My students have really taken to our class “pet”, Messy. So much so, that I’m wondering now if they even know he’s not a real dog. I sincerely hope they aren’t waiting for him to finally “wake” up and start kissing their faces.
One of my top achieving students came up to me, quietly, and asked, “Ms. P., does Messy just sleep all day?”
I didn’t want to kill the magic so, I said, “Maybe he is the first ever nocturnal Bull Dog? No, not really. Also, puppies are like babies, they need a lot of sleep.” She has a baby sister, so she seemed satisfied with the answer.
Then, then, I overheard one of my students lament to another student, “Messy is way lazier than my dog at home. I wonder when he will want to play?”
One more…one of the teacher’s students next door came up to her yesterday, and said, “Ms. S., did you know Ms. P has a dog in her room?! Do you think I should go remind her to feed it?”
Someone please tell me my students know that an immobile-stuck-in-the-same-position-CERAMIC dog is fake.
Please tell me they are just consciously participating in the make believe that innocent children’s lives revolve around, because if I have to have the tough conversation that Messy is not alive, it will be the first of its kind.
They absolutely adore him. They race each other to get to the carpet first, so they can sit by him. They sit with him in their laps, happily stroking his “fur”. They asked me what he was going to be for Halloween.
I am confident that my students are playing make believe. This makes me so happy, because in a world where children grow up too fast, where 1st graders are dropping the “F” bomb, and where 8 year-olds have cellphones, Messy makes me believe there is hope. For now, my students are still children, with innocent imaginations, and that makes me so happy.