Friday, April 13, 2007

"Before School"

Maybe it was the sound of a doll's head being bashed against the basement floor. Maybe it was the dollar store guns getting hucked at peoples eyeballs. Maybe it was the kid who said that the morning's pancakes tasted "disgusting". Somewhere in the past one hour and fifteen minutes, some decisions became cemented in my head. I don't have to take a course on "spiritual giftings" to know that its preschoolers who I love, adore, and know what to do with. The big kids with the big appetites (for non-disgusting food) and the big bodies that do big damage to my little toys..... not so much. I like little people who I can scoop up, kiss their softness, strap into a stroller and go explore puddles with. I like little princesses in taffeta and polyester and butterfly heels. I like soft curls, emerging personalities, and the brave defiance of an eighteen month old bruiser. I like goofy words like: "frazy krog" (crazy frog) and"rockanuti" (macaroni).

I recognize the irony. I have three "school-age" children myself. But they are mine. I see my blood coursing through them. I find them charming, excusable, teachable. Even though I'm not exactly sure how to teach them, I feel less of a "fish out of water" because I'm so entirely invested in them. They too tire of big kids coming into their space, filling their home with their sounds, and leaving their marks everywhere.

Of course I feel guilty admitting this all to you. I'd really prefer to see myself as the longsuffering lady down the street who doesn't have the heart to turn any child away. I'll let you in on a little secret. I am actually heartless. Well, perhaps I exaggerate just a little. Still, when considering our short and glorious summer ahead, I think I've made my decision. I shall concentrate on the little people. We'll have picnics and walks and splash in the wading pool. I'll talk in baby-talk and kiss away boo-boos.

So, this lady will have to develop some ability to make decisions, tactfully advise people of the available summer programs, and all of this without offering downcast apologies. I'll never be a business person, I don't really want to be that. But being sane seems like a fair compromise.


Judy said...

Hooray for you!

I'm all about the little people, too.

Big kids are fine, but one at a time - and not around the little ones.

Stick to your dollar store guns, Joyce!

No means No!

gloria said...

oooooh! if i rent a tyke, can i come over? your summer sounds smashing! will leave my tween and teen at home and hide at Joyce's!

lettuce said...

well i'm in higher education (for my sins) but if I was going to teach in school, it would DEF be infant/junior - i'm with you about the little people.

Roo said...

Babies are so fun.
and this quote really pulls it all together,

you dont stop growing when you grow old - you grow old when you stop playing!

(my quotation key is not working)