Friday, September 21, 2007

Surviving kindergarten.






So it may surprise some of you, but young children are not really my thing. Yes, I know I have lots of them, and yes, I try my best to soak them up and have fun with them. But beyond my own kids, I'm not really all that great. So having to spend the day in kindergarten today was actually a big deal for me. I have the utmost respect for people who have the patience to work in jobs that require ongoing interactions with young children. Hats off to teachers, coaches, therapists, doctors, librarians, day care workers, YMCA staff and all the other people out there working with kids.
I have lots of reasons behind my "young kids are not my thing", but mostly I think I am selfish. Kids are demanding and take lots of patience, as I said. I think that's why God has given me so many kids...it's one way to force me to work on the characteristics I have that need "pruning and refining". I think maybe it's working a bit, because I actually enjoyed some of my time in the classroom today.
Here's my favorite story. I just couldn't resist recounting this "totally kindergarten moment" with you. {Even in leaving out the names I think it is still very funny.} The teacher was working with the whole class on their phonics lesson. They are learning the vowel sounds first. So there was a review of the letters 'i', 'u' and 'e', and then the letter 'a' was introduced today. The children repeat the letter and say the sound it makes several times. We said {loudly....kindergartners LOVE to do phonics loudly...it's actually cute to listen to the sing-song rhythm of their little, excited voices} "E says 'eh' as in elephant....e says eh eh eh". When it came time for 'a', the teacher practiced it a few times and held up cards with the letter a on it. Then she asked the kids for words that start with 'a' and make the "ahh" sound. One child said "Ah like in my name Alexandra" and another kid said "Ah like apple". Then the room got quiet for a few seconds until one little boy's hand popped up as high as he could reach. (He was sitting just in front of the teacher, so she called on him right away.) He said, "I know! A says 'ah, ah ah'- Jellyfish!!"
My stomach almost hurt from holding my laugh back. (This is where I would fail as a teacher and also where I have deep respect for teachers at the same time.) Without missing a beat the teacher said, "Let's see...'ah, ah, ah'... jellyfish. Say jellyfish". All the kids said "jellyfish". She repeated, "juh, juh, jellyfish...A says 'ah, ah, ah'." She looked right at the boy who had just said jellyfish and he was almost jumping out of his seat when he exclaimed, "So I was right then, huh!" I'm quite sure I laughed outloud, and even the teacher looked over at me with a little snicker and smile.
Let's just say it was quite a memorable phonics lesson...and I sure hope that I get the chance to tell this boy's parents just how cute their son was in class. While in kindergarten I took the liberty of taking a few pictures in class of my own girls. I couldn't help but sit at the little tables and think that this moment- this day- is something I will think back on and wish I could get back for just a little longer not too many years from now. It's like I close my eyes and pretend that this is my past and then I savor it even more. Realizing the present moment is here for me to cherish is really an amazing thing. No matter how routine the schedule may be. These little things- days at school; learning and growing and having fun; doing life together are the things my heart is gonna wish I could get back. So I was actually really grateful that I had this day. Even if young kids aren't really my best thing. I think I learned a thing or two. (And I'm not just talking phonics here.)
Brock met up with us in the hallway on the way out of school...wearing a rainbow clown wig. I've never really liked clowns either...you know, scary movies and weird people in clownsuits come to mind when I think of clowns. But this was funny to me. Or maybe I was just happy to be done with class by that time of the day. =) Either way, he was all smiles. He was loving life in his rainbow, curly hair. He wore it home. He wore it and made funny faces for his sisters. He let me take some pictures and then he had me try it on too. Then he wanted to see a picture of me in it...so we snapped one looking into a really spattered mirror.
Later on, he wore it to McDonalds. (Yes...we had DINNER at McDonalds! I think I broke 3 of my own rules doing that tonight, but hey...I was exhausted from a day in kindergarten! What do you expect?!) I'm sure some of the employees and customers thought we were all crazy even though he was the only one in a clown wig. It made it all the more funny to him...and to me. So, if you were in this place and had to see me and my kids, I apologize for all the fun we were having eating our Happy Meals and actually being happy. =)
Now on to more serious, quite possibly, controversial things. Brock got that wig at school as part of his magazine drive. Our school holds a magazine fundraiser each year, and we have a couple of weeks left to collect orders. Last year when I posted I recall that there were a few 'anonymous' comments from readers who felt I had 'crossed the line'. I really didn't know that there was such a line in blogging...really I see my blog as my thing and the place to share my life and stories and pictures and insights and whatever else it is I post from time to time. So, at the risk of offending people in regards to some invisible line, I am inviting you- only if you want to- to email me about magazines. Our school has a number and I will send you that and the link to the website for you to browse books, magazines and music to order. Each order helps to support the school with 40% of the total purchase. I know some of you enjoyed browsing the magazine titles, and some of them are better deals than most of the subscription offers out there. For example, you can get 22 issues (2 years) of Cooking Light magazine for $20.00. Martha Stewart Living is 12 issues for $25.00 and Blueprint is just $15 for 6 issues. Simple Scrapbooks is $20 for 6 issues (one year) and Creating Keepsakes magazine is $22.00 for 12 issues. Did I mention the funky Domino magazine is on special at $15.00 for 12 issues...or that Everyday with Rachael Ray is $18.00 for 10 issues? Oh. Right. I forget that I am not trying to offend anyone...I'm just throwing it out there for anyone who is looking to subscribe to anything or has a magazine they could renew through this project.
I truly mean no harm, and really in the end it is mostly just a fun way to raise funds for our school and for my kids to get cheesy prizes that totally make their days. Or weeks. I have a feeling this wig is going to be around for awhile! So, my point here isn't to cram some hard-sell offer down your throat, but to say, "Hey! If you're interested, email me and I'll hook you up with a link". You don't even have to make a purchase....you are welcome to just browse the deals. And to my fashionista friends who are magazine-inspiration happy, I'll post at SIS for you. But you can still email me to say hello. {nitty.grittyjody@yahoo.com }
Don't be surprised if you don't hear from me all weekend. I have a feeling that's how long it's going to take me to recover from my day at kindergarten. =)

