Months ago I agreed to sub for three days in kindergarten this week because I like to screw over my future self. It's over now and it wasn't so bad. Of course, nothing could be as bad as what I had envisioned. The kids are adorable, but part of what makes it so hard for me is that the girls are about a year and a half ahead of the boys maturity-wise. So kindergarten girls are like second grade boys. Second grade is fun. Kindergarten sucks.
Kindergarten boys are difficult for me. If something CAN be thrown, it's thrown, if someone bugs a kindergarten boy, that poor someone gets pushed down, slapped or pinched. If someone has a toy that boy wants, the toy will be ripped out of their hands. If that kindergarten boy gets confronted for throwing something that shouldn't be thrown, or hitting someone who bugged him, or taking something someone else was playing with, he cries. If that boy has something to say and I am talking, he will scream whatever it is that pops into his head whenever it happens to pop into his head. That, in a nutshell, is what makes kindergarten such a nightmare.
And the parents. One mom dropped off her boy every day and then lingered. Endlessly lingered. The first day I was there she complained that some of the other boys were bothering him at lunch and could I make sure they don't do it anymore? Turns out her sweet little angel was the biggest trouble maker in the class. The boys were messing with his lunch because he was first messing with their lunches, as a sort of game. I kept my eye on this kid all week and he was ALWAYS doing something he wasn't supposed to do. If the kids were gathered on the rug, he was by the cubbies, digging in people's stuff. At playtime, he was in the bathroom squirting liquid soap all over the place, etc. etc. etc. What a BRAT.
The weather was gorgeous yesterday so I took them outside for a while. They were having a great time. One of the little girls came up to me laughing and told me that she and a few other kids were playing the BEST game! The boys were chasing the girls and putting them in jail.
Me: Oh, you're criminals?
Me: What crimes are you doing to get put into jail?
Girl: Because we're so PRETTY!!!!
Me: The boys are capturing you and putting you in jail for being pretty???
Girl: Yes! And we catch them and put them in jail too!
Me: Because they are so pretty?
Girl: No silly! Because they are rich!
Me: Wow ............. That is Fucked Up.
Just kidding, I didn't say that's fucked up but I was thinking it. A while later she came up to me and her hands were cuffed behind her back with a hair tie. She thought that was brilliant. Somewhere Betty Friedan was spinning in her grave.
There were, of course, some good things that happened during the week. Working with five-year-olds always boosts my ego. At playtime I went to the coloring station and drew pictures. I am TERRIBLE at drawing, always have been. They thought I was excellent, on par with the great masters. They lined up for me to draw a picture for them. If adults had their taste in art, I would be a rich and famous artist. Also, they think I am gorgeous. I was told how beautiful I am dozens of times. I was hugged hundreds of times. I was told I was the best sub they ever had every day.
And they are funny. They made a "special person" poster about one of their classmates (apparently they do that for every kid) and I was to go around and get a quote about her from all the other kids. Most said, "She's pretty" or "She's nice" but there were a few that were oddly specific like, "She draws good daisies on the Smartboard." I asked one little boy, a rage-aholic, what he had to say about her, thinking he would refuse to say anything because he didn't string three words together all week unless he was having a tantrum. Without skipping a beat he said, "She loves me." I laughed and another kid said, "She really does," and I laughed some more. Crazy kids.
One day I was getting impatient with the mama's-little-angel brat mentioned above when he was racing around tables when everyone else was sitting on the carpet waiting for a story. I said, "Please go to the carpet. I already told you that five times. I shouldn't have to tell you to do things more than once," and a bunch of kids piped up and said, "Hey! My mom says that to me all the time!" and "Yeah, my dad says that to me every day!"