Last week I worked in the 5 year old room at church. I’ve only worked with them a few times now, so I’m never quite sure what to expect. I do peruse the blogs of a few friends of mine with kids this age because I like seeing what they (my friends) are up to, and also what their kids are up to, because I know this age is rapidly approaching in my own life. Actually one of my friends has 2 boys, Owen and Eli, who are 5 and almost 3 (right, A?), so though she thinks she is simply chronicling their lives, really, she is giving me a daily dose of what to expect in the short and long term with little boys. It’s so nice of her to do this for me. :) She also dresses stylishly when she takes her boys to the zoo, but I don’t hold that against her.
Anyway, back to the 5 year olds that were in my present and not my future, the 5 year old Sunday School class. Almost immediately upon entering the room, I had one of the shy little girls on my lap, asking me to read her a story. No problem, I read stories all the time. I asked her to go pick out a few books and she quickly joined me back in my lap.
The first book that she selected was called, “Scott’s Mom Gets Re-Married,” or something like that. We opened up to the first page where I started off reading the story as it was, which went something like this. “Scott and his Mom were moving in with Bob, because his Mom and Bob were in love and wanted to be close to one another. Bob had 2 kids, Henry and Jessica, and now Scott would have to live with all 3 of them.”
At this point another little girl had curled up in my lap, and I was acutely aware that I had NO IDEA about the dynamics of either of these children’s families. My eyes skimmed over the first few sentences of the next page, which said, among other things, “Bob wanted Scott to call him Dad, but Scott was NOT going to do this. Scott already had a dad and didn’t need another one.” I decided that since neither of the kids were proficient enough readers to know the difference, I would be telling a nice story the best I could, and I would try to get it to go along with the illustrations on the subsequent pages.
I wonder if you can tell what was really happening in the pictures?
“Sometimes Scott had to wait outside the bathroom while Jessica was in there getting ready. It was okay, because Scott thought she was nice, so he sat down and waited until she was finished.”
“When Scott and Henry moved into the same room they had so much fun. Henry took a rope and tied it across the middle of the room, how funny! He then put all of Scott’s toys in the closet, it was so nice of him to help Scott clean up.”
I started skipping several pages at a time and finished that book quickly. The next book was a children’s encyclopedia of animals in the Bible. I opened to the first page, and found rather lengthy descriptions accompanied by cartoon pictures, so I started just asking the girls questions about the pictures. This got shut down pretty quickly by the first girl, who said, “Uh, why are you telling us about the pictures instead of reading the story?” I don’t take too well to being called out, so I flipped the page and started to read.
“This is a mule. Mules are born when male donkeys mate with female horses.” (I’m not kidding, this part is not paraphrased.)
I then I closed the book and announced that we were going to go build with blocks. And realized that I was sweating a little.