Friday, 19 September 2008

gingerbread men

I’m not sure what possessed me. I volunteered in Caid’s class yesterday (no, that’s not the possessed part). I was hoping it’d help me get to know some of the other moms and the teachers a bit. Plus help me get a handle on the school thing here and maybe make me start feeling a little more comfortable with all of that—I’m still not very comfortable and I still can’t quite put my finger on why.

It was fun to see Caid in that environment. I of course barely saw him all morning. He went in and did his thing and I just happened to be around too. I’m thinking Bridger will be the opposite, but we’ll see. I’m hoping to start volunteering one morning a week in each of their classes. Who knows, maybe I’ll make some friends out of the deal. Maybe I’ll just get to be with the boys a little more. Either way it’ll be worthwhile!

Bridger is still not doing so hot. He had a great day on Monday. Okayish day Tuesday. He was off Wednesday and then he had a rough day yesterday. I guess he cried on and off throughout the whole day. Sigh…it’s so hard. I have no idea if it’s just him acclimating and getting used to everything and just taking longer with that. He’s always been one to crave routine and his has been shook up pretty well recently. Or maybe he really is just a little too young for school still? He’s enjoying learning to read and numbers and all of that. He just doesn’t want to be there that long during the day and he doesn’t like being away from me.

The other thing I’m wondering about is the behavior of the other kids. That’s always a tricky thing for Bridger. He doesn’t do very well with other kids being loud or misbehaving. Especially if he feels like the adults are not in control. The first thing he tells me each day is about some boy or other being not a good boy and what happened, etc. The good news is that he’s holding his own. Some kid named Max took one of his stickers off of his shirt the other day. He told me, “I just grabbed him around the neck, took back my sticker and then pushed him on the ground! Then I did it again when he took Jasmine’s hair thing. I just grabbed him, threw her hair thing to her and then shoved him.” Probably as a mom I ought to think of some way to help him resolve issues without violence, but I have to admit I was quite relieved. Considering Bridger’s personality I much prefer a ‘don’t mess with me’ approach.

It’s hard though. What does one do? Tell him to buck up and get over it? Listen and be patient? Check into the school atmosphere a little and maybe find somewhere that’s a better fit? Sit at home while they’re at school working oneself into a tizzy eating chocolate and drinking tea with way too much sugar whilst chewing one’s fingernails and worrying to death?

I think that’s what possessed me. Worry is a powerful emotion. It makes us do crazy things.

Like helping 28 children make gingerbread men. And not just making a big ol’ batch of dough and rolling them out with the little guys and cutting out the shapes. No, I’m talking measuring, melting, stirring, rolling, cutting, raisin-ing and then baking. Four times over. With groups of 5-9 four year olds. Snotting on me and all begging for the next turn and making a HUGE mess and not all following instructions.

That’s right. I showed up, they handed me a smock and pointed me to the ingredients. I’m sitting there at the little tiny table thinking, “Oh no…oh no no no no no…what I have I done?!?! What was I THINKING?!?! I don’t even like to bake with my own children and there are only TWO of them!” Talk about having to just dive right in and be in the moment.

As if that’s not bad enough I sit down with the recipe and the ingredients call for 200g of flour, 100 g of sugar, 50 g of butter. Okay, no biggie. Where is the cup that says ‘100g?’ ‘50g?’ Yeah no, it’s all done with scales. No measuring cups, just a scale. Let’s just say the old Cor-ster was completely out of her element.

You should have seen me. Covered in flour, wearing a hilarious blue smock a la ‘I Love Lucy’ at the candy factory, sitting in one of those little tiny chairs, using my sweetest mommy voice, “No, no, Elliot, please don’t punch a hole with your finger in the middle of the dough we just rolled out. Wait, Mia. We’ll all get a turn. Uh oh, Courtney, let’s cover our mouth when we cough. Good job, Avron, can you put raisins on that now? Just a second sweety, don’t panic, I’ll help you get that apron untied.” All the while running halfway across the building every 13 minutes to get the next batch out of the oven.

Yeah, possessed. No two ways about it. And yet, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. The shiny, flour covered faces. The somber little boy who had never made cookies before and was so diligent and helpful who I finally got to smile right at the very end. The little boy who wasn’t even in Caid’s class who begged to stay and help and ended up laying his little head on my shoulder and patting me and just staying like that for a while. The little toeheaded girl with thick glasses who wanted to know if I thought she was “so helpful?”

I’m definitely going back next Thursday. Now I’m possessed by the longing to be with those little cutie pies. Who’d have thunk, huh?


Lysa said...

particularly loved this one -- I could literally see you!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Cori - I love your stories - you're a darn good writer! Two entries and I can't wait for the next. I totally can picture you with flour everywhere trying to remain calm while helping the kids cut dough. Hilarious. Love you and miss you!