Monday, 28 January 2008

The Grommet

I walked into the classroom and a 7 year old boy placed a very tiny white plastic object in the palm of my hand. It was shaped like a cotton reel.
"Do you know what a tonsil looks like? I think this is my tonsil that just came out."
I looked at the tiny white plastic object and superimposed my idea of a tonsil over it. This object was too small. I thought if a tonsil, a blob of flesh, had recently come out it would be covered in blood but I didn't say that.
"This is plastic" I said, looking at him.
"Oh, maybe it's not called a tonsil. What's that thing that goes in your ear?"
"Grommet," I replied. "This is a grommet." I had never seen one before but it made sense that this was one. The cotton reel shape would be perfect for making sure it would not slip through the hole in the ear drum.
"I have those," says another boy. "They're always coming out, especially when I dive in the swimming pool."
I put it in the bin, suddenly not wanting to hold something that had been in his ear. 'Is that why he's a bit of a problem in class, having glue ear?' I thought, thinking back to the various recent incidents I had had with him. Would having glue ear make him continually burp out load and laugh about it? No, they didn't seem related, yet do I need to be a little more tolerant of his behaviour? Hmm.
"Tell your mum when you get home, that it came out," I told him.
"Right," I said looking up at the class, " We need handwriting books and pencils given out please."