Several children were playing in our large cardboard car, having a grand time together.
I heard one call out, "Let's go to California!"
All of a sudden, from the back seat, someone was throwing plastic golf balls across our classroom.
(We use these balls with our ramps...and, clearly, for more impish behaviors as well.)
Throwing balls across the classroom is not an okay thing to do in the Big Cats preschool classroom - children get hit unexpectedly, projects get toppled unexpectedly, and the mood in the room changes unexpectedly.
Time to intervene!
I immediately squat down, with my hands on pretend motorcycle handles, and I rev my pretend bike, with a police siren, too. "Whoooooooo Whooooooo!" my police siren calls out, as I move up alongside the cardboard car.
Leo, Oscar, and Gideon, playing in the car, look at me with total surprise.
I stop alongside the driver's door and say,
"Sir, I need your license and registration. You are throwing golf balls from your back seat and that is against the law on these highways."
Gideon, in the driver seat, is stunned -
"But, I'm the father, I didn't do it; it's my baby boys in the back seat, Leo and Oscar did it."
I continue, "Well, sir, as you know, drivers are always responsible for what goes on in their car. Fathers are responsible for the behavior of their baby boys. I'm going to have to give you a ticket and a big fine."
Leo and Oscar both get long faces.
Gideon turns to them and says,
"You need to get out! We're in trouble. The police says we can't throw balls. You were doing it."
"It wasn't me! It was Leo."
Leo - to my surprise - jumps out of the car and sits down on a chair in the dramatic play center, arms criss-crossed across his chest, huge pout on his face, and asks "I can't play now?" to Gideon.
"Well, take a break. You can come to California, but you can't throw balls."
"Okay, I won't throw," and climbs back into the back seat.
Kielan looks up with delight and joins in,
"Hey, I'll be Uncle Doug and sit in the front seat with you!"
and the whole ball throwing incident becomes a distant and one-time-only memory.
Yes, when possible, I like to be humorous in my discipline. Children respond delightfully!