Day Two of VBS/Music Camp complete, and I’m still hanging in there. Barely.
On Sunday night, I did some reading on the development levels of 4 & 5-yr-olds. I don’t have a clue about kids that age, so figured that research couldn’t hurt.
Monday morning started off disastrously. I set off our alarm system for the first time while leaving the house, which made me late. Finally arrived (breathlessly & sweaty already at 8:30am) at the church, and took my post as the leader of the Flowers (my group name… there were also Trees & Birds & maybe an Ocean or two).
By 9am, I had 25 — as in TWENTY-FIVE — 4 & 5-yr-olds, making my group officially the largest one. I could feel the harried look permanently affix itself to my face. Ya’ll, reading about the developmental levels of a 5-yr-old does not a child expert make. Just sayin’. Finally got them all nametagged and it was time for our first session. By the time we got to Bible Class, I had already lost one. Dang it. Dropped off the ones who made it and backtracked — wandered through the halls until I found another class of small ones, and yep, there he was.
Then we went to Crafts, and it was sheer chaos. Picture this — 25 small humans, 25 balloons, 3 tables of newspaper strips, and 3 tubs of glue. Ack. Paper-mache + 5-yr-olds = DISASTER. One of them started making this weird groaning sound of distress and slinging her hands, and glue was flying off in all directions, and I asked her what was wrong and told her to “use her words” when she replied with a guttural grunt. Sorry, little one, I don’t speak 5-yr-old caveman.
We’ve had 3 different melt-downs, complete with tears and snot and wails. There’s one that starts asking for her mommy about an hour into the morning. And their nametags (which are on lanyards around their necks) are the bane of my existence — they’ve managed to break them, dissemble them, choke themselves, choke their neighbor, and pop their neighbor (and themselves) in the face.
But despite a bit of a learning curve, I’m enjoying it — I’m getting to know some of the ladies on staff, got invited to lunch today, and I think that at least some of the kids like me… had several little girls crawling all over me, and pulling at my clothes, and holding my hand, and asking to sit in my lap. That’s a sign of approval in 5-yr-old land, right?