This morning Mister Bubby informed me that he needs a new coat. He would like a green coat “with not a stupid hood.” He has previously informed me that hoods make him look “like a jerk.” He doesn’t want a red coat because red coats make you look “like a girl.” (Eventually they fade and turn pink.) “And blue coats are…creepy.” Okay, then.
Today Girlfriend walked out the front door and said, “Oh, no, Mom–we need more leaves! We need to get them out of our yard and back onto our green tree!” I guess autumn is kind of freaking her out this year.
And what do you think happened this weekend? Yesterday I substitute-taught Elvis’s Primary (children’s Sunday School) class. Elvis was a little thrown off by me being his teacher for the day, but all he said was, “Where’s Dad?” and “I want snack.” I didn’t know anyone’s name (except, you know, my own son’s); even though I recognized a couple of the kids, I couldn’t remember what they were called, for the life of me, or who their parents were. So I asked everyone to tell me their name, but this one kid wouldn’t do it. I asked if I could call him Steve. He said he didn’t like that name. I said, “That’s not my problem, Steve.” Then one of the other kids betrayed him and told me his real name, so I just used that.
I didn’t hate teaching Primary yesterday. This differentiates yesterday’s experience from all my previous experiences with teaching Primary, including the time I taught it for six months. (Or was it four months? It seemed like eight. Anyway.) I think the secret was low expectations. I didn’t particularly prepare a lesson because my observation has been that there isn’t time but to get about sixteen words in between them telling you about their new puppy or their dead grandpas or how much they like Scooby Doo, and only three of those sixteen words will they actually hear, but they won’t remember them anyway, so whatever.
Yesterday they all asked for their snack first thing, which I also wasn’t particularly prepared for. The teacher told me they usually started off with a snack, but for some reason I just sort of ignored that. Ordinarily I am a big believer in plying kids with food just to get them to be quiet for a few minutes, so I think I just must have been in serious denial that I was actually teaching a Primary class. Anyway, the lesson was supposed to be on fasting, and what better way to teach a bunch of six-year-olds about fasting than by denying them their snack? Eh? It was like Providence had a hand in my lack of foresight.
Except that I quickly realized that I really wasn’t going to get by without feeding them, so I rummaged in my church bag for any snacks left over from when I was shoveling food in my own kids’ mouths to keep them quiet during sacrament meeting. I found some, too. Fruit snacks. Quality. Everyone was impressed.
So they ate their fruit snacks. I tried to talk a little about fasting and fast offerings, and we all discussed how old everyone was and how many dead grandpas we had (I won that game, as all my grandpas are dead), and then we took a walk around the church building and stopped in the kitchen for a drink of water and disturbed the class that was meeting in the room next door. When we left the kitchen, we ran into the ward’s new scoutmaster in the hall, and he tried to convince the kids that their teacher was really cool and/or smart, but none of them believed him. Then we went back to the classroom and did coloring sheets. One boy painted everyone’s skin green, except for Jesus, whom he painted blue. And that was my day teaching Primary.
This morning I am so sleepy I could cry. I don’t remember what I dreamed last night, but apparently it wasn’t conducive to restfulness. What will Monday bring?