Corners are No Fun
Corners are no fun. Believe me, they aren't. Whomever it was that invented corners should be beaten, roasted and eaten. And it just seems that people at daycare are obsessed with corners.
Looking back, I remember the first time that I was put into a corner. It broke my heart. You see, then I had the gift of a childlike heart, and the innocence of a conscience, and not only was I put into five minutes of quiet solitude, but I was sure I had done something wrong, but I wasn't quite sure what it was that had earned my spot in my little corner.
I was simply sitting on the gray carpet, playing with the building blocks. I was trying to build a Tower of Babel. I'd been trying to build one ever since Daddy told me about it. A little girl walked up to me. She was wearing a red dress with pink polka dots on it, and her hair was pulled into two pigtails on the sides. "What's your name?" she asked me curiously, her head cocked to one side.
"Aidan," I responded. Being a four-year-old boy, I wasn't particularly socially adept. In fact, I was quite socially inept. Thus, I did not understand that she, being a preschool-age girl, wanted to talk to me. I had just assumed that she wanted to know my name and no more. If she had wanted more, she would have asked for more. Wouldn't she?
"Oh," she responded suddenly subdued. "I'm Emma." There was an awkward pause as she waited for me to respond to her. But I didn't respond to her. I simply continued to stack the wooden blocks on top of one another, testing how well they stood up with a pause between each block.
"What're you doing?" Emma asked me.
"I'm building a tower," I said shortly without looking up. I continued to stack the blocks higher and higher with great caution. Placing a block on, I looked up at my tower, and noticed that it was the height of my head. Picking up another block, just to be on the safe side, I reached up as high as I could to see if I could fit the last block on top.
I hit the top of the tower with the top of my block, but it just wouldn't reach. So I resigned that I must stand up, though I was not greatly inclined to. Building towers seems so much more satisfying when one is sitting happily on the ground, and it doesn't nearly give as much pleasure as when you're forced to stand as though you were a crane.
I stood up, padding my tiny little shoes on the ground. Emma looked at me with an angry face that I wasn't responding to her the way that she wanted me to. But I didn't notice her face. I was busy building my tower.
"Why are you building a tower?" Emma asked me sourly. I noticed that she had spoken to me, and looked up.
"Because," I said shortly, and turned back to my tower. Now remember that I didn't realize that I was being mean. I just simply thought that that was all she wanted.
"Because why?" Emma demanded.
I shrugged. I picked up a long thin block and placed it across the top. As I was rummaging through the pile looking for another block of that shape and size, Emma spoke again.
"Well, if you don't know why, then there's no reason for you to build it," Emma informed me. I shrugged at her again, finding the blocks I wanted and placing them across the top of the tower as though I were building a helicopter pad.
"You know that we'd like some of these blocks in our house, and you aren't being very nice. You need to share. You know that, don't you?" Emma inquired, hands on hips.
I nodded. "There's lots right here," I said pointing to the pile. I found a cone shaped block and placed it on the top of the tower as a crowning glory. How proud I was of my tower. It was perfect, and it hadn't even threatened to topple over like Jericho's walls. But as I stepped back to admire it, Emma went forward to it.
"Maybe there are, but the block that I want is right here," Emma demanded. She squatted down to the base of my tower and pulled the foundation of my tower out from under it.
My tower tumbled down, down, down. I stared at the debris of my gloriously erected structure with tears in my eyes. I looked at Emma and saw the satisfaction in her eyes that she had gotten the block that she wanted.
She started back for the other girls, but in my anger, I wasn't going to let her go. I picked up one of the blocks and threw it at her. It hitting her in the back, she turned around and stared at me, mouth opened wide. Then she started crying, tears streaming down her face a cry emitting from her mouth.
The daycare monitor came running over to her and hugged her tight. "What happened?" the monitor asked in suprise.
"He…hit…me," Emma managed to get out between monstrous sobs. The monitor looked at her closely.
"Who did? Who hit you, sweetheart?"
"He did," Emma repeated, but this time pointing at me. The monitor's glance moved from Emma to me. She did a huff and gave me the evil eyes.
"Aidan, come here," she demanded of me. I obediently walked forward, tears still in my eyes from the demolition of my precious tower. "Did you hit Emma?"
"No," I responded truthfully. I hadn't hit her; I had thrown a block at her. At my age, I didn't realize that they were, in effect, the same thing.
"You didn't?" the monitor asked me doubtfully, eyes widened, trying to convince me to tell the truth.
"No," I repeated insistently.
"Emma says you did. Didn't you Emma?" the monitor asked Emma once more, to verify the story.
"Yes," Emma's lips confirmed, her face red and splotched, tears flowing down in miniature brooks down her face.
The monitor turned to me, very upset. "Aidan, go to time out," the monitor demanded. I slumped over to the corner obediently, wondering what I had done. She was the one who had destroyed my tower. Why was I going to the corner?
When I finally got out of time out, which took at least a millennium of a five-minute period, barely a moment had passed before Mommy was in the doorway, signing me out. She came to me and took my hand. "Come on, Aidan," she said. "It's time to go home now." She headed towards the door leading me behind her. I toddled behind, thankful to get away from Emma.
The monitor came over to her. "We had some trouble today. Maybe he'll tell you about it."
Mommy looked down at me with her angry eyes. We stepped out the door, shutting it behind us with a bang. I decided that she'd be less angry if I pretended that it was normal. "I got time out today," I told her happily, hoping that she wouldn't be mad.
She paused for a moment, and then decided not to be mad. "Uh-oh," she said. "Is that good or bad?"
I paused for a moment, thinking about honesty. Finally, I decided my answer. "It's bad!"
And that's why corners are no fun. I think that corners should be removed from every building on earth. If I were an architect, I'd design buildings without corners.