Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's OK to plan

While driving home from church today, I heard a commercial that started with a father talking about why he loved being a father. I didn't really pay attention until halfway through, when I heard, "It's OK to plan your family, and it's OK to plan to have a small family."

Apparently there's a two-kid movement. I had no idea.

It makes so much sense, though. With two parents and two kids, you can play man to man instead of zone. I almost did that in Sunbeams today; we had four kids and three teachers. Golden, right? It was so easy!

Is what I would have said if children weren't the most inexplicable creatures on the planet. Instead, a child had the mother of all temper tantrums. And I think it might have been my fault. The little boy in the class came over to say someone had called him mean and just broke down into tears. Trying to distract him, I said we could go on a walk. So we did. He wanted to go outside. So we did.

Anyone reading this who's ever dealt with 4-year-olds is right now screaming, "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!"

Once we were outside, he wanted to look for spiders. But he didn't want to get dirty, so he wanted me to look for spiders. I declined and told him it was time to go inside. I got him into the classroom without screaming, although a fair amount of tugging was involved, but then he went into a grade A meltdown -- kicking, screaming, crying, turning so red in the face I would have worried about an aneurysm if he wasn't, you know, 4. My co-teacher eventually carried him out, but not without getting a few fists to the face.

And yet, despite all of that, he was not the most unpleasant person in church today. You'll remember from a few weeks ago the encounter I witnessed between Statler and Waldorf and another member of the ward. Today I realized he's the star of his own mental TV show, "Extreme Makeover: Ward Edition." Today he walked up to a woman with a rather loud voice and told her the chapel echoes and to please be quieter.

Now, if this woman had been talking during sacrament, OK. If she'd been bothering people around her, all right. If he was close friends with her and could gently tell her she was too loud, whatever. But no. He walked up to a complete stranger and told her to quiet down for church, which had not in fact started yet.

Oh, if it weren't for people, life would be so bland.

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