Preschooler Wrangling

Preschoolers are a different breed of people. Not quite truly school-age (Perceptive, no? There called preschoolers for a reason) but not babies either. Young minds and bodies yearning to learn and breath and run and jump and discover. Especially when they should be napping.

That’s the situation I found myself in this afternoon, playing substitute teacher for an hour, watching preschoolers – Raelyn included – “nap” while the teachers had their holiday party. Easy enough, right? How hard could it be for two adults to control twenty kids between 4 and 5?

If you’re not responding already in the comments or in your own head to my rhetorical question (and isn’t it obvious it isn’t that rhetorical while this is?) then read on:

In the beginning things were good. Children were on their mats. The lights were dim. Things were generally quiet after the teachers gave a stern warning/goodbye. I even played a game of Brickbreaker on my Blackberry after surveying the room once.

Then it happened.

First one kid had to pee. Then another. Then two more.

Pretty soon almost ten kids were either in line for the bathroom or in line to wash their hands. I could easily see the whole class getting up en masse and refusing to go back down.

Luckily a teacher returned at just that moment, apparently wise to the fact that the natives would be restless and plotting a revolt. First came an admonishment to return to their mats and then an appeal to got easy on “Mr. Seth” and not to get up anymore. Phew.

The rest of the hour passed with relative ease. One toy confiscated. One mirror turned around to decrease distraction. One blanket used for towel-whipping. One kid who kept asking us about our names and why we, the two parents, both wore glasses. Four kids repeatedly told to put their heads back down.

All in all nothing too severe or too much of a hassle. That said, I wouldn’t want to be a full-time caregiver or teacher of small children. Those people are all saints (in general) and specifically the fine teachers who guide Raelyn and Owen.

Jenn’s own experience in the Infant classroom makes me all the more certain that we’re the luckiest folks in the world to have such an awesome daycare as an employee benefit.

Here’s to all the teachers and students of TSG! You were great today; thanks for letting us help.

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