Monday, May 12, 2014

I love all the children, because none of them came out of me.

I get pretty anxious around small children. "That can't be true!" You may be saying right now, chuckling to yourself, "you silly goose! You work in elementary schools. I bet you're quite the Maria Von Trapp, singing melodies and enchanting children like mice."
First of all, I must thank you, I dream to sing like Julie Andrews as well as be British and elegant as she, so your compliment is not lost on me, but you are, in fact, terribly misled. Children and I mix dismally.
Their tiny feet and sticky fingers are adorable to look at from far away and/or through strong sound proof glass, but up close and personal I get all sorts of anxious that I'm going to break their teeth or seriously scar their lil' bodies.
For church each Sunday Peter and I sit next to our BFFs Dan and Sarah who sit next to a couple with a year and a half old toddler. Every sacrament meeting this little girl wanders down the row interacting with all the adults in turn. Yesterday, it being Mother's Day and all, I decided I was going to have a solid interaction with this girl. The week before my attempt had been a feeble pat on the back as she passed. I accidentally tapped her harder than I expected and she wobbled a bit, but no casualties thus far. So, today I was ready. As she meandered down the row, she stopped to play with Sarah, then Dan, then surpassed me and Peter entirely to babble at the couple to our left. After she had waved and smiled at them nicely, I caught her attention by poking her lightly. In response she waddled over, grabbed the hem of my skirt, and lifted it up to look at my underwear. I swiftly pressed my skirt down into my lap to try and save some modesty, but she determinedly pulled and squatted lower on the floor to find a better viewpoint. All in all, another successful interaction with a child.
Children and underwear seem to be a running theme for scenarios in my life. This morning at work, while I sat on my Fisher-Price chair in the boy's bathroom, I heard I familiar voice say, "Hi!" and feel a tap on my back. As I turn to say, "Hello, Lucas," I'm met with my smiling friend standing with his little boy underwear up, but his pants down around his ankles. I wonder if we have an exhibitionist in the making.
Along with an exhibitionist we have quite the up and coming actor. My client, who I affectionally call Pinocchio due to the boneless way he seems to move his body, took a nap today. This is actually a pretty rare occurrence, but an exciting one. However, as most people are, he was grumpy when it came time for his nap to be over, and even more grumpy to start his after-nap sensory activity. This afternoon's activity was finger painting a paper bag that will, over the course of this week, turn into an octopus. The colour selected for him was red. I can't tell you how uncomfortable it is to try to encourage a screaming blind child to finger paint in red. While this task is normally an easy one, and one we do frequently, today he was crying like I had impaled him and doing anything he could to make sure that paint ended up everywhere but on his paper.

Thick, red liquid smeared and dripping across a crying, pathetic looking blind child, and a frustrated adult doesn't look so good, and I'm pretty sure the janitor we encountered in the bathroom afterwards was close to calling 911 over an assault case and/or attempted murder. Of course, it probably didn't help that my way of explaining the situation was, "he didn't want to do the sensory activity today."

I am grateful for all you mothers in the world. However, I am also truly grateful that I have not joined your ranks yet.   

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