I’m not a huge play-with-a-lot-of-kids kind of person. I love kids on an individual basis, but put me with more than 3 in a room, and I get a little stressed. What is most hilarious about this is that at one time I thought I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I even went to a summer-long program in high school geared towards that profession. Then, suddenly, I realized during my freshman year of college that while I admire children from a distance, having 20 of them in a room in close proximity to me every day isn’t really ideal for me. I prefer to teach people who already know how to tie their shoes, sit in a chair, use the bathroom by themselves, and write legibly. Most of my college students have mastered these skills. 🙂
However, despite all of this, I thought it would be fun for Stephen and I to sign up for extended session (the time between the end of Sunday School and the end of the service) at church. We have been looking for a way to serve together, and extended session with kids sounded fun. When we got the schedule and saw that we had been assigned to the 4- and 5-year-olds, I was relieved. At least at that age they can follow orders and are used to some semblance of structure, right? They also would require no diaper-changing! And since the time was full of structured activities (snack, video, craft), it should be no problem getting them to follow along. Piece of cake.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
About an hour and fifteen minutes after we arrived to pick up the children and guide them to the classroom (for some reason we had to switch classes), we were exhausted. Chairs were strewn about the room, along with glue stick lids and craft pom-poms, the orange mark of cheese puffs was all over hands and cheeks, and one kid was missing.
Okay, so the last part isn’t true. And I wouldn’t say things were “strewn about” exactly, but the room definitely wasn’t in the state of order in which we’d found it. And we were actually smart enough to wipe the kids’ hands after they had their cheesy snack (cheese puffs are a terrible snack idea, if you ask me). However, I don’t think the kids learned a single thing while we were in there. At first mention of a video, they excitedly went to the chairs, but that interest disintegrated within seconds, and one boy was roaming about the room, another was trying to kiss one of the girls, and a third was playing with some jingle bells. (That is all true.) About 2 minutes into the video, one request for a bathroom break was made, followed by 7 other requests, so we paused the movie and took them all to the bathroom. (I got lucky with this, as there were only 3 girls, but Stephen got to deal with 5 boys, one of which touched the urinal and then licked his finger. Yum.)
After the video was over, there were only about 10 minutes for craft time. The craft involved glueing small pom-poms onto a cardstock arrow (it somehow tied into the lesson), using a glue stick. I know glue sticks are a lot less messy than other glue, but should you ever get the desire to glue pom-poms onto a cardstock arrow, know that the glue stick is virtually useless unless applied in copious amounts, which some of the kids gleefully did. I think only one boy actually finished the craft. Two of the girls spent several minutes debating over who would get to use the pink scissors (the pink scissors are CRUCIAL to the completion of the craft) and therefore didn’t get much accomplished, a couple had trouble even using scissors, and others just goofed off. Even though most did not get any pom-poms glued to the arrow, plenty of pom-poms made their way all over the table. Yippie!
After this wonderfully adventurous morning, Stephen and I have decided not to have kids. KIDDING. Well, maybe. 🙂