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Four Year Olds are Hard Work!

Today I had a subbing job…for a class of four-year-olds.  The class was at my church’s preschool – a place I worked at three summers ago.

That summer, I had the 13-24 month-olds.  Five of them.

Today, I had 11 four-year-olds.

I thought the tots would be a little easier to manage since they were older.

No dirty diapers to change…they can handle spoons by themselves…

Boy, was I wrong.

My first clue that I would have my hands full was when one young guy came in sporting a cast on his arm.  His mom, also a teacher at the school, told me that this was his third cast since December.

I chuckled, turned, and saw him standing on a chair.

Uh oh.  I really didn’t want to see him with a cast on the other arm.

Another lad entered the room, and he proceeded to join the first in the standing-on-a-chair game.

Great.

And so it went.

The regular teacher left wonderful notes, God bless her.  I had an amazing teenaged helper too, God bless her as well.

The morning went well.

Circle time, theater time, snack time, and then playground time.

It was hot outside, but the school has a tent set up over half of the playground, so we were able to cool off there.  One little girl came to me and declared that she was hot as bacon frying.  Don’t ‘ya just love some of the things that kids say?!

The kids had a “birthday party” in the sandbox.  Oh boy…they must have carried half of the sand out of there…in their pockets, stuck to their skin.

Their faces, though, were red from the energy they had expended, and we got them all cleaned up in the bathroom.

It was back to the classroom for a game of Lilly Pad Jump (jumping from one paper plate to another…all previously painted by them) and centers.

Things got interesting here.

The teacher has a deep, rectangular rubbermaid container full of rice and fun little toys the kids can “bury.”  The rice ideally stays IN the box.

Not today.

While my attention was diverted elsewhere, one mischievous gal poured rice on the dollhouse and surrounding carpet.  When I caught her, she tried to look innocent.

No can do, sister-dear.  I’m raising two of my own and you can’t outwit me.

Later, it was time for lunch.  Whew!  Can you imagine opening 11 Caprisuns, Juicy Juices, and apple sauce containers?  One little girl dropped her yogurt on the floor.  Of course it landed upside down.

Have I ever told you that the smell of yogurt makes me sick?

Kids eat lots of yogurt.

I’ve never gotten used to the smell.

I tried not to gag as I cleaned it up.  I would have rather it had been one of the mushy, green poopy diapers I had to change three years ago (the result of my charge’s Fruit Loop breakfasts).

After lunch, we got everyone cleaned up and went to the large youth room to dance.

My kids acted like they were caged animals who had just been released into the wild.

It didn’t take them long to start chasing each other in one huge circle and screaming like a bunch of heathen children.

I was a little embarassed when another class walked in, and the kids stood there looking at my group.

Parents started picking up their children from our “dance” session, and before I knew it, my assistant and I were alone again.

She vacuumed the rice, and I unstickied the yogurt-applesauce-peanut butter tables.

It was a hectic day but also one of joy as I remembered my own children at that age.  The conversations that passed between the kids (four year olds talk a lot!) were precious.  I watched as one young guy consoled a little lass after she hurt her knee.  His compassion touched my heart.

Yes, four year olds are a lot of work, but today it was mostly the fun kind.

The Score is In

When I got home from subbing today (I’ll post about this in a bit), I decided to check the mail.

I was on the phone with my friend, Rabbitrescuer (remember the gal whose son was burned last summer…we talk on the phone or via Skype almost every day).  As we chatted, I casually flipped through the items I had pulled from the mail…when all of a sudden I had to suck in my breath.

I had an official-looking envelope.

And it hit me.

My test score…from the English 6-12 certification exam I had taken a couple of weeks ago.

My poor friend…she had to listen while I tried to decide…open it with her on the phone or wait for us to hang up.

I decided to open it.  After all, she’d be there to either comfort me or share in my joy, depending on the outcome.

With a quivering hand, I opened the envelope.

My eyes had difficulty focusing…did I pass or fail?

See for yourself…

Do you see…the top, green section…

PASS

Everybody do the Happy Dance with me!

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