I have a vomiter in my class.
Her mother – armed with plastic bags and a worried expression – explained to me that when this child feels stressed, she vomits. With one eye on said child and another on my possible escape route, I tried to look sympathetic and caring, instead of repulsed.
Normally she walks into class, takes one look at me, and chunders. I try not to take it personally … after all, I’ve taught hundreds of children in my time, and not a single one – up until now – has felt the need to deposit their partly digested breakfast at my feet.
I’ve taken to eyeing her very warily if she comes anywhere near me. Thank God for my extra-wide female peripheral vision, which I make full use of, scanning the classroom as though I’m manning a watchtower in Colditz. I’ve also mastered the art of pushing the bin surreptitiously in her direction with my foot whilst readying myself to leap backwards out of spattering distance at a millisecond’s notice if necessary.
Who needs exercise classes when you have your own personalised dodge-the-vomit routine to keep you nimbly skipping round the classroom on a daily basis?