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It was a long morning of mediating too many squabbles, repeating requests too many times, cleaning up too many messes….all on too little sleep. It was with precious little patience that I put on my “teacher” hat and sat down for lessons.

I turned to Jonathan’s phonics lesson, an “oo” word list, and leaned my weary head on my hand as he began reading.

“Coo, boo, moo…..” The sounds of all those “oo’s” roll over me like waves.

“…proof, roof, boob…..” Did he say boob? I glance at the list. Sure enough. He hesitates, glances at his sister across the table.

“…boot, root, toot….” He and his sister exchange glances again, snicker quietly. I try to keep a straight face, reminding myself that I am, in fact, an adult.

“…coop, hoop, loop…..poop!” It’s at this point that we lose all dignity. I begin giggling like a first-grader. Seeing their teacher-mother laughing, my two students slip into a similar fit of giggling. And then I keep laughing, not so much at the word list, but because I’m laughing at a juvenile potty joke. And then I keep laughing a little while longer, because it just feels so good to laugh. Losing my dignity seems a small price to pay for being able to laugh, long and freely, with my children.