the local shopping centre where they were due to sing Christmas carols. As I was working this was attended by Nanny who said that J was excellent, did all the same actions as his classmates and joined in the singing. In fact his only moment of anxiety was when the alarm started sounding from the local jewellers (no it had not just been held up - just a blip I think). As soon as the alarm started to sound Mrs M had J by her side and pulled him to her in a reassuring manner. And J coped with the alarm.......Brilliant.
Later the class returned to the school where I and several other parents were preparing for the school Christmas Disco (160 portions of hotdogs and chips). Once the food was nearly all out Mrs M appeared in the kitchen bemoaning the noise made by 160 children - she was surely jesting. "Why" I asked "after a full week in the classroom around these little darlings would you NOT want to hear all this noise Mrs M ....;. and in any case surely you should be in the middle of them and break-dancing". Mrs M looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and stated "I did all that in my youth - now are there any spare chips"?
Later I took J home... he had fallen over in the disco and was asking for home, cuddles and to curl up on the sofa. He was in fact exhausted - too many late nights and a very busy week at school had taken their toll. As I cuddled him I smelt his head - he smelled purely of Mrs M's perfume - as though he had been cuddled up to her for a bit. I asked him "Did Mrs M cuddle you today" - "Yes" said J " she looked after me on the coach back to school".
Mrs M - here's to you - you are a wonderful teacher and while J gets fed up with you at times I think you are great.