Back in the days of Pre-K land, I used to try to emphasize my "nice-mean voice" with my "I-really-mean-business-face". (Ok, so I still do that in pre-teen-land...) You know the face I mean. Chin down turned, eyebrows up, eyes open wide... And in Pre-K land I often found myself balancing on my toes, trying not to fall over, while maintaining eye contact with an almost-five-year-old while simultaneously making mean face.
My darling Spenny was a frequent recipient of mean face. Spenny wasn't a bad kid - but mean face was just super effective on him. It would stop him in his tracks, he'd literally drop what he was working on, and get a scared-puppy-in-the-headlights look.
One day, I'd say in March or so, after receiving more mean faces that I could ever begin to count, I noticed that sweet Spenny wasn't so responsive.
Time to get out mean voice!
I squat down, balance, make eye contact, and as I'm trying to maintain mean face and choose my words carefully, I notice Spen looking deep into my face.
He looks concerned. He looks worried.
GOOD! This will be short and sweet. (Mind you, NOTHING is ever short and sweet in Pre-K land!)
I open my mouth to ask Spen if he'd like to share something with me and before I get a single syllable - before I even can take a breath - he puts his sweet, almost-five-hand on my cheek and says in the most sincere voice I've ever heard:
"Miss G? Are your eyes broken? Did I break your eyes?"
Oh, out of the mouths of babies. I switched from the mean eyes to the mean-eyebrows after that day!