Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm Definitely Not Wearing My Underwear

If you ever want to know what’s going on in your life you should hover your mouse over the tab titled “Recent Documents”.  I just did this by accident and the following three document titles popped up:  “5th Sunday – Unity”, “Carpool Schedule”, and “Spanish Burrito”.  There you have it, a window into my world.  It doesn’t quite cover it, however, and it makes me realize that I should have written something titled, “An In Depth Look at Regular Kleenex vs. Puffs Plus”, and “Things You Should Avoid Saying To Your Young, Impressionable Sunday School Class While Operating On a NyQuil Hangover”, if I was really interested in being thorough.  

For the record, when you are on day eleventy-twenty-four-hundred of THE COLD THAT WOULDN’T DIE there is no contest; only Puffs Plus will do.  It’s the only way to prevent your nose from looking like Whitney Houston’s after a cocaine spree.  Another valuable tidbit:  When your eyes are leaky, puffy and red and your nose seems to be running for Congress a good remedy might be to watch the movie “The Last Song”.  There’s a part where the little boy has just found out that his Dad, who he’s been spending the summer with and working side by side with making a stained glass window for the local church, is dying of cancer.  His sister is awakened in the middle of the night by a loud crash, and as she explores the house for the source of the noise she opens the door to find her little brother sobbing in front of spilled tools, mumbling something about having to finish the stained glass window by himself before his Dad dies.  Good heavens.  The REAL valuable tidbit here is this:  should you find yourself in such a situation, don’t look at yourself in the mirror for a good 24 hours.  For real, I’m trying to help you here.

Yes, you might say I’ve been a bit of a hot mess lately.  I was supposed to teach my Sunday School class of 10-year-olds yesterday and even though I wasn’t feeling great, it didn’t seem like enough of a big deal to skip church and get a substitute.  I felt a little differently once I got to church, however, but decided to man up and eek out my lesson after which I would go home an hour early.  (That’s right, leaving after two full hours of church would still be leaving EARLY.  We Mormons know how to party.)  Here’s the thing.  I haven’t spent much time in my church life teaching children.  Teenagers?  Adults?  Yes.  And yes.  But kids?  I once did a two-year stint in a leadership position, but never one-on-one in the classroom.  You’re about to find out that I’m not very good at it.  

The sad thing is that these kids really are darling and good, it’s just that I’m used to an audience that is either listening or tuned out, but not randomly spewing out their thoughts while you’re talking.  It’s like living in Rain Man for an hour every week. 
“How can prayer help you?”
“My wart is bleeding.”
“What do you think makes Jesus happy?”
“I like Transformers!”
“So, how can you show courage like the prophets?”
I’m an excellent driver.”

Normally I am patient and kind with my responses.  Yesterday…not so much.  By the time I was wrapping up the lesson I was exhausted and I was in the middle of sharing my thoughts about prophets when one of the kids blurted out, “I know where Lucy* is!”  What the…?  (Lucy is one of the cute girls in my class who was out of town.)  I wasn’t in the mood to dignify the interruption with a response so I kept talking as if I didn’t hear.  They tried again, “I know where Lucy is!”  I stopped, looked at the child and said, “Yeah, I do too but that’s not what we’re talking about right now, is it?” and then tried to finish my thought that nobody was listening to.

There’s a reason I’m only the 2nd best.

But I AM an excellent driver.

*Name changed


Stacy Q said...

Primary teacher is the must under appreciated job in the whole church. Give me the primary presidency any day, or even nursery (especially if it's one of those where you trade off every other week with someone else). But Teacher - you have to be there EVERY WEEK or find your own substitute... Anyone who commits to doing it has my deep respect and gratitude.
I taught CTRs for a couple of months (I think I moved to get away from it) and ended up bringing unrelated picture books to read to them just to keep them quiet for a few minutes.

Bless you.

Emily said...

I end up teaching kids almost every week because of teachers that don't show up and I have discovered the same thing. Me one-on-one with kids is not the best solution to a problem.

Ria said...

We are the opposite in our callings, I have been in Primary most of my adult life. I like to break out of the boundaries of the lesson manual and mix it up (there's still a lesson in there). Have fun with it. You know how to do that. I know you do.

Heather said...

I hear you! Going from RS president to Sunbeams teacher made me nauseated! But I loved it very quickly, way less stress!

Here is a tip my husband uses with his 10 turning 11 year old class (they WERE rowdy!) no one speaks without the tennis ball, he bounces it or tosses it to them when they put their hand up. Lame, yes, but it really does work. The kids LOVE it. He also gives them poker chips when they do good thing which they trade in for a little candy later...

Lorie said...

I agree with Stacy! Primary teachers do a LOT and are way underappreciated. I have heard silly putty works good... pelt them on the head if they make a lame comment. LOL! just something to keep their hands busy while you drone on and on and on... :) j/k

ganelle said...

That tennis ball idea is great. I'll try it.

But I am SOOO with you on the randomness of primary kids. Sometimes it's funny, usually it drives ms crazy. BUT this year I have a good class and so I'm not gonna complain. Too much.

anitamombanita said...

oh, but they're so cute, right? when they're sleeping, perhaps... heehee

Stefani said...

We used to give the Beehives suckers so they would be quiet. It worked, but then again Beehives probably wouldn't get suckers stuck in their hair - or worse yet, their neighbor's hair.

Also, one of my family's favorite random kid quote was from my mom's 3rd grade class, when she thought she was finally really getting through to the kids. One little boy raised his hand and said "My cat died last night." This is, an ever more will be, the buzz phrase when someone isn't paying attention or is very random.

Anonymous said...

Oh the joys.
No wonder we can't keep our primary staffed.

I hope you get over that cold soon.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

I would love to have been a fly on the wall in your class. Or maybe I could have been a student! Even better......ohhhhhh lookie lookie...shiny.
Ya, I'd have been good!

I hope you get feeling better soon. You really should blog a picture of your nose. I never did see Whitneys.

Vanessa said...

You know what will get rid of your cold don't you?? A nice sunny trip to San Diego and a quick visit to your wacky sister in law's to get a dose of witchery. Just sayin. Feel better!

Beej said...

I can't read anymore! My stomach can't take it!!!!