It was just another typical day at the preschool. A bright and sunny day with the sun shining down and spreading its warmth across the playground and only a few white fluffy clouds scattered in the sky. The children either played outside in the sunshine, or inside under the watchful eye of the teacher. A child ran up to the teacher sat by the window, and tugged on his sleeve.
"Mister Lester, can I go outside?" the little girl asked.
He smiled and nodded. He watched the girl, Helen, run outside and straight to the sandpit, where another child was sat alone, digging through the sand. He looked up and smiled when Helen approached, and within moments they were playing together. Nick, Lester remembered, was a new kid, but got along with almost everyone. There were a few rivalries between him and a few of the slightly younger kids, but nothing ever got out of hand.
On the other side of the playground ran three children, laughing and chasing each other in their game of cops and robbers. Lester noticed that it was Danny and the young dark-haired boy Becker (he insisted on being called by his last name. Lester always wondered why. The kid said he preferred it over his first name), who were the cops, yet again. Not that the robber, a quick and intelligent boy by the name of Stephen, seemed to mind. He seemed to delight in hiding and watching Becker and Danny look for him fruitlessly. Then he'd jump out, scare them and run off, the boys hot on his heels. At least once every day the three boys played that game, often more. Even when it was pouring down, they would just move their game inside, which just aggravated Lester and the other children were disrupted. Not that Lester really minded.
Lester looked to the classroom for a moment. A few children were sat playing or looking at the picture books. In the corner sat the shy little girl Jenny, who rarely left that spot. Jenny was looking up and out of the window every few moments. When Lester checked, he realised she was watching Helen and Nick in the sandpit. Nick had the odd habit of calling Jenny by the name of Claudia, apparently because he'd once had a friend who'd looked remarkably similar by the same name and had moved away a few months before starting preschool. Nick kept glancing up and through the window and smiling when he saw Jenny looking at him. Jenny ducked her head every time he saw, but Lester saw the small smile on her face.
Young love, Lester thought with a smile.
On the other side of the classroom were two other kids playing with the model dinosaurs. The slim young girl with long brown hair was Sarah, and she kept stealing the toys from the cute little boy across the table from her. Connor was one of the odder kids, always saying things that didn't make sense or just the wrong thing at the wrong time. Lester knew that kids often did that (God did he know) but Connor seemed to be better at it than anyone. He pouted when Sarah stole his toys, and promptly snatched them back.
"That's mine!" he said, grabbing the little dinosaur.
"But you've already got one!" Sarah argued, pointing to the identical dinosaur sat on the table in front of Connor.
"But they're friends! You're making Sid sad!"
Sarah grinned and gave back the toy. Connor grabbed it and set it back next to its twin.
"What's the other one called?" Sarah asked.
"That's Sid, and that's Harry," Connor said.
"Harry's a stupid name. Make it a girl."
Sarah's bottom lip wobbled, and Lester was about to walk over and sort out the problem when another little girl with white-blond hair swept in. She ran in from outside and ran straight to the table where Connor and Sarah were sat. She and Connor were close friends.
"Hey Connor, look at this!" she said, holding out her hand. On it was a small brown lizard, no bigger than her hand. Connor looked at it with awe and put out a hand to touch it. Sarah frowned.
"Eww, that's gross," she said.
"He's so cool!" Connor said breathlessly, letting the lizard crawl up his arm.
"I'm gonna call him Rex!" the girl, Abby, said with a huge grin, taking the reptile back from her friend and closing her hand gently over it so it didn't escape "Wha'cha doin'?"
"Connor said girls suck," Sarah said almost instantly, obviously trying to get Connor in trouble with Abby. Sarah and Connor often got into fights and Abby was always the one to work around it and solve it.
"Did not," Connor mumbled.
Abby, seeming to know exactly what the problem was, leant over and picked up one of the dinosaurs.
"Cool, what's her name?" she asked.
"Nancy," Connor said immediately, despite the fact it had been a male called Harry not ten seconds earlier.
Abby smiled and Connor's face lit up. Sarah pouted, but didn't say anything.
Lester glanced at the clock and realised it was time to settle the children down for a nap. He stood up and stood in the doorway, calling, "Come on kids, time for a nap!"
The boys rushed in within seconds, followed by Nick and Helen. The children all headed for the centre of the room, grabbing their pillows and heading for the empty space in the middle of the room. They moved towards the spots they'd chosen long before and settled down.
Becker and Danny chose their place and immediately started pushing each other, arguing over who was a better cop. Stephen sat next to them, grinning because he'd outwitted them yet again. Sarah seated herself beside Becker, smiling at him. Becker didn't seem to notice.
Nick and Helen sat on their own a little way off from the others. Jenny walked over and nervously sat beside Nick. The two exchanged looks and then grinned.
Connor and Abby had their own little spot where they sat, the small lizard still in the little girl's hand. Lester walked over and quietly told her that perhaps the lizard would like to go home. Abby nodded and ran outside depositing the animal on the wall before racing back and falling down next to Connor with a grin.
Lester looked over the children as they prepared to sleep. He smiled. It was just another typical day at the preschool.