I keep saying I'm going to write my memoirs someday. This is about as close as I will ever get. Here's a sample of some of the things I get to experience in childrens' mental health services:
During our final "Social Success!" group session, a 6th grade boy serenaded me. "Thank you for being a frrriiieeeennndddd!" I didn't know they even knew about the Golden Girls. This made my day! Unfortunately, if he really was referring to me as a "friend," then I failed at boundaries.
7th grade girl: "I don't need to talk today, but you can come to class with me and help me with my project." Um. No.
Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. is famous for "having a dream that black kids and white kids can ride the bus together?" I didn't. "NO DUMMY that was Rosie Parks!"
8th grade. "I'm going to sit on this table until you say that we can have group for the whole rest of the school year!" "Well, get comfy..." Note to self: upset 8th graders do not like your sarcasm.
6th grade compliment: "You are nice and I like Cheeze Its."
Pre-teen girl smiled at me with tin foil on her teeth, and asked if I like her "grill." Please note that this is not the first time in my career that this has happened. Same demographic.
8th grade was-supposed-to-be-a-compliment: "Your hair looks nice. Can you cut some off and give it to me 'cause my hair grows in afro puffs." This is a boy.
Child made me watch a video she took of her overweight cat. Dressed in a doll's hoodie. Maroon 5 blaring in the background. Making the cat dance. I'm not a cat person, but I felt for that cat. She had dead eyes.
I typed this. In an agency's progress note. Official documentation. "Client made a fake mustache with tape, which he wore, and insisted therapist and peers address him as 'Incognito.'"
Last but not least. "Its not cheating! Its 'gathering information'! Its a LIFE SKILL!"
For realz, I cannot make these things up. This is why I love working with adolescents. They are a breed unto themselves, and I love the nonsensical things they say, almost as much as I love watching them start to put the puzzle pieces of their little selves together.