17 comments:

Laurie said...

Shoot Jody, I did not know there was a line like that in blogging either! I figured the blog was like my house, I could do what I want in it, provided I wasn't breaking any laws....

Love your day in Kindy story! Great photos too!!! Always sending prayers your way girl!

Christal said...

Hey Jody, sorry I havent been around too much latley. Been grumpy... I think with all that is going on I am feeling the effects taking toll on me. Makes me go M.I.A! Glad to hear the kids made you laugh. ( Wish I could snap out of it too ) LOL!~ Miss you! Give me a call or email me sometime!

Cara said...

oh! i am SOOOO offended!
hee hee.
(sorry, just had to be a little sassy pot stirrer there.)

looks like your mood might be a little better after "jellyfish phonics" and happy Happy Meals!

have a great great weekend!

Lisa said...

Oh how i would love to spend the day in kindergarden! i miss it - can't wait to get a job and be in those classrooms each day! i know it's not for everyone though, but i envied you yesterday! what fun! the stories are the best - you never ever know what you'll hear. one day during student teaching, a boy came up to me with these big tears in his eyes and said that another boy at his table was calling the cops on him and he was scared. so we go follow the "phone" boy and he says he has a cell phone in his backpack and he's calling the cops. so we wait and wait - guess what? no cell phone - imagine that. this is what i tell the sweet boy in tears - he's not calling the cops honey - he doesn't really have a phone and besides, if you give him his pencil back, it'll all be ok! why did kids in kindergarden even know about calling the cops? lol and one day I was picking cole up from the resource room and another child had just knocked over the blocks cole was playing with - cole picks up him 'hand' phone and says he's calling the boys mother to tell on him. the boy burst into tears. the substitute teacher is paying no attention by the way, so i say to him- look, his hand phone doesn't really work baby - he's not calling anyone, trust me. so he stops crying and cole gets lectured on the way home about being a tattle tale on his hand phone. That's so not cool!! He still used his 'hand' phone quite often and will call anyone at anytime to tell them something important!! i love kindergarden!! sorry, i'm rambling at this point huh? lol

Sonja said...

Brock is SERIOUSLY cute in a clown wig (and really you're not too bad yourself:) What happiness (even if the real thing can be a little scary at times) I'm so glad you all had fun a Mickey D's last night and that you survived kindergarten (it is a tough place)

memoryfairy said...

I can totally understand not being into kids even though you're a mum! And as for the crossing the line thing - what's up with that??? If you don't like - don't look!! I think a blog is the perfect avenue for fundraising - saves sending the kids door to door with chocolates (or haing to buy a whole box yourself) ;o)...and do the mags do international posting????

