I volunteered to help make apple pie with Katy’s kindergarten class today. There are nineteen kids in her room on days when the all day children are there. There were four adults. The teacher, her husband who took the day off to help out, another mother and myself. We weren’t greatly out-numbered and yet when Katy and I got home after not quite three hours of non-stop apple related and pie-making activities, I was ready for bed. This full time mom gig is not for the out of shape, the sleep deprived or those short on patience. Of which, I can be any or all of the above depending on the day or the week or the time of the month.
It is full moon. The time of the month when children, animals and people inclined towards being a pain in the butt crank the volume up to eleven. If I were teaching, I would have known it was full moon when I walked into the school building today, but my old supervisor was right about how little time it takes to forget nearly everything you ever learned about kids and their ways. Still, I can be forgiven. I was not an elementary teacher. Certainly my only experience with five year olds consists of nephews, nieces and the children of friends. And now, of course, my own little girl. Kindergartners do not have the pack mentality of their older academic brethren. They do not look for weakness. They do not misbehave for effect. But what they lack in cunning they make up for in energy.
The activity was a good one and I found myself missing my old profession quite a bit. There was nothing like teaching a great lesson to a receptive audience. Nothing like imparting knowledge and seeing the lights come on. Katy’s teacher is very good at keeping things moving and teaching to the moment. Kids are actively engaged and even the little ones who you can tell are going to become more and more difficult to manage and engage over time were tuned in and on task.
Katy was so proud to have me there. The last two years in Montessori I was seldom able to get off work for field trips and was never able to volunteer in the classroom. Her former school was made up of primarily two parent families. Single parent needs weren’t considered when it came to planning much of anything. Now that I have the time, I am seeing just how much of an advantage children with a stay at home parent has.
Tomorrow there is a field trip to the nearby park to look at trees and leaves and all the signs of the fall and coming winter. Katy is thrilled that I will be coming along even if it does mean she will miss riding the bus home for a second day. Nice to know I am more important than riding the yellow school bus. I expect to be dead ass tired again tomorrow afternoon, but it is a good kind of tired.