Sunday, May 12, 2013

They can smell fear

I have been dreading church today for the last two weeks.

Two weeks ago is when I was asked to teach in Primary. Primary is for the young children. Anyone who knows me at all knows exactly how I feel about young children. If you don't, here's a quick recap: I was the only sister missionary possibly ever to appreciate the rules that missionaries can't hold babies, because I didn't want to hold someone's stinky, smelly, drooling baby, and if you're not related to me or the child of a good friend of mine, I don't really want to have anything to do with you until you're old enough to drink. It's just how I am.

But I went. Sacrament ended, and I went to the Primary room, found my class in the very front row (also love the front row) and attempted to act like an adult. I'm teaching Sunbeams. They are 3- and 4-year-olds who like to cuddle and hold hands and think running away from the teacher is really fun.

It was -- how do I say this? -- memorable.

I asked a sweet little girl how old she was. "Four." Her friend is also four, but she turned four before he did, she proudly tells me. "When did you turn four?"

"On my birthday," she answered, with that "duh" look on her face.

Silly me.

During sharing time the kids were all supposed to draw pictures of themselves and then of themselves following the prophet. The older kids drew pictures of themselves praying or going to the temple.

What did the Sunbeams draw? I'm so glad you asked. The one on my right said he couldn't draw anything. I asked what he did to follow the prophet. He started singing. "Follow the prophet, follow the prophet."

At least he's listening.

The child on my right drew a rocket ship. Anyone care to submit an analogy?

 We survived sharing time and singing time and went to class, where we started making Mother's Day cards. My little soloist finished his first and went to the other teacher for her to write something on it. Happy Mother's Day? I love you? Not for this kid.

"Write on it, 'I love you more than you love me,'" he instructed the other teacher. "She'll love that."

We jump into the lesson, which is truncated because of the Mother's Day cards, right about the time I hear, "Teacher, he's trying to kiss me!"

Ah, young love.

Anyway, I survived day one. I didn't make any children cry. No child made me cry. I now have six days to come up with an excuse to not go to church next week I mean plan a well-thought-out lesson that will keep half a dozen 4-year-olds busy for the longest 40 minutes ever.

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