Anonymous said...

love it all! i remember the magazine fiasco last year - means i've been reading you for over a year!! hey do they have today's christiam magazine? i really enjoy that one! :)

Anonymous said...

oos, i was typing faster than my computer was keeping up - i'm looking for TODAYS CHRISTIAN WOMAN magazine!

Anonymous said...

oos, i was typing faster than my computer was keeping up - i'm looking for TODAYS CHRISTIAN WOMAN magazine!

susan opel said...

Hi, Jody! I'd really rather participate in a boxing match with Sly Stallone than hangout with a classroom full of Kindergarteners! I thank God that there are wonderful people like my friend Arlys who has the patience to deal with those little ones all at once. When I taught at a grade school, we did a teacher swap for Lutheran schools week, and I ended up going from my 8th grade classroom to hangout with the 1st graders for the afternoon. To say that I was terrified is quite the understatement. I'll stick with my room full of seniors or juniors any day of the week. They may not always be awake, but they sure as heck can tie their shoes!

:):):)

beth opel said...

Hey Jody!

Aha! Welcome to the wonderful world of education. It sure isn't dull, is it?

Glad you had a good, if amusing experience.

I'm sure the teacher is very grateful for volunteers like you.

Cynthia said...

Jodi, I'm totally with you on the teaching thing. I can SOOO relate with feeling that my prob. with little ones is my own selfishness. I too, think it's why I have four wonderful children. They've helped to pull me out of some of that selfishness. I homeschool them, so I don't have to volunteer in the classrooms (hee, hee, just kidding about the reason I homeschool). Truly though, your blog is where you post what you like. There's no such thing as "line-crossing." It's YOUR blog. If others don't like it, they can feel free to read (or write) their own blog of choice. You write what you like, and shrug off the discouragers. I love what you write. You are an encouragement to me. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable here.

Blessings!

Cynthia

Anonymous said...

OK. So, here comes the party pooper. I am not offended that you mention the magazine drive or that you even ask folks to peruse the site and buy mags.

Here's my concern. When my child is selling stuff and I go next door to ask my neighbor to buy or to church to ask some friends, I can SEE that person. I can see who they are and get a feel for their intentions.

The internet is different. I don't even know if this is the case, but when you give out your school's number for the magazine website, is there any identifying information listed there? How about when a subscription arrives? A note stating "thank you for supporting _________school?". I ask this for one reason.

There are perverts out there. You know that. We all know that. And unfortunately for folks like you who have such an open spirit, you can become an easy target. For instance, any perv could see photos of your kids and then email you (posing as just another mom or scrapper who reads your blog) for information about this magazine drive and then possibly get information about what school they attend. At that point, they have WAY more information than they ever should have had.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not just trying to be nasty or stir up controversy. You're right, it's your blog and you can do whatever you want to do. But it's obvious that you love your kids, so please just be careful what you give out over the net, no matter how good-intentioned it might be.

Sincerely,
Frances

Janna said...

LOL... that picture of your son with the rainbow wig under the helmet and riding his scooter is SO funny! That's definitely one that he'll crack up at later on in life. Your pictures are wonderful!

christine said...

Hey Jodes! Totally get the kid thing..me and my sister are both really selfish with our time. Even though Ethan is a huge blessing in my life, at times, it gets to me. I've given myself permission to feel this way once in a while. Hey, who doesn't like a little free time? I love my free time. Giving it away and waiting for the twenty year mark to hit is a long wait. I know that in my twenties, I started appreciating my parents more. Now that I have a child, I appreciate my parents even more. Being a parent is hard. Boy, did I find this out quickly! There's certainly nothing in the world that can prepare you for taking care of kids. No matter how many dolls are mothers gave us as children or whether or not we succeeded in carrying around the "flower baby" in highschool, being a mom is the hardest job in the world and the best part, the children don't come with instructions :) Now where is that manual when I need it at 12am in the mornen'?

Mother-in-law, Karen said...

I would like to thank Francis for her comments about blogging safety in regards to children on the internet. I know that my daughter-in-law Jody is very cautious about her children, but we all can never be too careless with any of our information. Sadly, we have pathetic people out there, all over the world, that are so demented. A friend of mine places exchange students in Minnesota homes and they have had several pedohplies attempt to be hosts for students. They have a great screening process, thank goodness.
I love to read all of your "scrappy" conversations. Keep up all of the creative work

Ang said...

yes, seeing you in the 'real world' for more than 2 minutes while changing classes would be great :)